JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Jackson County Animal shelter can devote less time to paperwork and more time to the needs of the animals thanks to the new data entry system that was implemented a few weeks ago.
Whether it's a complaint about a stray dog or an animal welfare concern, every time Jackson County Animal Control officer Anthony Malis responds to a call, he has to collect a lot of information. Since getting an iPad, he can upload reports and photos into the system in real time instead of having to drive back to the shelter to fill out forms.
"They are able to view it as soon as we hit the 'Enter' button," said Malis. "So it takes a lot of the legwork and drive time out of the whole process of responding to complaints. So we can clear calls in the field, then we can respond to the next call. It really helps."
The new system also keeps track of the animals that arrive at the shelter, a number that ranges between 400 and 600 animals each month.
According to shelter officials, most animals need some type of medical attention, and the new system gives reminders of who needs what.
"When you pull it open it for the first time every day, the first thing in your face are these tasks," said shelter director Joseph Barlow, pointing to the screen. "These are the animals that need vaccinations today. These animals need a procedure or may be scheduled for surgery. That helps us a lot in the morning to come in and know this is where we need to start."
Shelter officials said their main goals are reuniting lost pets with their owners and finding new homes for dogs and cats up for adoption. The portable technology is making a difference there, too, they said.
"I can also take it to adoption events now because I do adoption events, like, every weekend," said adoption coordinator Maridee Mallette. "I can bring it with me, and I can look up animals right there. I don't have to call the shelter to be like, 'I don't know this animal's ID number.' I can do it myself. I can even do adoptions on the iPad at the event."
According to officials at the shelter, the new data entry system was provided by a generous donor.