PAW Team is about pets, people and the unique bond we share. We are a volunteer-based organization that does absolutely amazing things with an extremely small budget. We're about as grass-roots as it gets, and that's what keeps us focused on enhancing what we do and how we do it.
This year we're changing and adding a few things to make the experience better for our clients and our volunteers. Here's a short list of some of the recent and soon-to-come changes.
Surgeries: Thanks to the generous support of vets in the area and the Animal Rescue and Care Fund we have always been able to provide one or two surgeries for our patients each month. Beginning in March, we'll be increasing that dramatically through a creative, collaborative effort between the PAW Team, Multnomah County Animal Shelter (MCAS) and the Pixie Project (PP). Equipment purchased by the county from a grant made a couple years ago to the PAW Team has been housed at PP. We are in the process of recruiting vets who can donate their services for vital surgeries and procedures that we can't do during our regular monthly clinics.
Partner Agencies: Folks that are experiencing homelessness or life-altering issues need their pets more than ever. These pets need care, regardless of the financial situation of their people. That's where the PAW Team comes in. We network with many social service agencies in the area to help let folks who are in crisis know about the PAW Team before their pets get sick. Our Partner Agencies include domestic violence shelters, organizations that work with physical and mental illnesses, emergency responder agencies, transitional and low-income housing organizations and agencies that work with all facets of homelessness. This has been a huge success: we're reaching people who might otherwise never hear about the PAW Team and we're able to apply our resources to those who need it most - before a health crisis for their pet happens.
Shorter wait times: The PAW Team clinics have traditionally been first-come, first-served. While this is the most equitable way to serve people, it isn't easy for many as that can create long wait times. Beginning this January, we moved to the pre-qualification system to shorten this and it's been tremendously successful. People who have completed their pre-qualification appointments now go to an "express" line and are the first group served. We will always continue to serve folks who drop in on our clinics, but for those who live in the area and are current clients, the pre-qualification process is a huge time saver. We've also changed how we handle getting supplies to clients. Rather than add yet another half hour wait at the end of the day, our fantastic volunteer Guides will put together a list of the needs a pet may have for supplies, then our Supply Room Concierge will prepare a bag of supplies and have it ready for the client before they leave the clinic. We're also researching other options to help clients more efficiently, such as having set appointment times on clinic days.
I welcome your comments and suggestions on how we can continue to improve.