Orange County Animal Care Center Uses RCA Radios to Help Rescue Animals

Overview: The Orange County Animal Care Center

The Orange County Animal Care Center took in more than 30,000 dogs, cats, bunnies, and other pets in 2019. Whether ill, injured, or ill-tempered, the center receives pets from people who can no longer care for them, and pets that are no longer wanted. The center provides services to the cities of Anaheim, Brea, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Orange, Huntington Beach, Santa ana, Lake Forest, Tustin, Placentia, San Juan Capistrano, Villa Park, and Yorba Linda.

“OC Animal Care strives to save the lives of all healthy, treatable and manageable dogs and cats in our community. To reach that goal, we host monthly adoption events and promote our animals online.In addition, we work very closely with our nonprofit rescue adoption partners, other local animal shelters and our volunteer foster caretakers. We receive many perfectly healthy dogs and cats that just need a new home,” explained Susan Miller, Chief of Shelter Services.

The Challenge:

Unfortunately, like many facilities that run on a shoestring budget, the Orange County Animal Care Center invested in inexpensive consumer type of radios. However, while they saved money on the radios, the equipment failed to communicate throughout the large Tustin-based facility. According to Rauhaus Freedenfeld & Associates (the architectural firm who designed the facility) the OC Animal Care campus is comprised of a 36,000 SF, two-story main building, a state-of-the-art Veterinary Clinic, Cattery, public meeting spaces, Field Services and a variety of administrative departments.

“The radios we used in the past gave us some really bad performance. I think this could be from the fact we went for inexpensive units. They just were not reliable or usable for the distances we needed them. When we started moving into the new facility, I knew we needed better radios for us to communicate with and would be durable enough to withstand the use and abuse my staff gives them on a daily basis. We really needed professional quality radios,” explained Miller.

Why It’s Important to Only Select Professional Grade Two-Way Radios

In the world of two-way radios, there are two distinct categories of radio: “Family Radio Service” (FRS) and Professional Grade Radios.Basically, FRS radios are consumer grade radios that are made of plastic that break easily in even the tamest environments. They are not meant to perform 40 hours a week. However, for serious industries like a large animal care facility, investing in well-made radios that are durable will always prove to be the best decision. In addition, commercial grade two-way radios, like RCA professional radios, offer the following benefits over consumer radios:

  • Durability
  • Battery Life
  • Accessories

Commercial radios are designed to hold up to abuse better than consumer radios. Consumer radios are usually built for infrequent use: trips to Disneyland, camping trips, etc. They are lightweight with a thin plastic casing.

Commercial radios are designed to be used for hours every day and are constructed with heavy-duty commercial housing. Many are built to military specifications and are waterproof with significant transmitting power.

Consumer radios use rechargeable batteries that are good for 8 hours or less of use. As is typical of batteries, this life will likely diminish slightly over time.

Professional grade radios use high-quality batteries that can hold their charge much longer. For example, a professional radio used in digital mode can provide 12 hours or more on a single charge.

Professional radios usually have a far better selection of accessories than consumer radios. If accessories, such as headsets or earpieces, and speaker mics are important to your business, you should look at what accessories are available before you choose a radio. Things like rapid chargers and multi-unit chargers are only available for business radios.

Though purchasing cheap consumer grade walkie talkies may seem like a cheap communications solution in the short term, they will cost more in the long term than commercial two-way radios that are designed to be used in professional arenas.

The Solution: RCA’s RDR2500

After reviewing many different brands of two-way radios, Miller ultimately decided on the RCA RDR2500 radios to provide seamless contact between members of the staff and customers.

“After testing a few different radio models, I decided on the RCA RDR2500 portable radio.

We use the radios for our clerical unit to alert the shelter personnel of visits, releases, questions, or updates from the public. They are also carried during cleaning and playgroup times for safety reasons. My entire staff uses them all day. We literally pick them up at 6am and plug them back in at 6pm. So, they endure a full days’ worth of work,” said Miller.

The Results: More Power at a Better Price

The RDR2500 radios are almost a third the cost of Motorola’s CP200, and offer the same reliability and strength but with a longer warranty.

“The two-way radios we purchased from you came after a long search for a small but powerful radio that would be able to go from the front office to the furthest dog building. The ability to communicate with the other units and each other, allows for us to complete calls and provide better customer service, which goes a long way to get more people in to adopt more of our animals. We are incredibly pleased with our RCA radios, and will continue to purchase in the future,” said Miller.

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