The Scratch Pad

The Common Bonds monthly update for August 2023

Monthly Call to Focus on Taking Back Your Lifesaving Power in the face of Backlash

Across the country, shelters receive backlash from the media, people on social media, and sometimes even from partners and people within their organizations, taking valuable time away from lifesaving and lowering morale. During this month’s Common Bonds Presents, to be held Wednesday, August 30 at 10am, discover the power of language, learn how to deal with backlash, and find out how to communicate effectively and be efficient in this powerful virtual presentation led by Catherine Eldredge, South Central Region Strategist with Best Friends Animal Society, and Paula Powell, Senior Strategist, South Central Region, BFAS. Register today by clicking here. We look forward to seeing you on the call!

Oklahoma Shelters Participating in Common Bonds Survey Receive Grants

Several Oklahoma animal shelters have received grants from Best Friends Animal Society for their participation in the Common Bonds 2023 Survey of Oklahoma Animal Shelters. The survey, which launched in July, seeks information from shelters about budget and staff sizes, shelter policies, the relationship with their governing body, and their access to technology. As an incentive to participate, BFAS offered several scholarships and microchip scanners. The winners are:

$5,000 grant: City of Bethany Animal Shelter
$3,000 grant: Guthrie Animal Shelter
$1,000 grant: Blanchard Animal Shelter
Microchip scanner: Altus Animal Shelter, Claremore Animal Shelter, Ketcher-Keheley Animal Shelter (Miami), Shawnee Animal Shelter, Woodward Animal Control.

Congratulations to all of the animal welfare organizations that received a grant or microchip scanner. And thank you to the 34 shelters across Oklahoma that participated in the survey. We will be crunching the numbers and providing some top-line data soon. In the meantime, if you haven’t completed the survey, click here and add your information to our dataset.

Ardmore Animal Care Inc. Recognized at National Conference

Left to right: Emily Favre, Ardmore Animal Care, Catherine Eldredge, Best Friends Animal Society, and Sydney Hood Ardmore Animal Care at the Best Friends Animal Society National Conference in Houston August 11th.

Ardmore Animal Care received the Transformational Change Award from Best Friends Animal Society at its national conference in Houston on August 11th. AAC was recognized for having the highest increase nationally in lifesaving progress for dogs and cats, based on the number of pets admitted to the shelter each year. Among other things, Ardmore Animal Care has enhanced its medical potocols, increased adoption events and promotions, improved foster and volunteer recruitment, and secured a new van to grow its transport program. Congratulations to the entire staff of Ardmore Animal Care for taking animal lifesaving to the next level!

Seated from left to right: Rose Grimm and Eva Craig with Second Chance Animal Rescue in Norman. Back Row left to right: Colton Jones, Tulsa Animal Welfare; Karlissa Archibeque and Justin Matthews, Northern Oklahoma Humane Society; Kelly Burley, Common Bonds; Kelly Hines, T-Town TNR; Kellee Robertson, Norman Animal Welfare; Sherri Carrier, Tulsa Animal Welfare; and Samantha Polen, T-Town TNR.

This year’s conference acknowledged the difficulties of the past year in animal welfare, from more pets entering shelters and fewer pets finding homes to resource shortages and more. But as the going got tough, the people that make animal welfare work got tougher, finding innovative ways to adjust to the current reality and prioritize lifesaving. Houston was hot, but the conversations were beyond cool as Common Bonds caught up with members of its network and met new faces on the front lines of animal welfare in Oklahoma.

Common Bonds hosted a “meet and greet” for Oklahoma animal welfare pros attending the Best Friends Animal Society National Conference on August 11. From left to right: Crystal Wise, OKC Animal Welfare, Christina Vega, City of Guymon Animal Control; Kelly Burley, Common Bonds; Amanda Wise, City of Guymon Animal Shelter; Brienne Grayson and Courtney Payne, OKC Animal Welfare.

Vickie Grantz, Enid SPCA and Common Bonds Community Engagement Group Co-Chair, Liz Hodgson, El Reno Animal Control, and Kelly Burley, Common Bonds Director.

Common Bonds Road Tour Comes to El Reno

Common Bonds visited El Reno Animal Control and shelter manager Liz Hodgson on August 7 to learn more about shelter operations. Hodgson and Vickie Grantz, who leads Enid SPCA and chairs the Common Bonds Community Engagement Group, swapped stories and experiences from the trenches of shelter operations during the tour. This is Common Bonds fifth “road trip” visit to a shelter in 2023. Other stops included Washington County SPCA in Bartlesville, Okmulgee County Humane Society, Stillwater Humane Society, Blackwell Animal Control. Through these visits, Common Bonds seeks to better understand the unique challenges facing shelters on the ground while offering opportunities to connect with the larger animal welfare community in Oklahoma and nationally as a member of Common Bonds and a network partner of Best Friends Animal Society.