Reducing Euthanasia Rate by 30% in New Orleans Animal Shelter Using Baldrige Criteria

Working with Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter (JPAS) shelter staff, students from Loyola University New Orleans designed a month-long pilot to improve the process of selecting homeless dogs for euthanasia, finding caring homes for 60 dogs who otherwise would have been put to sleep.

The Lean “5S” concepts were applied to reducing the time for potential adopters to select their new family members, from one hour to 15–20 minutes. This cycle time reduction was the result of the shelter director’s identification of a major “adoption bottleneck” that related to the animal selection process. They profiled shelter pets on the Jefferson Parish SPCA Facebook website, which helped reduce the risk of pet returns.

As a result of this project, the team achieved a 30% reduction in the euthanasia rate and a 45% increase in adoptions.

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