February 15, 2024
Categories: Adoption, Grants

During the 2023 Open Arms Challenge, Grand Prize winner Harris County Pets of Houston, TX, (HCP) did its very best to ensure the practices and services offered were easily accessible and did not exclude anyone. Equipped with information from Community Conversations and Maddie’s® Pet Forum, they were able to make a number of changes that helped them achieve their goal. 

“We eliminated appointments for adoptions and replaced our adoption application with a simpler adoption agreement that only requires the adopter’s signature,” Harris County Pets shared. “Our website now includes a volunteer section for ease of contact and communication; and volunteers are able to reach us by email.”  

Additionally, its intake diversion section expanded free/low-cost services to more precincts in their jurisdiction. They even traveled to these locations to make it easier for more people to have access. HCP also made sure the marketing throughout the entire department reflected a diverse demographic. 

While HCP did not have a way of measuring the demographic makeup of its unpaid staff, this challenge has equipped them with knowledge to identify and eliminate as many barriers as possible. 

HCP was able to create new partnerships, including one with a local fire department to offer a free vaccination clinic to the public. By expanding its free and low-cost services to more precincts in the county, they were able reach an underserved demographic.  

Read the rest of this post on Maddie’s® Pet Forum to learn about their AHA moment, challenges and engage with the organization! And don’t forget to register for the 2024 Open Arms Challenge on February 26.