Letter From Vincent: A Q3 Dispatch From the Director of HASS

I’ve spent this spring and summer visiting some of the HASS pilot shelters. Members of the Human Animal Support Services team and I visited Dallas Animal Services in Texas, Kansas City Pet Project in Missouri, and Riverside Animal Services and Los Angeles Animal Services in Southern California. We’ve got plans to visit more of our incredible pilot shelters in the fall, as part of our “road show” tour. 

The road show is a whole-team project, with the goal of providing direct onsite support—primarily by finding gaps in the implementation of community-centric initiatives, and working together to develop a strategic plan to address those gaps. 

Just to give some sense of the comprehensive scope: On top of developing tailored community-centric trainings and materials, providing field training, tailoring each shelter’s data collection and analysis, and ecosystem mapping, our policy team is auditing our pilot shelters’ local ordinances—and now we’re helping change these laws where they stand in the way of lifesaving, too.

We’re also focusing a lot of resources on connecting pilot shelters with human services agencies and organizations in their communities and beyond, as part of our new Community Connections Project—a comprehensive framework of support for pets and people through a social service approach.  

We’re in the early stages, now, of building these urgently-needed partnerships. One Community Connection I can now proudly announce is between Kansas City Pet Project and BestyBNB, an organization that secures temporary homes for pets while their owners get through health emergencies and other difficult times. 

This partnership will be transformative for people and pets in Kansas City, and this is just the beginning! 

Our road show will take us to every one of our 22 pilot organizations by the end of the year, and we would love to hear from anyone interested in sharing ideas or building connections. Please reach out at hass-project@americanpetsalive.org. We mean it, we want to hear from you.

Speaking of exciting beginnings—have you had a chance to check out HASS’s refreshed website

This website makes it easy for you to find and use all of the incredible HASS resources. 

Our Resource Center includes our toolkits, foundational guides, and other educational materials like the Maddie’s University self-paced courses. Webinars and blogs are all there on the website, of course, and so is a great guide to the four main HASS Pathways: Lost Pet Reunification, Pet Support Services, Intake-to-Placement, and Supported Self-Rehoming.

Be sure to check the website often for updates and insights from our data team, too—like the upcoming Community Values Survey results that will give important insights into people’s perceptions, values, and needs related to animal welfare, and offer the means for evidence-based decisions around program development, communications, and policy. You do not want to miss it!

Happy first birthday pets.findhelp.com!

In July 2022, HASS launched pets.findhelp.com, a free, first-of-its-kind website where people could find and access the pet support they need in their communities.

The year since has shown exactly why this resource is needed. More than 172,000 searches have been run on pets.findhelp.com since launch, with the top queries being for veterinary financial help, pet food pantries, spay and neuter, vaccinations, emergency pet care, and finding a new home for a pet. 

These searches speak to the love people have for their animals—and to what sort of support they need. That’s why we’re here, working every single day, to build a world where that love is honored and preserved. 

It’s going to take all of us working together, to get there—I know we’re going to do it.


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