Success for Cats with Capacity for Care (C4C) in Canadian Shelters – What the Data Shows!

SUNDAY, APRIL 9, 10:30AM-12:00PM

Dr. Cynthia Karsten, DVM, Outreach Veterinarian, UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program
Dr. Toolika Rastogi, Policy and Research Manager, Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS)

Capacity for Care (C4C), considered holistically, means meeting the needs of every animal admitted to an animal care facility, every day, as outlined by the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare and supported by humane housing, staffing level and outcomes available. 

Thanks to generous funding from the Summerlee Foundation, CFHS has been working with the Capacity for Care Expert Team at UC Davis and courageous CFHS-member societies to support the implementation of C4C in their shelters.

The results are in and are truly inspiring: six organizations have now implemented C4C and have witnessed remarkable decreases in euthanasia, number of sick cats, shelter inventory and length of stay. The statistics will be presented in detail, demonstrating the great success of the C4C model in improving outcomes for cats in Canadian shelters, and inspiring other organizations to commit to this innovative approach.  Be prepared to envision C4C in your shelter!

Three key learnings:
1. Important life-saving and welfare-improving change can happen
2. The data shows that C4C initiatives can have far-reaching impacts within any organization
3. C4C is within reach of every shelter, big or small

Cynthia (Cindy) Karsten, DVM – Dr. Karsten graduated from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine in 2010 and then completed a shelter medicine internship at Colorado State University. She finished her shelter medicine residency at UC Davis in 2014 and is now the outreach veterinarian with the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program. Her main areas of interest include infectious disease control, population management, intake diversion programs and community medicine. She has participated in numerous game-changing shelter consultations at rural and urban, national and international animal care facilities, where she has identified solutions in the face of limited shelter resources. Dr. Karsten, as part of the UC Davis team, was a recipient of the 2016 CFHS Animal Welfare Leadership and Innovation Award for her work on C4C in Canada (one of her proudest achievements!).

Toolika Rastogi is the lead for the CFHS national shelter statistics program, the National Centre for the Prosecution of Animal Cruelty and various companion animal welfare research projects. She represents CFHS on the National Farm Animal Care Council and the Canadian Council on Animal Care. Toolika holds a PhD in Molecular and Medical Genetics, a postdoctoral certificate in Conservation Genetics and a Masters in Sustainable Development Policy. Prior to joining CFHS, she worked in the areas of conservation and environmental safety, both internationally with the OECD, and in Canada at Environment Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.