Tracking your Community Cat Program with Field & Community Services

Zoe Rogers
Zoe Rogers
  • Updated

If your shelter or rescue runs a TNR/Community Cat Program, Shelterluv's map-based Field & Community Services module can be very useful for you. Our general user guide for the Field & Community Services product can be found here. Below are a few pointers for how to use this functionality for your TNR purposes specifically.



In Field & Community Services, you can create two types of records:

  • case serves as the main record for each colony and should be kept open for as long as you are still providing services to that colony such as trapping and/or food assistance
  • An activity is a way to track specific events that occur for each case/colony (there is no limit to the number of activities associated with a case)
  • Learn more about using cases vs. activities

This allows you to look at any given colony's case record and see all the associated activities (all the times you've assisted) in one place.

Below is an example of a colony case record, which includes the date that assistance was first requested and is assigned to the staff/volunteer who is helping to manage the colony's needs. It is in the Open status, which indicates that assistance is actively being provided to this colony.

You have a few options for the case type & subtype, depending on how your team thinks about these efforts:

  1. Assist > Assist Public
  2. Wildlife > Trapped

Learn more about creating a case.



Now here is an example of one activity for this colony. It is currently unassigned and in the New status (which is also indicated by the light yellow background color) because planning for this activity has not begun yet, and no one has been assigned to it.

Learn more about creating an activity.


  • Title: Use any descriptive keywords here that will help you bring it up via search later! This could include the name of the street that the colony is on, the caretaker's name, and the number of cats in the colony.

  • Priority Level: This helps indicate where your team should focus your efforts first.
    • The highest priority levels (P1 and P2) can be used to indicate the colonies that are highest risk, most active, and/or have no caretaker.
    • Lower priority levels (P3, P4, and P5) can be used for colonies that are smaller and/or well-managed, or are part of a monthly food program.

  • Location: This is typically the colony's address. Google Maps supports entering cross streets or landmarks in case there isn't an exact address.

  • Status:
    • New status can be used for new requests for assistance or other activities where the work hasn't started yet.
    • Open status can be used to indicate which activities are in progress or ongoing. This is also used for colonies that participate in a recurring food pantry program.
    • Completed and Closed statuses can be used to indicate when a single trapping activity is completed and when trapping in that colony is mostly (or totally) complete, and no further assistance is being provided.
    • Important note: Closed activities can be re-opened but Closed cases cannot. If there is a chance that you will be revisiting a colony in the future, we recommend keeping their case as Completed instead of closing it out completely.
  • Assigned to: This is the point person for the colony.

  • Incident Date: The date that assistance was first requested or the date that the trapping or other activity actually happened, depending on how your organization wants to report on them.

  • Due Date: The next date that you have action items due. On the due date, the "Due Today" filter will bring all action items to the top of your dashboard. Examples of action items:
    • The next general check-in with the colony caretaker
    • Prior to a trapping so your team can prepare the traps and supplies needed
    • Prior to food pickup so you can prepare the food and/or send the colony caretaker a reminder with pickup instructions
    • Prior to a medical appointment to make sure they are scheduled with the vet and/or to send the colony caretaker a reminder with instructions for the day of the appointment

  • Metrics: The number of cats trapped/not trapped/released/intaken, traps rented/returned, medical services provided, etc.
  • Reference Numbers: Not normally used for community cat programs unless there is a separate identifier for the colony in an external database.

  • Zone: Your configured neighbors/areas of your city.

  • Jurisdiction: Your configured cities/counties that you serve.

  • Associated Partner: If you're working with a clinic for a trapping, you can add the clinic as an Associated Partner.
  • Associated People: The colony caretaker, if there is one, will be added as an Associated Person. When you add them, you will need to select the role of Colony Caretaker.

  • Associated Animals: The cats in this colony - this is optional. See Creating Animal Records / Intaking Animals for more information.

  • Memos: Open text field to record notes from conversations with the colony caretaker or anything else that doesn't quite fit into the other fields.
    • Memo templates can help with structuring these notes. For example, if you want to cover specific topics on an initial outreach call, you can include all the questions in the template for any team member to easily follow along with the script.

  • Attachments: Any documentation, photos, etc. that you may need to save.

Trackable Activity Types & Subtypes

Activity type: Community Cat Program

  • Trap
  • Clinic Drop-Off
  • Clinic Pick-Up
  • Release
  • Transfer
  • Trap Rental
  • Deterrents

Activity type: Community Services - Pet Food/Supply Pantry

  • Community Cat Program Pick-Up
  • Community Cat Program Delivery

Note: Clinic Drop-Off, Clinic, Pick-Up, and Release are all helpful to track as separate activities when the person leading the trapping is not also responsible for these other parts of the TNR effort, as you will be able to assign each one to a different staff member or volunteer.


Trackable Metric Types

We currently support tracking of over 70 metric types, which can all be explored in our Field & Community Services User Guide. They are broken down into four categories:

  1. Universal (available to use for any service including behavior training, fencing assistance, etc.)
  2. Community Cat Program
  3. Community Services - Medical
  4. Community Services - Pet Food/Supply Pantry

To streamline the data entry experience for your team, we highly recommend reviewing your Field & Community Services Configuration page first and hiding any metric types you won't need to track (by clicking on the eye icon).




When creating or editing an activity in Field & Community Services, you will be able to quickly enter metrics in one of two ways:

  1. Typing in larger numbers directly
  2. Using the plus and minus buttons to increase/decrease by one



Linking Activities to a Colony

The easiest way to create a new activity for a colony is to start from its main case record and using the Quick Add button found in the top right corner as seen here. This will automatically link the two records together.

If you create the activity from the main dashboard instead, you will still be able to link it to the case record manually.




Text Notifications for Staff or Volunteers

  • Officers, staff members, or volunteers working in your communities can receive real-time text notifications when they are assigned a new case or activity in Field & Community Services.


Creating Animal Records / Intaking Animals

If you're going to be intaking these animals in your main Shelterluv account (which is optional), we recommend creating/linking the Associated Person to the case/activity first without creating any animal records until they have been trapped. The Associated Person might be the colony caretaker or the generic "Unknown Person" record that comes with your Shelterluv account.

Once the trapping is done and the animals are in your custody, you can create the animal records from your main Shelterluv account as Feral / Wildlife intakes under the Associated Person. Once this is done, you can go back to the Field & Community Services case/activity and link them as Associated Animals; they should automatically show up for you to quickly select since they were created under the Associated Person.

Note: For Feral / Wildlife intakes, we recommend creating the animal records from your main Shelterluv account instead of from the Field & Community Services side. When you create animal records through Field & Community Services, they show up as a "Previously Owned Animal" with limited options for intake (service, owner surrender, stray).

Learn more about creating and intaking animals.



When you are ready to report on your efforts, you'll be able to get a quick breakdown using the Metrics Summary report.



Love to dig into your data even more? A detailed report is also available to export to Excel! A preview of the first several columns:



Map View

You can see all of your cases (colonies) and activities (trappings) on a map using the Map View.

Learn more about using the Map View.