EDINBURG — The Palm Valley Animal Center announced this week that it’s changing its name to the Palm Valley Animal Society, along with other updates on the nonprofit organization’s efforts to achieve a no-kill shelter designation.
Luis Quintanilla, shelter manager, said the organization’s two locations will now be known as PVAS Trenton Center and PVAS LPA Center, which both fall under the umbrella of the Palm Valley Animal Society.
According to Quintanilla, the change is being made primarily to end confusion in the public about the organization’s two locations.
“It’s going to streamline a lot of things, it’s going to streamline our message to the community,” Quintanilla said. “The public needs to understand that we are one entity, and that’s going to make things so much easier from a marketing perspective.”
More effective marketing, Quintanilla said, will help the organization reach its goal of becoming a no-kill shelter, which is generally defined as a shelter with a save rate over 90%. As of August, PVAS’ save rate was about 70% for cats and dogs at both shelters.
“Ninety percent is not the stopping point, it’s only the beginning; it’s about sustaining that as well, so it’s pretty difficult to get there, especially for a shelter of our size,” Quintanilla said.
In addition to streamlined marketing, Quintanilla noted that PVAS is implementing programs to help families get and keep animals, including a strategy called intake diversion, in which the organization attempts to dissuade pet owners from abandoning their animals.
“About a month ago, a family was coming in to return an animal they had adopted about a month prior. All the kids were crying, the mom wasn’t happy about it, but she thought she didn’t have any options,” Quintanilla said.
Quintanilla talked to the family about the problems they were having with the dog. Most of them could be solved with crate training, he said.
“I said, ‘What if I give you a crate?’” Quintanilla said, also offering the family dog food, dog toys and a water bowl. “Long story short, the animal and the family stayed together. There is a large percentage of people who think they don’t have options with their animals, but they do, and we’re going to try to give them options.”
Quintanilla said the intake diversion has been funded by a $5,000 grant the organization received six months ago. He expects to have statistics on the programs efficacy within a few months.
According to Quintanilla, efforts like these at the society should make no-kill status attainable within a year.
“We’re going to do everything to advocate for every single animal we can,” he said.