Pressing on in Trying Times
WRITTEN BY: Amy Greene
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses, charities and organizations into a strenuous position. The Tulsa SPCA felt these challenges particularly hard as many longtime donors were laid-off, furloughed or given less hours at work. Some donors faced restricted income that resulted in little to no money left to give to charitable organizations, such as the SPCA, while other donors began shifting their contributions from animals to their human counterparts to help fight the worldwide crisis.
Specifically, the Tulsa SPCA saw substantially less newsletter subscribers, fewer individuals donating financially, smaller financial donations, and large-scale corporate donors either halting their financial gifts or shifting their donations to directly human causes.
In addition to slowed donations, the SPCA also took a hit as quarantine measures forced all of the foundation’s fundraising events online, where they brought in approximately 50% less income than in-person events. The Tulsa SPCA also had a severe drop in revenue due to the closing of their public clinic during the eight weeks of mandated quarantine, beginning the middle of March and lasting through the middle of May.
Although the clinic has since reopened, extensive safety measures, such as curbside service instead of walk-in reception, have lowered the number of patients the organization is able to serve each day; therefore, profits remain down.
In order to continue serving the community, the organization has made a number of creative adjustments to recover as much revenue as possible and cut costs. One strategy is to carefully monitor the usage of supplies and ensure every last bit is used to its maximum benefit. Additionally, most animals previously housed at the shelter have been placed in foster care homes, relieving the number of supplies, utilities and staff needed to maintain the animals and facilities on a daily basis.
With less personnel needed, some staffing cuts were made. However, a number of employees were moved from their previous departments, where the workload has depleted, to the clinic, where the workload has increased since its reopening.
Adapting to the new climate, the Tulsa SPCA has opened up a new stream of revenue through the online sale of products, such as flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives, to current Tulsa SPCA clinic clients. Zoom classes are also being offered as a way to educate the community, following social distance guidelines, while providing another revenue stream.
Finances have become tighter, but the need for the SPCA has only grown. In 2019 alone, the Tulsa SPCA accomplished these impressive numbers:
- adopted out 689 dogs
- adopted out 438 cats
- microchipped 2,425 animals
- performed 4,390 spay/neuters
- gave 14,890 vaccinations
- completed 878 cruelty investigations
And 2020 has not been any lighter on the organization’s workload. As Tulsa SPCA Executive Director Mindy Tiner explains, “We’re still working really hard. We’ve had a lot of hoarding rescues in the last few months alone. We just raided a puppy mill in Sequoyah County, where we rescued over 75 dogs in extremely rough shape. They’ll need extra help and attention in addition to basic shots and spay/neuter that will take more funds than normal. We have also rescued 35 to 40 other hoarding animals recently, plus we are still accepting animals from other shelters and owner surrenders.”
WAYS TO HELP:
In the midst of these challenges, the Tulsa SPCA has not stopped working hard for our community and the residents within it, all the while with less financial support than ever before. They need your support! If you would like to help the Tulsa SPCA in its mission, there are a variety of opportunities—no matter your financial standing.
Here are a few ways you can get involved:
- Physical donations are still being accepted. However, all items must be new. Used items cannot be accepted at this time due to increased safety measures. The Tulsa SPCA’s everyday needs are wet and dry dog food of any brand, wet and dry cat food of any brand, puppy pads and cat litter.
For a full list of the shelter’s needs, visit www.tulsaspca.org/shop and look for the green Amazon Smile link. All items purchased online through Amazon Smile ship directly to the Tulsa SPCA and the animals in need.
- Visit the Tulsa SPCA online store at tulsaspca.org/shop; proceeds go toward the Tulsa SPCA.
- Participate in their numerous events. Although online, Trivia Night and Bingo Bash are still happening! Bring your family together—while you still social distance. It’s a fun way to help a local organization! See the full calendar at tulsaspca.org/calendar.
- Donate financially in person or online at tulsaspca.org/donate. No matter how much you give, every little bit helps.
- Sign up to become a monthly donor. Monthly donors allow the Tulsa SPCA to accurately budget and plan ahead. Visit www.tulsaspca.org/donate for more details.
- Volunteer to foster animals in need and provide a loving, safe environment until they can find their forever families.
- Host a fundraiser or start a GoFundMe for the Tulsa SPCA.
- Sponsor an animal.
- Volunteer your time. The Tulsa SPCA has many opportunities for you to help. Visit www.tulsaspca.org to get started.
- Finally, spread the word! Although you may not currently have the means to give, others in your life might. Share this article and the Tulsa SPCA’s mission with every animal lover you know.
The Tulsa SPCA is located at 2910 Mohawk Blvd. To donate or discover other ways to give, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (918) 428-7722