The Denison Animal Welfare Group hopes to improve the technology and data tracking in place at its shelter using funds from an $8,100 grant it recently received. The animal advocacy group recently announce it is the recipient of a technology improvement grant through the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.


“We will be more able to accurately track their (the animals’) medical history, personal background and our spending on each animal,” DAWG President Stephanie Phillips said Tuesday.


Under its current layout, the records keeping for the organization is done by a volunteer who works from home. However, Phillips said the new technology will allow volunteers to more accurately input data from the shelter.


Using the funds, Phillips said the organization plans to purchase two iPads, two scanners, a new workstation for data entry and upgrades to the shelter’s software.


Using the increased tracking for incoming and outgoing animals, Phillips said the organization will be better able to account for yearly trends. As an example, Phillips said October proved to be one of the worst months on record, with more than 140 animals coming into the shelter.


With increased tracking, Phillips said shelter volunteers will be better able to prepare for months that traditionally have above-average inflow.


“This will allow us to move from being reactive to using a proactive approach,” she said.


In addition to increasing its record-keeping capabilities, Phillips said the organization will now be able to join Shelter Animals Count — a database and tracking tool of shelters across the country. Through the affiliation, Phillips said DAWG will now be eligible for new grant opportunities.


The tracking will also allow DAWG to better collaborate and work with other shelters to provide mutual assistance for animals, Phillips said.


The grant comes as DAWG recently advanced to the finalist stage for grants through Petco. Last week, Petco announced the winners for more than $755,000 in grants as a part of its Holiday Wishes campaign. Phillips said a volunteer for the shelter entered the grant contest by telling the story of a dog she rescued that had special needs.


Phillips said the animal, which was briefly housed with DAWG, was originally brought to her for hospice care after dealing with heart worms, a broken jaw and other medical conditions. However, since then the dog was able to recover fully from his injuries, and is no longer considered to be a hospice case.