Richmond Animal Care and Control (RACC) is an urban animal shelter in Richmond, VA that is always full of Pit Bulls. Meanwhile, the rural New Kent Sheriff’s Department Animal Protection Unit is always full of Hound dogs.
One day, Christie Chipps Peters, who is the director at RACC, was talking to Melissa Henry of New Kent Sheriff’s Department Animal Protection Unit when they decided to try something new that they hoped would help save more dogs’ lives.
Chipps Peters told WTVR:
“We were texting about another issue and I asked if she needed any pit bulls (as a joke) and she said okay – I said I’ll trade you and we laughed and then said ‘no really’!”
RACC sent 2 Pit Bulls, Old Man Jenkins and Noble, to New Kent, while New Kent sent 2 Beagle/Basset Hound mixes to RACC. The hope is that diversifying the types of dogs at each shelter and giving locals more varieties of dogs to choose from will result in more adoptions and better homes.
This is not the only way that Chipps Peters has helped save lives since stepping up as director of the RACC. The shelter has increased their save rate from 64% to 89% in just 3 years, and adoption numbers have doubled. This is quite a feat, especially considering that the RACC cared for 3,253 animals last year alone. Chipps Peters told WTVR that a huge contributor to their success is their thriving foster program.
Now, these”dog switches” could increase their save rates even more. “We hope other shelters will steal this idea!” Chipps Peters said in the news story.
We hope so, too – way to think outside the box!
Sometimes, the simplest solutions can make the biggest impact – and in this case, a change of location is saving lives. This same idea is what inspired The Second Chance Movement ™, a cause launched by iHeartDogs and Greater Good. The program helps fund the transportation of pets in high-kill shelters to ones with more resources and demand for adoption. Find out more here.