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Fast track/slow track flow through planning
Fast tracking has benefits for all shelter animals and helps maximize life saving capacity. Minimizing the average length of stay reduces the daily in-shelter population allowing more resources (eg. time, housing space, and attention) to be available for each animal present. In shelters that control or limit intake, more “fast track” animals may be admitted and adopted as “fast track” animals leave more quickly.
Consider two largely separate groups for each species when adoption flow through plans are made for cats and dogs, those on the “adoption fast track” and those on the “slow track”. This will permit a primary focus on quick turn around time and infectious disease control for fast track animals, who are generally younger and more susceptible, and a focus on welfare and enrichment for those in the slow track.
Based on the experience of each organization, animals who are most likely to be rapidly adopted (e.g. kittens, puppies, and friendly small to medium sized dogs) should be assigned to the fast track. Animals that may be slower to place due to behavior, age, or physical issues may be assigned directly to the slow track. Animals that do not get adopted out of the fast track within 2-3 weeks should be reassigned to the slow track.
“Fast track” and “slow track” should be considered as two separate populations. Adoption driven (AD) capacity can be estimated for both by setting targets for length of stay and using historical numbers of adoptions in each category. Slow track housing should be designed to accommodate longer stays with good welfare.
Daily evaluation of all available animals helps determine which animals would be the best choice for the available housing units. In some cases, intake may be limited for slow track or fast track animals until space becomes available. When slow track housing units are full, additional animals should not be assigned to the slow track until animals have been adopted or otherwise dispositioned. This will prevent the adoption area from overfilling with “slow track” animals, leaving no space for “fast track” animals that would otherwise be quickly adopted.
“Fast Track” Recommendations