I had the opportunity to chat with Nejla last week about her experiences using CalendarSpots over the last year. Nejla is a foster coordinator at BARCS Fosters, the largest companion animal shelter in Baltimore, Maryland – and also one of the largest foster programs on the east coast. Every year, BARCS helps over 12,000 unwanted, abused and neglected animals find loving homes.
Animals in need are generally placed in a foster environment to be cared for until they are ready for adoption. BARCS uses CalendarSpots’ scheduling software to help them coordinate appointments with fosters who need to book time for a vaccination or visit with the vet. “Before, our primary means of contact was via email” explained Nejla. Fosters would send an email with their desired appointment time and reason for visit. This was extremely time consuming and caused a lot of unnecessary extra work. Several emails back and forth were often required before an appointment was officially scheduled.
“CalendarSpots significantly reduced the time it takes to answer emails which is a big deal as a non-for-profit with limited resources”. The results were immediate according to Nejla, with the volume of emails cut by 1/3rd, excluding all the back and forth communication resulting from the initial email.
“Fosters love the scheduling tool. It’s super easy and convenient. They appreciate that they can book an appointment so quickly. It’s not only faster for us, it’s faster for them too.”
As an added bonus, Nejla explained that communication between fosters and veterinarians has also improved. At the time of booking, fosters are able to type in the symptoms their pet is experiencing. Vets can easily view this information. In the past, as foster coordinators “we would get stuck in the middle with some important details about the animal’s state of health getting lost in translation!”
Overall, CalendarSpots’ online scheduling software is an important tool that allows BARCS Fosters to coordinate appointments between fosters and vets quickly and efficiently. The large volume of emails and limited staff was previously a key concern. With vet visits getting scheduled smoothly and significantly fewer emails to attend to, BARCS can focus on what’s important: saving more animals.
If you would like to donate, become a foster, or adopt a pet, please visit BARCS Fosters’ website.