For more than 100 years, The Anti-Cruelty Society of Chicago has provided stray dogs and cats with love, care and support. Thanks to a grant from The Humana Foundation, the organization has a vital new tool in its efforts to help animals: technology.
“This Humana grant has transformed everything we do to help animals,” says Robyn Barbiers, President of The Anti-Cruelty Society. In the past, the Society didn’t have the technological resources to keep track of the animals. For example, “We have to do a daily count. And when you have 458 cats and 91 dogs on any one day, which is what we have today, you need a computer,” she says.
The Anti-Cruelty Society received a $100,000 Humana Communities Benefit grant in 2009 and used the funds to purchase computers and a variety of technology applications. One of those is PetPoint, a Web-based shelter management system that allows the staff to track animals as they move through the system from intake and behavior assessment to medical evaluation and eventually adoption.
The Anti-Cruelty Society, founded in 1899, has an open admission policy for dogs and cats, which means no animal is turned away, and the staff places no time limit on how long an animal can live in the Society’s shelter while waiting to be adopted.
The Humana Communities Benefit grant also helped pay for 30 laptops used for educational outreach, such as an afterschool program designed to teach children to feed and care for animals and treat them with respect. The Anti-Cruelty Society also purchased computers to use for staff training and education, investigations of animal cruelty and for updating the website (www.anticruelty.org) with pictures of dogs and cats available for adoption.
“Now we can manage our population, we can look at trends, we can run reports,” says Barbiers, “and we couldn’t have done that without Humana’s help.”
Supporting The Anti-Cruelty Society ties in with Humana’s dream of helping people achieve lifelong well-being. As studies have shown, interacting regularly with animals can help people live longer, healthier lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pets can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels; decrease feelings of loneliness and stress; and increase opportunities for exercise, outdoor activities and socialization.
- To watch our video about The Anti-Cruelty Society, click here.
- For more information about The Anti-Cruelty Society or to make a donation to the organization, click here.
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- The Humana Communities Benefit program has awarded more than $1 million to charitable organizations since its inception in Chicago in 2002. In 2012, the program provided grant assistance in Arizona, Austin, Chicago, Greater Cincinnati, Houston, Kansas City, Nashville and New Orleans.