Welcome to HASS! This Blog Will Help You Get Started

If you’re new to HASS, WELCOME! And a hearty hello and thanks for being here, too, to those who’ve been around a while and are looking for tools, training, and resources you may not already know about.

We are so excited to have all of you here, working together to keep people and pets together, and transform animal services through innovative programs and services.

If you’re not yet a partner organization, you can check out some of the benefits of joining the project here, and sign up here

This blog is just a brief guide to some of what’s available to you as a HASS partner organization. You’ll also definitely want to spend some good time on our comprehensive, chock-full HASS website.

Elements of HASS & Toolkits

Here’s the web page where you can learn about the HASS elements that each partner organization will implement in their communities, to help families stay together and keep pets out of shelters. 

There are 11 HASS elements: lost pet reunification; pet support services; supported self-rehoming; intake-to-placement; role of the shelter; field services and public safety; community partnerships; the foster-centric model; remote customer service; case management; and volunteer integration.

Every single one of these elements has its own toolkit, which you can find on the toolkits page of our website. You’ll also find other toolkits on this page, like our Keeping Families Together Eviction Response toolkit—which we prepared to help shelters and communities stay resilient through the looming eviction crisis, which could leave as many as 8 million pets flooding shelters without a community-based response.


Want expert tips on managing intake when your shelter is full? How about diving into a new report showing 10.5 million pets could be saved if we lifted rental restrictions

We’ve got a myth-busting post on why no shelter or rescue should require cats be adopted in pairs, an exploration of why animal shelter workers are suffering from burnout and how to stop it, and a shareable infographic showing how people who need to rehome pets can do it without the pet ever entering the shelter.

We love highlighting our partner organizations’ great work on the blog, too! We run a regular feature called Steal This Idea, featuring creative and replicable ways shelters are engaging their communities, adopting out pets, finding fosters, and so much more. For example: Here’s a recent STI on BARCS in Baltimore putting foster pups in pajamas to get them adopted

Click for more pictures. (Really, you’re going to want to click. Then you’re going to want to order some PJs for your shelter’s pets.)

We’ve got useful, thought-provoking new content going up every week, so be sure to regularly come back to see how we can help you help your community! You can also stay up to date by signing up for the HASS newsletter.

Working Groups

33 HASS working groups, each led by industry experts, are the heart and soul of HASS. Each working group focuses on a different element, problem, or industry need, aiming to solve the toughest challenges that stand in the way of transformative change in animal welfare.

Check out all 33 working groups here. You’ll see they include data, community engagement, cats, fostering, government budgeting, lost and found, marketing and communications, and so much more. 

You and your staff can join a HASS working group to help solve long-standing industry problems, and you will have access to all the materials and solutions these groups create. Find out more by emailing Bobby Mann at bobby.mann@americanpetsalive.org.


We’re proud of all our programs and we’re especially proud of this one. Our Job-Alikes give you weekly opportunities to network with peers doing the same work as you, to discuss common issues, ask questions, brainstorm solutions, and share program ideas.

We’ve got Job-Alike Groups for shelter staff who work in philanthropy, behavior, fostering, and more. Fill out this form to learn more and participate!

Weekly and Monthly Events, Including Webinars and Leadership Calls

Here’s our monthly calendar, where you can learn about and sign up for webinars, leadership calls, shelter and rescue support calls, and other awesome HASS events. 

Speaking of Webinars

Here’s where we keep the archive of the webinars our incredible experts have presented so far. We’ve got webinars on fundraising, using staffing shortages to your advantage, overcoming adoption barriers, partnering with domestic violence shelters to help people and pets, and we could go on and on. It’s all good, all actionable, and all right there for you to check out and use. 

What else can we tell you? If you think of anything, please reach out

A whole new world for companion animal services is within our reach. We are leaving the past behind to build a new, better animal welfare system focused on keeping pets with people. And here, we’re doing it together. Welcome to HASS!

Featured Image Credit: Monica Wayne Photography

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