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San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SF SPCA) works to end animal abandonment by turning data into action with
Learn More About San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

The SF SPCA Works to End Animal Abandonment by Turning Data into Action with Salesforce

As the fourth oldest humane society in the U.S. and the founders of the No-Kill movement, the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SF SPCA) has always been at the forefront of animal welfare. As a result of its efforts and those of its community partners, San Francisco has the lowest euthanasia rate of any major city in the United States. No adoptable dog or cat in San Francisco goes without a home, even if they have medical or other issues.

In 2012, the SF SPCA created Vision 2020—a road map to end animal abandonment in San Francisco by 2020. By focusing on rescue, prevention, and education, the SF SPCA will make San Francisco the first city in the nation to end animal homelessness.

In order to meet this ambitious goal, the SF SPCA needed to move its programs off of Excel sheets and paper and on to a system that would allow it to scale. Enter Salesforce.

Surrender Counseling Call Center and Salesforce

SF SPCA’s Surrender Counseling Call Center is the first point of contact when a pet owner is looking to surrender a pet due to medical, financial, or behavioral issues. Managing the call center in Excel sheets and on its shared drive, it was difficult to share information and understand what approaches were working in finding solutions. It began using the Salesforce Service Cloud to manage incoming calls, create cases, and manage call scripts. Staff is now able to see who is calling, where they’re calling from, and why they’re calling in real-time, providing a better customer service experience during a time of crisis.

“To surrender an animal is very stressful on the pet, but it’s also stressful on the guardians,” explains Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, Co-President of the San Francisco SPCA. “With our call center, we’re now able to give them the help they need right at that moment of crisis.” By providing proactive counseling and solutions, the SF SPCA has been able to keep over 350 animals out of San Francisco’s shelters.

Managing over 5,000 Animals a Year with Sojournal, a Custom Application built in Salesforce

SF SPCA New VisitsThe SF SPCA relies heavily on roughly 1,700 volunteers to help the animals in its care. A process that was previously tracked on paper, it was difficult for the organization to manage volunteers, communicate between staff and volunteers, and ultimately ensure the needs of the animals were taken care of. Using the Salesforce App Cloud, the organization built a custom application called Sojournal. With the ability to track which animals have been visited in real-time, volunteers walk into the shelter knowing which animals need to be prioritized. Volunteers can also communicate directly with staff in Salesforce and capture anything of note during their visit. This invaluable information volunteers provide help staff quickly take care of medical needs and enable the SF SPCA to provide enrichment and extra care where it is needed most. All of this hard work really hits home when adoption counselors are able to share the animal’s notes to new adopters and guarantee a smooth transition from shelter to forever home.

Community Cat Program

SF SPCA mapThe SF SPCA’s nationally-recognized Community Cat Program monitors the feral and free-roaming cats of San Francisco, making sure that cats have been spayed/neutered, and tracking their colonies and care takers. They generally trap over 1,000 cats a year and there are 6,000 cats tracked across the city. A program that was being managed entirely on Excel spreadsheets, the SF SPCA has built a custom application to track cats, volunteers, traps, locations, and spay/neuter data.

Staff can now view colonies using a heat map and click through to review any particular cat, colony or volunteer. They can also see where kittens are being found and look at progress over time. With the new enhanced data, the Community Cat program has been able to expand its programs, receive additional foundation funding, and be more proactive with outreach efforts.

What’s Next?

These are just a few examples of how the SF SPCA is making Salesforce into a lifesaving platform. It has also built a custom platform for registering and managing participants in their Humane Education Youth Programs and Dog Training Classes. Next up is a conversion to Volunteers for Salesforce followed by custom programs for managing Foster Volunteers, Shelter Medicine quarantine results, and the Animal Assisted Therapy Program. “Because there aren’t a lot of off-the-shelf solutions in the sheltering world,” explains Scarlett, “being able to easily customize Salesforce has been vital to the SF SPCA to save more lives and enhance the bond between people and animals.”

Salesforce Gives Back to the SF SPCA

Giving back is a core component of Salesforce culture, so much so that volunteering is part of new hire orientation. The SFSPCA is one of’s key partners for this program in San Francisco. Employees help with the day to day care of the facility, while having the opportunity to play with the animals. The SFSPCA is also a popular destination for team volunteering. As of spring 2016, Salesforce employees have volunteered more than 8,000 hours with the organization.