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ASPCA uses GIS tech to save homeless animals

Redlands, USA: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) procured Esri’s GIS software and hired a GIS expert for collection and analysis of community data in a more strategic effort to save animals’ lives. In October 2011, the ASPCA had received USD 230,000 grant from PetSmart Charities Inc., for the same purpose.

Greg Miller, a certified GIS analyst for shelter research and development for the ASPCA and former Esri employee, said, “The team is working with Esri’s ArcGIS software and taking advantage of the wealth of data that is available through `Esri’s Community Analyst.’ `Community Analyst’ adds significantly to the abilities of the ASPCA team to better understand the communities in which they are working and to more successfully plan targeted interventions that are identified during the GIS analysis.”

Brenda Wolfe, a product manager for Esri, said, “Greg Miller from the ASPCA had signed up for a trial of our `Community Analyst product,’ which I am the product manager for, meaning I work with our development team to determine how to meet user-market needs and requirements.”

The ASPCA gathers and analyses shelter data from its partnership communities to help guide strategic planning and effective program evaluation. The addition of the GIS specialists will enable the ASPCA to increase the number of communities it works with, as well as expand on the types of data that are plotted and analysed within these given communities, organisation officials said.

Using GIS technology to gather information – such as the locations with the highest rate of intake resulting in euthanasia, locations with the highest rate of intake resulting in live release, areas with the highest saturation of spayed and neutered animals entering the shelter, and where those who are adopting animals – communities will be able to evaluate the effectiveness of shelter programmes, said Emily Weiss, the vice president of shelter research and development for the ASPCA.

According to Miller, One of the tools used to help in spotting where intake is occurring is Choropleth Maps. “This is one tool in a pretty large series of maps that is used to help identify areas in a community where hot spots of intake are occurring.”

Source: www.redlandsdailyfacts.com