Human Animal Support Services (HASS) Receives $90,000 Grant from PetSmart Charities

(AUSTIN, TX) November 29, 2023Human Animal Support Services (HASS), an international project revolutionizing the animal welfare industry by uniting the human and animal welfare approach, is the proud recipient of a $90,000 grant from PetSmart Charities® to benefit an initiative entitled the Competitive Pet Placement project. 

With this $90,000 grant from PetSmart Charities, HASS will conduct research on how to effectively reduce barriers to adoption within five pilot shelters, implement best practices associated with the project’s Intake-to-Placement pathway with specific focus on increasing adoption outcomes, and share the results of its findings widely. Divided into three phases, the Competitive Pet Placement project is a data-informed initiative aimed to build progress and bridge the gap between shelter intake and placing pets into loving homes. 

“The opportunity to collaborate with shelters to tackle an industry-wide challenge like increased number of shelter animals is exactly at the heart of HASS,” said Vincent Medley, director of HASS. “Breaking through barriers means providing members of the community increased access to adoptable pets, free of unnecessary roadblocks. We’re grateful for a partner like PetSmart Charities that also believes in utilizing data, innovative programming, and a social service-oriented approach to supporting people and pets in need.” 

Phase one of the Competitive Pet Placement initiative included the gap analysis of traditional adoption policies and practices within the selected shelters to identify the operational barriers hindering positive outcomes. Now in phase two, HASS is collaborating with participating organizations to determine which of the identified barriers the teams could build a strategy to overcome and potentially improve adoption rates upon implementation. When collaborative strategies are in place, HASS will also provide direct onsite implementation and training alongside the shelter staff.

Upon completion of the project, HASS will also share related data insights, programming best practices, and implementation training within the HASS Resource Center for all animal welfare organizations to learn more. Results from the Competitive Pet Placement project are slated to be finalized in mid-2024. 

“This research is critical as euthanasia rates continue to climb as animal shelters all over the country are grappling with longer length of stays,” said Rory Adams, sr. manager of pet placement initiatives at PetSmart Charities. “We’re proud to support HASS as they seek to remove traditional adoption barriers and work with organizations to create equitable, creative, and joyful solutions to connect more people with pets. We are hopeful that the discoveries will help to increase shelter pet adoption nationwide.”

For more information on how HASS utilizes data, education, and policy to better support people and pets, visit


About Human Animal Support Services (HASS)

The Human Animal Support Services (HASS) project is a movement seeking to revolutionize the animal welfare industry by leading with and embracing a community support model. By providing both private and municipal animal shelters with equitable access to data-driven resources, education, and implementation tools, HASS aims to create pathways toward unified support systems for pets and their people in every community. Separated into three main pillars education, data, and policy, HASS encompasses a network of more than 1,500 animal and human welfare professionals. A project facilitated by Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) and under the direction of industry veteran Vincent Medley, HASS’ 41 pilot shelters and 165 partner organizations have joined the movement by committing to implement the HASS model. To learn more, visit

About PetSmart Charities®

PetSmart Charities is committed to making the world a better place for pets and all who love them. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps up to 400,000 pets connect with loving families each year. PetSmart Charities also provides grant funding to support organizations that advocate and care for the well-being of all pets and their families. Our grants and efforts connect pets with loving homes through adoption, improve access to affordable veterinary care and support families in times of crisis with access to food, shelter and emergency relief. Each year, millions of generous supporters help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities directly at, while shopping at, and by using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart® stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting more than $500 million since its inception in 1994. Independent from PetSmart LLC, PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator for the past 18 years in a row – placing it among the top one percent of rated charities. To learn more visit

Human Animal Support Services (HASS) Receives $90,000 Grant from PetSmart Charities
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