SPCA Visit

Saturday, 07.08.2017

Site Details

SPCA Erie County, West Seneca

Attendees

Michael Hamilton, CEO Peeva

Mike Kozelsky, UI Designer Peeva

Azim, Electrical Engineer Peeva

Prashanth, Software Developer Peeva

Agenda

  1. To find out more about how exactly the process takes place in Pet Shelters.
  2. Whether they need new scanners (any problems they are facing with existing scanners)
  3. What kind of software they use for their management purposes. (Whether they have any problems with that software)
  4. Any inefficiencies in their current work flow (so that we may be able to remedy it)

 

Present Procedure

When there is a new animal (may be a stray and/or rescued animal) that is taken to SPCA,

  1. They do a basic check and SCAN for microchips all over the animal’s body.
  2. The scanner they use is Destron Fearing.
    1. They have had no problems with the scanners so far. The only problems they had faced with respect to scanners were,
      1.  
    2. Durability seems to be an issue with them  They get dropped frequently and will break.
    3. As usual, only cats and dogs are microchipped. No other animals are chipped.
      1. Exception: they might chip other animals if specifically asked - such as a ferret
  3. Once they take in the animal, do a basic medical checkup of the animal. They will do either of the following.
    1. If there was a person who had brought the pet to them, is interested in keeping the stray animal, then they will let the person take it.
    2. If there was no person who had brought the animal in, 
      1. and SPCA has space in the facility then they will house the pets for 5 - 24 hr periods.
        1. After this time, if  based on the health status of the pet - (after careful considerations of many parameters including the animal’s behaviour pattern, health, age, etc.)
          1. If the animal is acceptable to be reintroduced back to the society, they would put it up for adoption or return to Buffalo Municipality.
          2. Else, if animal is too sick/injured/mentally unstable - they would arrange for its euthanasia.
      2. and they don’t have space - then they will most probably send it to the Buffalo Municipality.
  4. Other services they provide include euthanasia for pets.
  5. If they do find a chip, then they use http://www.petmicrochiplookup.org to search using microchip IDs to possibly get some contact info about the owner. (this could be an avenue we can explore)
  6. All stray dogs are held in individual facilities per municipality.  After the required 5 day holding period, they then get placed in a shelter.
    1. Buffalo, West Seneca, Cheektowaga, etc.  all have their own shelters, so the animals from those municipalities go to those shelters.
    2. If a municipality does not have it’s own shelter, it would come to the Erie County SPCA.

Scanners

  1. They have three different scanners.  The one we saw them use is a multi-frequency scanner: Destron Fearing.
  2. Issues With this Scanner they use:
    1. Dropping them too often. (not something we can control)
      1. Can we make super-durable casings, encase them in rubber, and perhaps make them out of easy-to-repair components??
    2. Not detecting the chip in the animal. (We may be able to increase the range so that they don’t face this issue).  This can be because of chip migration - one time the chip ended up in the animal’s leg.
  3. Any features which they would want/need for in a scanner - They are happy with the scanners they have right now.
  4. SO FAR THEY HAVE NOT FACED ISSUES WITH SCANNERS NOT DETECTING CHIPS. Meaning Destron Fearing scanner they use does scan all frequencies.
    1. But sometimes they try a different one, i didn’t quite understand why/when this would happen.  Maybe it doesn’t ALWAYS scan every frequency?
  5. Even if the pet is not microchipped, they ensure that it is microchipped when it enters the system. Microchipping is something which will DEFINITELY happen 100% of the time.
  6. They have not faced any issues with encrypted chips either.
    1. To their knowledge, they have not encountered any encrypted chips

 Animal Management Software

  1. The animal management software they use is www.petpoint.com.
  2. This software is huge and they are not having any issues or any features which they think would be a value addition to the existing one.
  3. There are some issues with the system that they don’t realize, such as:
    1. An animal only has a single chip number field.  They utilize an extra field if the animal has multiple chips.  Then they denote this extra field as “secondary chip”, but then they can’t use it for any other purpose
    2. The can have 2 Colors and a color pattern.  It can be Brindled Brown and Black, which is very verbose, but it might be helpful to have this be more specific
  4. The system is configurable.  They can select values in dropdowns and maybe even which fields are on each pet.
    1. Also contains rules such as “if a vet changes SPAYED/NEUTERED to YES, nobody can ever set that to NO”.
  5. Attached are some screenshots of the software. It is fully integrated system which stores all the pet related info, visit info, (secondary microchip info, behaviour info of the pet,
  6. Some Nice-to-have features from pet point which they thought :
  • Faster system 
  • More user friendly ui (Both are not compelling enough)

Chips

  1. All their chips come from 24hr Pet Watch
  2. They use these chips because they say that the PetPoint system automatically registers or updates the 24 hour pet watch records.  Meaning, by putting a chip number into an ID field in PetPoint, that pet’s information get copied into the 24 hour pet watch system.
  3. We do not know if they pay for the chips or if they’re free/donated.

 

Conclusion

  1. The flow at shelters was radically different that what we had thought about before. They do staunch microchipping of  animals at all costs.
  2. No issues with multiple frequencies of chips they are using.
  3. No radical needs from the software side except - faster system and cleaner UI.