The First 72 Hours: A Model Intake and Animal Flow Process for Disease Prevention

March 2019 by Faith Wright, Ellen Jefferson DVM, Jordana Moerbe, Paula Medrano and Amelia Nusbaum

Audience: Executive Leadership, Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers, Veterinary Team

Video Length: 52:32

The First 72 Hours: A Model Intake and Animal Flow Process for Disease Prevention

Finally, an intake and animal flow process designed to help you prevent outbreaks and ensure live outcomes! Join American Pets Alive! staff as they discuss what should (or conversely, could) happen within the first 72 hours after an animal enters any sheltering system. Then hear from Houston BARC's operations staff on how they responded to a distemper outbreak and how this resulted in them reimagining their flow. This is a lifesaver for shelters in the south! This presentation was recorded by Maddie's Fund® at the 2019 American Pets Alive! Conference.

About Faith Wright

Faith is the Shelter Management Advisor for Austin Pets Alive! and conducts site visits and responds to crises from other shelters. She began her journey volunteering for APA! in 2009 and in 2011 became the Operations Manager for APA!. In 2016, her role shifted to Facilities, Information, and Legal Services Manager. Faith and her family have fostered over 500 animals since the beginning of her time with APA!. Faith has helped spread the word of the no-kill mission by moving temporarily to Edinburg, Texas and working as the temporary shelter manager at Palm Valley Animal Center. She helped increase their live release rate to almost 50%, up from 37%. Since her return to Austin, she has been taking weekly trips to area shelters in Texas and New Mexico to evaluate intake process, animal flow, and rescue efforts. Faith prides herself in taking home an animal to foster from each shelter she visits.


About Ellen Jefferson, DVM

Dr. Jefferson graduated veterinary school in 1997 and started her career in private practice. In 1999, in response to an 85% death rate at the city shelter, she started EmanciPET, a low cost and free spay/neuter clinic in an effort to decrease the number of homeless animals. In 2008, still not satisfied with how fast the city of Austin was moving towards no-kill status, she stepped in as Executive Director of Austin Pets Alive! Since 2008, Austin Pets Alive! has been the driving force to bring the entire city of Austin to a greater than 90% save rate and the largest no-kill city in the US, and to redefine what no-kill means, as Austin's save rate now approaches 98%. Dr. Jefferson was unanimously chosen as the first recipient of the Avanzino Leadership award, named for the father of no-kill and given for her outstanding contribution to the no-kill movement.


About Jordana Moerbe

Jordana Moerbe moved to Austin from El Paso, Texas in 2002. She began her professional career in animal lifesaving at the low cost spay/neuter clinic, Emancipet. In 2009, she was offered a tech position with APA!, where she worked directly under Dr. Ellen Jefferson and helped build what is now the APA! Medical Clinic. Today, the medical clinic has the capacity to treat upwards of 100+ medical cases at any given time as well as support the Parvo Puppy ICU, neonatal ICU, feline leukemia ward, and the ringworm ward.


About Paula Medrano

Paula completed a bachelor's degree with a double major in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Houston - Downtown in 2008. She did research concentrating on the migration behavior of reptiles and amphibians in Houston bayous for four years during her studies. After graduating, she decided to pursue her love for the veterinary field and worked at a veterinary clinic which later led her to BARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions in 2009. Paula considered leaving the open-admission shelter, but with a live release rate in the single digits, the need of the animals swayed her to stay and make a difference. After beginning her shelter journey as an animal care technician, she quickly moved up in ranks and is now a division manager and ultimately an advocate for those animals that don't have a voice.


About Amelia Nusbaum

Amelia completed a master's degree in Museum Science - with an emphasis in zoological enrichment - from Texas Tech in 2008. During her studies, Amelia spent six months as an intern with Toledo Zoo & Aquarium where she gained in-depth experience in applying the principles of behavior to training marine mammals. Immediately upon graduation, she joined Houston Zoo, Inc. as a keeper. She spent four years caring for, training, and enriching the lives of birds, primates, Red Pandas, and other mammals. In 2011 she joined BARC as a Senior Animal Care Technician. In this position, and later as Adoption Coordinator, she began developing an enrichment program for shelter animals and gathering resources for community education. In 2014, Amelia became Shelter Supervisor and uses the fundamentals of animal behavior science to build team skills including observation and interpretation of animal body language, implementation of handling techniques that minimize stress, and the daily use of behavior modification and enrichment along with development of a strict and effective disease prevention and sanitation policy and program.


The First 72 Hours: A Model Intake and Animal Flow Process for Disease Prevention

Finally, an intake and animal flow process designed to help you prevent outbreaks and ensure live outcomes! Join American Pets Alive! staff as they discuss what should (or conversely, could) happen within the first 72 hours after an animal enters any sheltering system. Then hear from Houston BARC's operations staff on how they responded to a distemper outbreak and how this resulted in them reimagining their flow. This is a lifesaver for shelters in the south! This presentation was recorded by Maddie's Fund® at the 2019 American Pets Alive! Conference.

About Faith Wright

Faith is the Shelter Management Advisor for Austin Pets Alive! and conducts site visits and responds to crises from other shelters. She began her journey volunteering for APA! in 2009 and in 2011 became the Operations Manager for APA!. In 2016, her role shifted to Facilities, Information, and Legal Services Manager. Faith and her family have fostered over 500 animals since the beginning of her time with APA!. Faith has helped spread the word of the no-kill mission by moving temporarily to Edinburg, Texas and working as the temporary shelter manager at Palm Valley Animal Center. She helped increase their live release rate to almost 50%, up from 37%. Since her return to Austin, she has been taking weekly trips to area shelters in Texas and New Mexico to evaluate intake process, animal flow, and rescue efforts. Faith prides herself in taking home an animal to foster from each shelter she visits.


About Ellen Jefferson, DVM

Dr. Jefferson graduated veterinary school in 1997 and started her career in private practice. In 1999, in response to an 85% death rate at the city shelter, she started EmanciPET, a low cost and free spay/neuter clinic in an effort to decrease the number of homeless animals. In 2008, still not satisfied with how fast the city of Austin was moving towards no-kill status, she stepped in as Executive Director of Austin Pets Alive! Since 2008, Austin Pets Alive! has been the driving force to bring the entire city of Austin to a greater than 90% save rate and the largest no-kill city in the US, and to redefine what no-kill means, as Austin's save rate now approaches 98%. Dr. Jefferson was unanimously chosen as the first recipient of the Avanzino Leadership award, named for the father of no-kill and given for her outstanding contribution to the no-kill movement.


About Jordana Moerbe

Jordana Moerbe moved to Austin from El Paso, Texas in 2002. She began her professional career in animal lifesaving at the low cost spay/neuter clinic, Emancipet. In 2009, she was offered a tech position with APA!, where she worked directly under Dr. Ellen Jefferson and helped build what is now the APA! Medical Clinic. Today, the medical clinic has the capacity to treat upwards of 100+ medical cases at any given time as well as support the Parvo Puppy ICU, neonatal ICU, feline leukemia ward, and the ringworm ward.


About Paula Medrano

Paula completed a bachelor's degree with a double major in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Houston - Downtown in 2008. She did research concentrating on the migration behavior of reptiles and amphibians in Houston bayous for four years during her studies. After graduating, she decided to pursue her love for the veterinary field and worked at a veterinary clinic which later led her to BARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions in 2009. Paula considered leaving the open-admission shelter, but with a live release rate in the single digits, the need of the animals swayed her to stay and make a difference. After beginning her shelter journey as an animal care technician, she quickly moved up in ranks and is now a division manager and ultimately an advocate for those animals that don't have a voice.


About Amelia Nusbaum

Amelia completed a master's degree in Museum Science - with an emphasis in zoological enrichment - from Texas Tech in 2008. During her studies, Amelia spent six months as an intern with Toledo Zoo & Aquarium where she gained in-depth experience in applying the principles of behavior to training marine mammals. Immediately upon graduation, she joined Houston Zoo, Inc. as a keeper. She spent four years caring for, training, and enriching the lives of birds, primates, Red Pandas, and other mammals. In 2011 she joined BARC as a Senior Animal Care Technician. In this position, and later as Adoption Coordinator, she began developing an enrichment program for shelter animals and gathering resources for community education. In 2014, Amelia became Shelter Supervisor and uses the fundamentals of animal behavior science to build team skills including observation and interpretation of animal body language, implementation of handling techniques that minimize stress, and the daily use of behavior modification and enrichment along with development of a strict and effective disease prevention and sanitation policy and program.


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