Conroe, January 13, 2017 – During the first month of Director Charles W. Jackson’s tenure, the live release rate of the Montgomery County Animal Shelter (MCAS) has soared to 91.6%, Jackson announced to the staff of The Golden Hammer in an exclusive story. MCAS maintains those statistics pursuant to the Asilomar Accords, which are criteria animal shelters across the United States have utilized since 2004. The Accords serve as guiding principles, standardized definitions, and a statistical table method for tracking animal shelter populations including foster care and accurate determination of live release rates.
When Jackson became MCAS Director on Monday, December 12, 2016, the conditions, culture, animal welfare, and employee morale rose immediately. 586 adoptions have left the shelter, while 50 adopted animals are at the shelter but await surgery before moving to their permanent homes. Jackson and his staff have limited euthanasia to 92 animals, all of which were critically ill or had severe behavior issues. Killing for space is no longer a policy of MCAS. Additionally, MCAS has sent 316 animals to rescue groups and placed 34 cats in the Community Cat program.
Jackson proudly announced, “We have been able to empty an entire room and conduct deep cleaning. We were able to transfer animals from another room into the empty one and conduct deep cleaning there as well.” Jackson listed the other accomplishments of MCAS since December 12:
- created mission and vision statements
- created and implemented a comprehensive written euthanasia policy and priority list (prioritizing animals who are suffering)
- created a new logo/brand
- installed new countertops, cabinets, desks, tables, and shelves in mission critical rooms such as the surgery area
- created a treatment room complete with wet table, anesthesia machine, and cages to house and aid injured animals
- stopped using outdoor kennels as permanent housing
- created an organizational chart for employees with a clear chain-of-command
- posted the shelter’s Asilomar report for December 2016 on MCAS’s revamped website
- combined animal control and shelter operations into one organization so that animal control officers help the shelter staff clean cages, move animals, and medicate as needed
- changed the culture of MCAS to a team that fights to save as many lives as possible, provide wonderful conditions for the animals, and provide customer service as good (or better) than Chick-Fil-A, Jackson’s model business organization for excellent customer service.
As for whether MCAS will become a “no-kill shelter,” Jackson told The Golden Hammer, “The answer is maybe. There’s really no such thing as a no-kill shelter. It’s called a no-kill community. If just 4% of our residents in Montgomery County show up at the shelter, we won’t have any animals left. It’s one of the only businesses in the world that you’re trying to work yourself out of a job.”
Jackson, his Assistant Director Mark Wysocki, Foster and Volunteer Coordinator Amy Anderson, and the entire staff of MCAS make Montgomery County proud of our shelter. This major turnaround of a county department occurred for one reason and one reason alone: relentless citizen activism that pushed county leaders into taking action after two years of indifference to the plight of the animals in our shelter.