November 2020 HASS Report

Dear Colleagues, 

As promised, here is our first Human Animal Support Services monthly report. We will be producing these reports for you each month. The purpose is to keep you informed about all of the incredible work happening across our 35 working groups and in the 40 pilot animal shelters. 

Thank you so much for your ongoing support and contributions to the HASS project. We are so grateful for each and every person lends time and expertise to this collective endeavor. Just a quick reminder, we do NOT have working group meetings over the next two weeks and we’ll see you all again beginning January 4. 

Have a fantastic holiday and thank you for all you do for people and animals.

Kristen Hassen with a dog

Kristen Hassen

Maddie’s® American Pets Alive! Director


HASS is midway through a project funded by Maddie’s Fund with CARE for Equity to evaluate and make recommendations to increase inclusion in HASS messaging and help HASS to develop an overall messaging strategy plan.

The DEI glossary, written by the HASS DEI committee, is in the final stages of completion and will be publicly available on the HASS website the first week of January.

2020 HASS Executive Committee Member Chetana Mirle will be retiring from the HASS EC in 2021 but will remain involved in the DEI Committee and as a HASS funder in her role at Spring Point Partners. Thank you, Chetana for your time, your brilliance, and for always reminding us the solutions to the most challenging questions always lie in connection and collaboration.

The 2021 HASS Strategic Plan Draft has been reviewed by more than 200 HASS collaborators, including the Executive Committee, DEI Committee, the Pilot Directors, and several working groups; and is currently being finalized with a goal of being publicly shared by January 15.

HASS received a grant from PetSmart Charities to hire a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategist to provide training, support and strategic guidance to the HASS pilot shelters and working groups. The search is on to fill this role.

The grant will also cover anti-racist training for AmPA! staff, the Executive Committee and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee, along with facilitator training for 4 key AmPA! staff members.

HASS Keeping Families Together staff members completed the content for the Eviction Prevention and Keeping Families Together Toolkit, which will be publicly accessible on the HASS website by the first week of January.

HASS has worked collaboratively with the HSUS and AAWA leadership, as well as the KFT working group experts, to create a comprehensive tool kit for shelter professionals who are aiming to prevent family separation due to eviction, job loss, housing and other crises.

The HASS Elements HOW TO documents, references and sample documents are being completed by the AmPA! instructors and working groups and are scheduled to be publicly available on the HASS website by February 1.

14 of the 19 HASS shelters have joined the Shelter Animals Count HASS coalition. Follow these easy instructions to join.

Of the HASS pilot shelters that report to Shelter Animals Count, they took in 10,696 animals in November of 2020 versus 17,541 in November of 2019.

There was an overall decrease of 39% in intake between November 2019 versus November 2020:

  • 42% decrease in cat intake

  • 33% decrease in dog intake

HASS Working Groups

In November, 105 new industry professionals joined HASS working groups, bringing the total number of project participants to more than 700. HASS now has 41 states represented in over 35 working groups. Just last month, working groups met for 91 hours. The working groups are preparing their 2020 deliverables, some of which will be part of the HASS Elements Guidelines which will be completed and published by early 2021.

DeLawrence Payton sorting food at the pantry.

Data at a Glance

Some of what we learned from the survey and intake data provided by pilot shelters.

30% of the HASS pilot shelters DO track the number of animals surrendered because the owner cannot afford medical care.

More than 90% of the HASS pilot shelters said they do NOT know how many stray animals enter the shelter with moderate or severe medical problems.

90% of the HASS pilot shelters report they DO have an internal community cat program and more than 60% have staff assigned to these programs. Awesome!

More than 80% of the HASS pilot shelters report any healthy, adult cat is eligible for return to the community.

Media and Engagement

1,700 people are now following HASS on social media and 19,543 people are subscribed to receive HASS and AmPA! updates. People viewed HASS blogs 1,828 times.

HASS efforts were featured in the media several times, including stories about COVID relief initiatives at Dallas Animal ServicesCharlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Kansas City Pet Project.

The following HASS blogs were published in November:

Educational Opportunities

HASS hosted two webinars, including a webinar on Program Sustainability featuring Dr. Ellen Jefferson, Brad Shear, Donna Casamento, Brenda Barnette, and Sharon Harvey; as well as a webinar on Fundraising Strategy during COVID featuring members of the HASS Fundraising Working Group.

HASS hosted three Maddie’s Summits with the following topics:


Maddie’s Monday calls hosted by HASS included an interview with the author of The Lives and Deaths of Shelter Animals, Katja Guenther, an interview about animal welfare and domestic violence with Red Rover, and a discussion with Dr. Sloane Hawes about her writing on shifting animal control from a punitive model to support services.

Friday Leadership Round Up calls included an interview with Katja Guenther, updates from national organizations, and a discussion with Red Rover and Presspoint CRM. To view the recorded Monday and Friday calls and to see the schedule of upcoming events, visit the HASS Calendar of Events.

The Maddie’s Learning Academy Instructors offer support to HASS partner shelters. They are now scheduling support services, remote visits, and learning opportunities.

HASS Pilot Shelter Updates

Michigan Humane (Director, Matt Pepper) developed a relationship with the City of Detroit Parks and Recreation Department to provide them with pet food to be delivered to adults who are being quarantined for COVID symptoms or positive tests. This relationship has added approximately 150 people and their pets being helped by Michigan Humane.

Pima Animal Care Center (Director, Monica Dangler) is providing temporary housing for pets owned by people with COVID symptoms. Pima County is distributing food four times weekly to the community and the need continues to exceed the shelter’s ability to assist. After a news story about PACC’s fee-waived medical care, PACC received more than 500 calls for help over just three days.

See updates from the rest of our pilot shelters.

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