Over the past several months, the animal welfare industry has joined together to collaborate about reimagining the future of sheltering. This new vision focuses on animal shelters and rescue organizations transforming into resource centers to support their communities. Organizations across the nation have been pivoting to find ways to keep more pets and people together in their homes, without ever entering the shelter walls. One way to do it? Implementing a rehoming program like Home to Home.
Due to COVID-19, shelter and rescue organizations are preparing to provide extra support for their communities due to the potential rise in evictions over the coming months. Starting a rehoming program now will serve as a useful tool throughout these unprecedented times as we find new ways to reduce shelter intake.
Home to Home
The Home to Home program has been running for almost five years in 23 shelter organizations across the nation in 15 states, proudly sponsored by Maddie’s Fund®. Mandy Evans, Executive Director of the Home to Home program and Panhandle Animal Shelter in Ponderay, ID, shares that the past five years of successfully running the program testifies that it works and that communities are happy to be a part of the solution.
“We created Home to Home to empower our community to have an alternative option to surrendering. It has proven to be one of the best programs we have ever provided,” says Evans.
The Home to Home program is a proactive way for shelters to be a community resource, and an avenue for families to explore that keeps animals out of the shelter. Evans shares that the community response has been great. “The community loves it! When you put more faith and trust into the community, the more they step up to help.” She says that the staff loves it too, as it gives them another tool to offer to the public. For example, when someone calls about surrendering their pet, but the shelter is full, they can give them another opportunity and resource instead of turning them away. Evans states, “It’s a simple program that benefits everybody.”
The benefits of implementing Home to Home in your community will directly impact the pet guardian, potential adopter and the animal shelter, according to Evans. It allows pet guardians to have a voice and feel like part of the process. There is a lot of unknown for pet owners of what happens when their pet gets surrendered. Home to Home strives to empower pet guardians to make the difficult decision of no longer keeping their pet while feeling confident about it.
Potential adopters benefit from this rehoming program because they are able to access a greater amount of information about the animal than if they were to adopt directly from the shelter organization. They are able to talk to the pet guardian who knows the dog or cat best, and get answers to all of their questions!
Another significant benefit? Cost. Keeping pets in homes and out of the four walls of your organization results in savings for your organization to reallocate to medical care, behavior support, etc. Home to Home’s webcast provides a step by step on how your organization can calculate yearly savings if you start this program.
Evans encourages shelters to implement a rehoming program, because it is proven that it works, supported by data! Here is Home to Home’s current data as it relates to COVID-19:
- More animals are on the Home to Home program than in their shelter
- 76% successful rehoming
- Only 3% surrendered to our shelter after they attempted to use Home to Home program
“Home To Home has reduced our owner surrender intake, saved both animals and their families the stress of having to surrender to our shelter and provided the opportunity for our community to be our partners,” shares Evans. “We are excited and proud to offer Home To Home as a tool for shelters, so they can join us in experiencing the same amazing results. #ThankstoMaddie, shelters can join for free!”
To learn more about Home to Home or how to implement the Home to Home program in your community, check out Mandy Evans’ webcast: Rehoming Programs- A proactive approach to serving your community while reducing intake. Interested in exploring more rehoming programs? Check out Rehome by Adopt-a-Pet.com. It’s a simple, reliable, free tool to support pet owners place their pets from one loving home to another. Join to start referring pet owners in your community!