Human Animal Support Services Glossary


Get familiar with everything Human Animal Support Services with this glossary.


Human Animal Support Services (HASS) 

HASS (pronounced H-ah-s) is a collaborative effort facilitated by American Pets Alive!. The primary goal is to keep people and pets together. HASS is bringing animal welfare organizations and community members together to engage in partnerships that support the bond of people and animals.

2021 HASS Strategic Plan

A collaborative working document developed by HASS leadership in collaboration with all of the participants of the project. This document outlines the high-level goals of the HASS project and rolls down into the deliverables and priorities for each working group.  

Austin Pets Alive! 

(APA! pronounced A-P-A) the brick and mortar shelter that acts as the safety net for Austin Animal Center, providing lifesaving programs to the animals who enter the shelter who need the most support. APA! brings approximately 10,000 animals into their custody each year and has saved the lives of almost 100,000 animals since 2008. APA! is also the flagship non-profit organization for all APA!, AmPA!, HASS work. 

American Pets Alive! (AmPA!) 

AmPA! (pronounced am-pah) is the national arm of Austin Pets Alive!. AmPA! empowers individuals, organizations and communities to transform animal shelter systems and end unnecessary killing of shelter animals. Utilizing best practices born in Austin, AmPA! hosts the Maddie’s® Learning Academy with online courses, apprenticeships and fellowships, and provides ongoing crisis and operations support to shelters around the country.

Maddie’s® Learning Academy (M.L.A.)

The education programming of AmPA! providing shelter leaders, staff and volunteers with online and onsite training in a variety of lifesaving programs from Neonatal Kitten Nursery, Dog and Cat Foster, and Clinic Apprenticeships to Lifesaving Master Classes. The goal of the academy is to inspire shared learning in our field, to everyone to become leaders and share what they learn at the Maddie’s® Learning Academy in their communities. #ThanksToMaddie

Diversity Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee (D.E.I.)

A committee working to promote, support, and advocate for the HASS values and instill diversity, equity, and inclusion into all levels of the project. The committee provides assessment and guidance on HASS program development, communication, and implementation through a DEI lens. 

Executive Committee (E.C.)

The leadership committee of the HASS project that oversees the mission and vision, and helps support the growth and sustainability of the movement. 


The fundamental programs or strategies that together form a community-centric model of animal sheltering.

Pro Resources

Professional resources to support the implementation of the HASS model of community-based animal services. All resources are created in collaboration with the HASS Project Working Groups, Pilot and Partner Organizations, and facilitated by American Pets Alive! staff.

Elements Toolkits

Resources created to support shelter leaders, staff, and volunteers with resources to self-educate on the elements of HASS. The toolkits serve as a blueprint for creating a HASS community, and will continue to grow and change with the project. 


Live, recorded webcasts featuring subject matter experts providing high-level education on the HASS elements or working groups. They feature subject matter experts who are doing the work and are always free to attend and available on-demand. 

The Collaborate and Learn Newsletter

A weekly newsletter produced by AmPA! staff outlining upcoming events, recent stories, blogs, and other important announcements. 

AmPA! Shelter and Rescue Support Facebook Group

This group is to provide support peer to peer to shelters and rescues in their efforts to create sustainable communities where every pet is given a chance at life and pet owners are supported through innovative services.


An intranet site to centralize internal communications for participants and organizations in the HASS project.  If you need meeting times, agenda links, contact information, or any other basic information, you can find it here. 

Keeping Families Together

Safety net programs for pet owners. This eviction response toolkit  was created to support families through housing and life crises as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Learning Community

A worldwide system of individuals dedicated to creating and implementing Human Animal Support Services, together.  This map shows a visual representation of the 500+ organizations touching the project.


Maddie’s® Community Conversations 

National calls hosted by Maddie’s® and Human Animal Support Services to share the latest happenings in the field around the country and the world, sharing insight, resources, and stories. 

Animal Welfare Leadership Round Up (Fridays)

A weekly Zoom meeting to share the latest, greatest, and most provocative information with Shelter Directors and Leadership around the world. 

Shelter and Rescue Support Call (Mondays) 

Weekly Zoom meeting aimed at sharing the latest news and updates from HASS, aimed to bring in all levels of organizations, including shelter staff and volunteers. 


Pilot Shelters  

38 shelters working together to implement and iterate the HASS elements in their organizations and communities. The pilot shelters are the model organizations, making the change and learning along the way. Our pilot shelters are where we draw insight and inspiration, measure efficiency of programming and support, and learn from to create education, training, and resources in an effort to transform animal services, everywhere.

Pilot Organizations

Committed to implement all elements of HASS in partnership.  These shelters work closely with AmPA!/HASS staff to learn from each other’s strengths, needs, experiences, and insight. Pilot organizations provide important data and other information to measure success, and iterate the project. 

Pilot Director Call

Once a week the directors from our pilot shelters come together to discuss topics related to the project.


Working Groups

A collaboration of over 700 people, coming together to make the HASS vision a reality. Industry professionals, subject matter, experts, and volunteers meet regularly to solve the most challenging, long-standing industry problems, roadblocks, and issues to create change in animal sheltering. 

Working Group Staff Representative

Each working group has an AmPA!/HASS staff member dedicated to the group. 

Working Group Leads

Volunteer or staff who leads meetings, updates and sends agendas and facilitates the meetings, and works toward the groups deliverables. 

Working Group Reporting Lead

Volunteer or staff dedicated to helping with administrative tasks of the group such as updating the agenda, taking attendance and notes. 

Working Group Participant

Working group participants play a vital role in the HASS Project by sharing their experience, knowledge and skills with other industry professionals to help solve industry problems their working group is trying to solve.

Working Group Lead Meetings

Bi-monthly meeting for leads to receive updates from the HASS staff, discuss support they might need from each other, and share news.