Proven Strategies

Black and white dog lying on stomach on orange bed

Reducing Length of Stay at Your Shelter Conference Session

An optimal length of stay (LOS) for pets in shelters is one that's short but as safe as possible, and it's something every shelter should strive for. That means ensuring that lost pets return home quickly, while those who need medical care or training have a longer LOS. In this Best Friends National Conference session, we discuss how to revamp your organization's operations to safely reduce a pet's stay, whether that pet is highly adoptable, has medical or behavioral challenges, or is returned to the field. We'll also talk about the benefits of shortening the LOS, including reduced incidence of disease, decreased expenses for the shelter and increased well-being for pets. 

Speaker: Kate Hurley, DVM, MPVM, UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program Director

Time Stamps

  • Benefits of decreasing length of stay- 0:11
  • What is the shortest possible length of stay to the best possible outcome- 1:27
  • Target average length of stay- 2:55
  • LOS has a beginning, middle, and end- 4:07
  • Cut time off the beginning- 4:35
  • Cut time out of the middle- 8:05
  • Assess stray holding period- 13:41
  • The most important piece- 15:06
  • 100% capacity is not capacity- 16:41
  • Manage your line- 18:11
  • Cut time off the end- 19:14
  • Keep the traffic flowing- 19:59
  • Let's make this the new normal- 21:01


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