Behind the Scenes at Dakin: Animal Intake

Tucked into the south corner of Dakin’s 20,000-square-foot facility is a space that’s always bustling with activity – the animal intake room.

The veterinary assistants who work in the intake room are typically the first contact for animals entering Dakin’s care. These staff members perform comprehensive medical exams on every animal who comes through our doors. Intake staff work very quickly and methodically to manage the high volume of animals, all with varying needs.

Intake exams help set animals on their unique paths during their time in the shelter. Some animals may head right to the adoption center, where others may need time in foster care or more comprehensive medical treatment. It’s here that the animals have their weight recorded, receive initial vaccinations and preventative medications, and get a thorough physical exam, noting any findings for our veterinarians to review.

Entering the shelter can be a confusing and stressful experience for animals. A sudden change in their environment with new, strange smells and sounds can be very overwhelming.

Intake technicians take extra steps to make the process as smooth as possible for every animal. Reducing stress helps reduce the chances of illness during a shelter stay. Low-stress handling techniques are used to keep animals feeling secure and comfortable, especially for procedures that require lots of handling, like taking a sample for a blood test.

Those extra moments of comfort and reassurance make all the difference during the beginning of a major life change for animals.

Dakin intake technicians can see up to 60 newly admitted animals per day, so every moment matters when it comes to initial exams and providing the first line of care. The pressure and responsibility of this role is a heavy load to bear, but staff always manages to find those extra moments to reassure a nervous animal or put fears at ease with a gentle touch or even a mini play session.

Intake technicians take care to remember that the animals coming in don’t understand what’s happening to them. Regardless of long to-do lists and unexpected arrivals, comfort matters. We are so proud of the humane handling and reassurance we see in our intake room, knowing that the animals coming into our care are supported in every way possible.

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