In order to raise funds to keep non-profit animal shelters running, many reach out to people who’ve adopt pets from them.
Adopters are typically already concerned with the welfare of animals and represent the greatest opportunity for donations. However, donations don’t always meet the budget needs that most animal shelters must meet each month. Therefore, many shelters are working to further develop community relations and reach beyond people who’ve supported them through animal adoptions.
To save as many animals as possible, shelters must constantly work to generate funds in order to be “self-sustaining.” One way for animal shelters to become “self-sustaining” is to provide additional services for pet adopters and pet owners in the shelter’s local area. A great revenue generator for shelters is having a self-serve pet wash station like EvolutionDogWash. A pet wash station that is self-serve does not require additional labor from the already stretched staff of the shelter and it provides a steady stream of income (See Self Serve Dog Wash Value) from people who have adopted dogs. If marketed right, animal shelters can attract other pet owners who have not adopted a dog from the shelter but are looking for a dog wash. This also exposes more people to the cause of animal sheltering.
We interviewed Stephanie McDonald, CEO of Edmonton Humane Society in Alberta, Canada.
“The dog wash is a valuable source of revenue. In the shelter environment, we can’t rely 100% on donations. We wanted to create a one-stop shop for your animal’s grooming needs. Initially, we couldn’t find a company capable of realizing our vision to provide an onsite grooming facility, but Evolution Dog Wash stepped forward and made it possible. We raise a tremendous amount of revenue from our self-serve dog wash as a result. This money goes back into the shelter for the benefit of shelter animals and helps us meet our goal of being “self-sustaining.”
Was there any initial resistance by the public to the shelter owning a dog wash machine that makes money?
“There wasn’t any resistance from the public because there were no other self-serve dog washes. The only resistance came from doggy day cares and dog training centers whose staff provided dog wash services and didn’t want to compete. But people in our community know that shelters need creative ways to generate revenue in order to sustain themselves, so the self-serve dog wash was well supported.”
Do you find that you gain new or repeat “customers” who come to use the self-serve dog wash and have never been to the Humane society?
“Most of the customers for the dog wash are people who have never been to the Edmonton Humane Society, which is great because it exposes them to what we do, and they come back. Also, some people who’ve just adopted from us want to strengthen the bond they have with their new pets, and one way to do that is to give their pets a bath. So they use the self-serve dog wash here at the shelter, they realise what a great service it is, and they become regular customers. It’s great.”
What is the maintenance involved with running a self-serve dog wash?
“There is really minimal maintenance. Our maintenance staff members clean the room on a regular basis and we offer towels- that’s it.”