Get Involved with HASS
Do you want to make sustainable change for pets and the people that love them? Join our movement.
Volunteers are a critically important part of launching and running HASS programs. What’s really exciting about this is that it provides an opportunity for volunteers to be fully integrated into driving forward the mission, vision and values of the organization.
It’s simple: The HASS elements take work, love, compassion, dedication and a tireless commitment, all in the name of doing better by the pets and people in our communities. Without volunteers, most HASS initiatives either will not get off the ground or will never have their potential fully realized.
When Smitty had to be returned to Pima Animal Care Center due to an emergency in the adopter’s family, a dedicated team of volunteers jumped in to help. Smitty is a dog who doesn’t do well in the shelter and he needed more support. Thanks to the determination and involvement of PACC volunteers, Smitty was able to go to SolDog for evaluation and training. After this, Smitty was actually able to be reunited with his original adopter and was flown to Oregon, where his adopter had to move for their family, with an incredible volunteer.
You may also share the HASS website and take time to walk through each element and answer questions and discuss. Invite volunteers to share their ideas for how they can help!
Provide basic training for these new roles, recognizing the entire organization is trying new things, so everyone has a lot to learn from one another.
Consider inviting one or more committed volunteers to lead the new program. Many of the most successful new initiative and volunteer roles in shelters involve volunteers leading the way. Here are a few examples of how volunteer groups can create positive change in animal services agencies:
Make sure you’re communicating on social media and news releases about your new volunteer programs. This will have three potential benefits: raising funds to support the program; recruiting new volunteers, and elevating the role and public image of your organization.
When volunteers begin working more closely with people (as opposed to just animals), complications can arise. Have volunteers agree to treat every person with kindness and respect and assume that every person we meet has good intentions. Having a larger workplace culture agreement for volunteers and staff can be instrumental in building a HASS volunteer program. For volunteers who are helping people in the community that are facing homelessness, financial struggles, or other challenges, invite them to read this blog: Telling Pet Owners Stories – A Simple Guide to Photographing and Writing About the People You’re Helping.