CITYGATE HAS COMPLETED ON THE ORDER OF 500 CONSULTING CONTRACTS FOR OVER 250 GOVERNMENT AGENCIES.
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Animal Services Management Consulting
Practitioner Animal Services Consultants
Since Citygate Associates was founded in 1990, we have performed over 500 engagements for county and city governments. Our Project Team of subject matter experts is dedicated and passionate about the effective and efficient delivery of public sector services. We have conducted numerous organizational assessments addressing animal services administration; shelter operations, including service delivery models, volunteer programs, veterinary programs, and spay neuter programs; field operations; and public relations. Our animal services clients include the California counties of Kern, Sonoma, San Joaquin, Shasta, and Yuba City/Sutter County, as well as the California cities of Tracy, Antioch, Ceres, Modesto, San Marcos, Oceanside, and Escondido.
Distinctive by Culture
Beyond the individual competencies of our consulting staff, Citygate is a character-driven organization. We believe that character attributes such as diligence, honor, discretion, responsibility, thoroughness and sincerity, while individual matters, also greatly affect all those who come into contact with the individuals who focus on it.
As public servants, everything we think, say, and do starts with the customer in mind. Animal Services departments have an array of customers and stakeholders, all of whom have different needs. It is important that the services to all customer groups are recognized, constantly monitored, and continuously improved.
Our Animal Services experts assist with the following services:
We perform comprehensive reviews of animal services programs. These reviews include, but are not limited to, administration, shelter operations, field operations, volunteer programs, veterinary programs, spay neuter programs, policies and procedures, staffing, workload, training, information technology, and public relations.
We review and evaluate the agency’s animal services ordinance, mission statement, goals, objectives, policies, procedures, and organizational structure. We analyze management systems, organizational relationships, and the allocation and management of personnel. We review and evaluate records, training, communications, information systems, facilities, equipment, fiscal management, public relations, and employee morale to determine if these components are in alignment with the agency’s mission, goals, and policies.
We examine agency staffing, including hours of operation, span of control, job descriptions, proper classification, and appropriate salary allocation. We examine the deployment of field, shelter, clerical, and medical staff and the use of volunteers. We analyze how functional vacancies caused by sick leave, vacation, and training impact the effectiveness of the organization.
We examine the cleaning and disinfection protocols of animal shelters and contrast the current methods with industry best practices. We evaluate alternative methods of providing an effective shelter health program to provide animal health evaluations, care and treatment of sick and injured animals, and professional guidance relative to sanitation and disease control issues. As part of this evaluation, we examine the veterinary resources available in the community and the best and most cost-effective way of providing health services for the shelter.
We help cities evaluate and compare service delivery models such as contracting with a humane society, providing an independent animal services and shelter program, contracting with a county for field and/or shelter service, or forming a Joint Powers Authority.
To ensure the maximum possible input in our reviews, Citygate emphasizes the participation of community stakeholders, citizens/customers, and employees in our study design.
We can conduct confidential internet-based customer/citizen surveys that address issues such as customer service, spay/neuter programs, adoption, humane education, and other procedures to reduce the community’s euthanasia rate, animal control response times, and program effectiveness, as well as volunteering, fees, hours of operation, etc.
We can also conduct confidential internet-based employee surveys that address issues such as management, communication, compensation, workload, policies and procedures, staffing, information technology, employee morale, and staff retention.
We evaluate quantity, condition, and appropriateness of vehicles. We determine if the vehicles designated for Animal Services field work are appropriate relative to size, number, and type of animal enclosure, effectiveness of animal-holding HVAC, and presence of ramps or lifting devices to prevent employee injury. We inventory the types and quantity of equipment necessary for animal services officers to perform their tasks and recommend changes where necessary.
We evaluate the methods and means by which calls are given to field officers and the policies and procedures that govern these activities. We review dispatch protocols and the effectiveness of training and cross-training for individuals tasked with providing dispatch services. We examine the extent to which officer safety has been considered relative to requirements for officers to provide updated location information, dispatch personnel to be aware of officer location, and the presence of radio logs to document officer activities.
We analyze the information technology resources of the agency, including the effective use of software and hardware that enables tracking of service calls, animal inventory, work schedules, call frequency by area, complainant and defendant records, rabies control information, and animal licensing. We determine if staff is fully using the capabilities of the information technology system and make recommendations relative to needed initial and recurrent training and/or software upgrades.
We can develop policies and procedures manuals based on the unique requirements and expectations of your agency. We can update animal services ordinances to meet current and projected community needs and expectations.
We will review an agency’s initial and recurrent training and contrast these with industry best practices. This review will include, but will not be limited to, animal handling, vehicle operations, firearms, safe lifting, shelter protocols, disease prevention, information technology, customer service, telephone procedures, records retention, dispatch policies and procedures, and incident reporting. We will review the agency’s training manuals and audio/visual resources and suggest improvements where necessary.
An animal shelter needs to provide a healthy and appropriate environment for animals and staff that facilitates the goals of the organization. We calculate/estimate the community’s current and projected animal population and then evaluate current and future shelter requirements. Our facilities reviews include an evaluation of all office space, information technology / telephone systems, animal holding facilities, veterinary treatment and spay/neuter areas, get acquainted and exercise areas, staff lounge space, food and equipment storage, officer work space, and training facilities.
We work with shelter architects and agency staff to develop an understanding of sheltering best practices and legal requirements. We then determine what shelter improvements will be necessary to meet the sheltering goals of the agency and develop cost-effective pathways to reach those goals. Our evaluation always includes the legal constraints and fiscal realities facing public agencies in today’s public sector environment.
We evaluate the current effectiveness of the agency’s public relations and communication efforts. We review agency publications for breadth and comprehension, including the ability of the agency to effectively communicate with the various ethnic groups in the community. We review the efforts of the agency relative to establishing school and civic group contacts and programs that communicate the agency’s mission, goals, and policies, with an emphasis on safety around animals, rabies prevention, humane treatment of animals, and the reduction of companion animal euthanasia.
Citygate Associates possesses broad Animal Services review capabilities and specific knowledge in the areas of field service, shelter service, animal licensing, spay/neuter program, community education and outreach, budgeting, animal shelter design analysis, computer information systems, customer service, organization design, and productivity improvement.
Citygate In the News
|San Mateo County, CA||Provision of technical consulting support for San Mateo County’s efforts to prepare a request for proposals (RFP) for the upcoming contract period for a vendor(s) to provide Animal Services for the County and its member cities.|
|St. Louis County, MO||Evaluation of the Animal Services policies, practices, standard operating procedures, veterinary protocols, and facilities in St. Louis County, Missouri.|
|San Bernardino, CA||Evaluation of the animal services operations for the City of San Bernardino, California, including shelter, field, and pet licensing to identify the cost of services.|
|Sacramento, CA||Independent operational review of the Animal Care Services Division for the City of Sacramento, California, including a workload and staffing analysis.|
|San Mateo County, CA||Animal and shelter services performance audit for the Peninsula Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in San Mateo County, California.|
|Contra Costa County, CA||High-level field operations and sheltering practices cost analysis for the Contra Costa County Animal Services Department.|
|San Marcos, CA||Technical review of the proposed costs, timing, and risk associated with the proposed Joint Powers Authority approach and reviewed, validated, and added value to the work effort conducted.|
|Tracy, CA||Facilitation of community conversations to gather the input necessary to build community consensus regarding what programs are valued by the community and how best to offer them. Additionally, assessment of current animal services program offerings and comparison to best practices in the field.|
|Antioch, CA||Feasibility assessment of creating a non-profit organization to run the City of Antioch Animal Services and Shelter.|
|Ceres and Modesto, CA||Review of (1) the animal services provided to the Cities of Ceres and Modesto by Stanislaus County and (2) the proposal by the County that the cities contracting for animal services significantly increase their contribution to the maintenance of the animal services program inclusive of paying for a new animal shelter and shelter operating costs.|
|Sutter County, CA||Needs assessment for animal services provided in Sutter County, including a review of facilities, services, operations, expansion needs, and community awareness.|
|San Joaquin County, CA||Animal services program analysis for San Joaquin County and development and presentation of a Policies and Procedures Manual and a corresponding training session.|
|Shasta County, CA||Feasibility study of a County-owned or joint-use animal services facility for the service area of Shasta County and the cities of Anderson, Redding, and Shasta Lake City.|
|Sonoma County, CA||Management review of the Sonoma County Animal Regulation Division, including the program areas of Administration, Shelter Operations, and Field Operations.|
|Kern County, CA||Operational review of the Kern County Animal Control Services Division, including the program areas of Administration, Shelter Operations, Field Operations, and Community/Public Relations.|
|Ogden, UT||Performance audits of the Animal Services Division, the Public Works Department, and the Community Services Department (with follow-on management and supervisory training). Other performance audits were conducted for the Police Department and the Community Development Department.|