Operation Catnip sterilizes as many as 150 cats—and sometimes more—at each Spay Day Clinic. Careful reservations management is essential to the success and efficiency of our clinics. Callers are screened for eligibility, trap loan requests are managed, and a detailed reservations log is maintained for each clinic.
Caregivers making clinic reservations are screened for residency requirements, admissions criteria, and cat eligibility. Qualified reservations are recorded in the Clinic Reservations Log, Caregivers are given clinic details and instructions, and a reminder message is sent to each caregiver before the clinic. Reservations are coordinated with volunteer sign-ups to ensure adequate clinic staffing, and follow up calls are made to offer additional assistance to anyone who does not keep a scheduled reservation.
A new reservations log is created for each clinic. Reservations are logged in a spreadsheet that includes columns for the following:
- Date the reservations are made
- Full name of the caregiver
- At least one phone number
- Email address
- Number of cats the caregiver expects to bring (up to 10 per caregiver)
- Initials of the staff member making the reservation
- Trap ID numbers (when the caregiver checks out traps)
The Clinic Reservations Log is finalized on the Friday before the clinic, and sorted alphabetically by last name. One copy is sent to the Clinic Supervisor, and another is printed and delivered to the Clinic Admissions Station where attendance is recorded (along with a reservation sign-up sheet for the next scheduled clinic) to verify the reservation status of caregivers arriving at the clinic.
At the time reservations are made, each caregiver is provided with the date, time, and location of the clinic:
- If the caregiver is not making the reservation in person, a confirmation of the clinic reservation is emailed, with the Trapping Guide and Caregiver Clinic Guide attached. These include the clinic drop off and pick up instructions as well as the time and date of the clinic.
- If the caregiver is making their reservation in person, hard copies are provided.
- A reminder message is sent by email, telephone, or text early in the week before each clinic to enhance participation and provide any additional information the caregiver may need.
Each caregiver also receives the following instructions when they make a reservation:
- All cats must arrive individually in humane traps for safe and secure handling of the cats. Cats brought in other containers will be refused at the clinic.
- If the caregiver does not have their own traps, traps are available to borrow. Borrowing traps requires a deposit, and caregivers must agree to Operation Catnip’s Trap Loan Return Policy.
- Each trap that arrives at the clinic must be covered with a cover that extends past the bottom of the trap.
- Cats should not be fed after midnight.
Caregivers bringing cats for vaccine boosters are instructed not to arrive early because they wait on-site for their cats to be vaccinated and take them home right away.
Clinic reservations are cut-off on the basis of the projected number of veterinarians and volunteers who are signed up for the clinic, and the status of available supplies. As a rule, clinics are overbooked by 45-50% to take into account reservations for cats that can’t be trapped, and reservations that can’t be filled due to weather or other impediments.
Finding ways to improve clinic attendance success rate is an ongoing goal.
- Anyone who brings a cat to a clinic without a reservation is asked if they are aware of the need for reservations and instructed to make one next time. Repeated failures to comply with the reservation system results in a suspension of privileges to use the free spay-neuter clinic.
- Caregivers with reservations who did not show up are contacted after each clinic, to find out why they were unable to attend, and to offer assistance if possible. Absentee caregivers are encouraged to reschedule for the next clinic.