One of the main goals of Human Animal Support Services (HASS) is to help keep pets with their people, even during tough times. And since some of the most common reasons animals are surrendered to shelters include issues with housing, lack of access to affordable veterinary care, and the need for behavioral support, HASS has created a Pet Support Services Toolkit to help achieve this goal.
Support may include, but is not limited to: telephone response and advice, medical support for owned pets, food and supplies, fence building and pet shelter provision, behavior support, vaccines and microchips, free and low-cost spay and neuter, crisis and emergency boarding, owned pet fostering, and pet deposits and advocacy for apartment dwellers.
HASS shares that before you implement this type of programming, you should start by following these steps:
- Identify the top reasons for owner surrender and the most common needs expressed by pet owners in your community.
- Catalog the support services that are currently available in your community.
- Share the pet support resources on your website and social media, create marketing materials, share programmatic information with crisis and community services.
- Gather donated items to distribute to pet caretakers, including but not limited to pet food, crates, dog houses, leashes, beds, collars, and more as needed.
- Complete the HASS Pet Support Guide and Worksheet to outline resources you have in-house and externally to support the staff and volunteers working with the families needing help
- Cross-train all intake and field services staff on pet support resources and schedule a minimum of one person to answer phone calls during operating hours.
- Make all materials available and accessible to non-English speakers and readers.
- Form partnerships with organizations that will help provide resources and solutions to community needs.
View the robust Pet Support Services Toolkit on their website to learn more!