National Council - Keeping Statistics (Page 1 of 3)

Animal Shelters

Why should you keep track of the number of animals that your organization handles each year? Though time consuming, the benefits of good statistics far outweigh the hassle of keeping records. The concept that, "The work is not done until the paperwork is completed" has an impact on animal shelters just as on any other business. Animal sheltering is a business whether it is nonprofit or governmental.

"What" you do is important and need not be overshadowed by "how much" you do. It is often stated that quality is more important than quantity, therefore you can and should put numbers to work for you in ways to improve the quality of what you do.

Small shelters benefit just as much as large shelters from keeping accurate statistics on every aspect of their work. Numbers tell people who you are and what you are up against. Presented here are reasons to keep accurate count of the animals you handle.

  Accountability
Numbers will justify your existence to a Board of Directors, government entities, and the general public. You know you are productive, but they must know that as well.
  Liability
Proper recording of numbers will show you kept each animal the legally required time.
  Public Image
Numbers will increase public awareness of the magnitude of your mission. Numbers help you convey the results of your efforts.
  Budgets/Fund Raising
A good budgeting process requires statistics to identify needs. Numbers assist in planning for the future. Numbers paint pictures that open pocketbooks for donations.
  Program Evaluation/Planning
Strengths and weaknesses are exposed through statistics. Analysis of your numbers will identify successful as well as ineffective programs. Statistical analysis can assist in design of future programs. Comparison of statistics may expose animal population trends (local, regional, and national).
Use the Basic Statistics Tracking Page (8,192 bytes, updated: 09-05-2000) to help manage and track your shelter statistics.

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