Animal Shelter Identifies Opportunities to Reduce Service Call Backlog

Indianapolis Animal Care Services (IACS) protects and promotes the health, safety, and welfare of pets and livestock in Marion County (which serves Indianapolis, Indiana).

Animal Care Officers (ACOs) are unable to meet the high demand of the City-County’s citizen calls, resulting in a growing service call backlog. The annual call volume for these service calls is 30,140, and at project initiation, there were approximately 900 backlogged service requests.

In a report developed by the City of Indianapolis, the investigation team identified that IACS has historically had resource constraints, while duties, expectations, and requirements have increased. This confluence of events had created a work environment where both the employees and the department are unable to maintain efficient and effective workflows. This environment has led to a buildup of inefficient processes and a stressful workplace where leadership and employees do not have effective means of communicating their struggles.

The report suggested the following improvements:

  1. Wasted time due to irregular and non-standard documents
  2. A process bottleneck in kennel preparation
  3. A high attrition rate, stemming from workplace morale, non-competitive compensation, and demanding workloads. These factors were identified through root cause analysis.
  4. Responding to wild animals calls required a disproportionate amount of the total ACO time on scene in comparison to the relative call volume

Implementing these recommendations would allow IACS to reallocate approximately $103,951 in resources to needed areas. This resource infusion could alleviate the call backlog and create a sustainable work environment.

Read the entire report at