Human Animal Support Services
Human Animal Support Services (HASS), a new animal welfare organizational model, will implement a new range of services for pets and people in 12 pilot cities, helping keep more animals in their homes and communities and reducing the number entering the shelter system through programs and resources. The ideas for HASS were born during the early days of COVID-19, as the pandemic resulted in record numbers of pets being housed in the community through pet foster care.
- In March, as part of the City of Los Angeles’ response to prevent the spread of COVID-19, LA Animal Services began to operate by appointment only, as it pertains to adoption, fostering, animal intake, and redemption; sick or injured animals are exempt.
- At the beginning of kitten season, we made arrangements with local cat rescue groups to take in kittens found by community members. Residents unable to care for the found kittens may call the closest shelter, telling them they need assistance in caring for the kittens, and a volunteer from a kitten rescue group will contact the resident within 30 minutes to schedule a time to take the kittens. In addition, LA Animal Services has a kitten foster manual available online as a resource for community members who are able to care for kittens in their neighborhoods.
- The opening of two Pet Food Pantry locations in June at Chesterfield Square/South Los Angeles and East Valley Animal Services Centers, are open to the public every 2nd and 4th Monday of each month and provides assistance to pet owners who need help in feeding their pets due to low-income, being homeless, or having lost their job because of COVID-19. Thanks to organizations who have donated to ensure there is inventory to stock the Pantry, to community members who have donated directly to support the program, and grants that we have received, we have provided pet food to nearly 1,400 dogs and cats in the City of Los Angeles.
- The LA City Lost and Found Pets page on Facebook is connected to the LA Animal Services Facebook page and offers an online platform for residents to post whether they have found a lost or found a pet in the City – providing an additional resource to help reunite owners with their lost pets, in addition to Nextdoor.com, Pawboost.com, or Shadowapp.com.
- Doggy Dialogue, Cat Chat, and Rabbit Roundtable, offers a monthly online arena to ask questions or get advice from LA Animal Services staff and volunteers. Click here to view the next session.
- Wildlife Workshops, led by our Wildlife Specialists, shares information with residents about wildlife in their community and how to safely co-exist. View the schedule of upcoming zoom workshops here.
- Free or low-cost spay/neuter vouchers, available to pet owners living in the City, which may be used at participating veterinary hospitals, spay/neuter clinics and mobile spay/neuter clinics.
- 4th of July collaboration with local rescue organizations, including Angel City Pitbulls, Best Friends, Paws For Life K9 Rescue, and Rescues Rock by setting up microchip scanning stations throughout the City to ensure lost pets would be reunited with their families. A key takeaway learned this year was the importance of ensuring that the information on a pet’s microchip is kept up-to-date.
The 12 participating Tier-1 pilot shelters of HASS include:
- Humane Rescue Alliance (Washington, D.C.)
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control (Charlotte, N.C.)
- Greenville County Animal Care (Greenville, S.C.)
- LifeLine Animal Project (Atlanta)
- Cabot Animal Resource Center (Cabot, Ark.)
- Kansas City Pet Project (Kansas City, Mo.)
- El Paso Animal Services (El Paso, Texas)
- Pima County Animal Care (Tucson, Ariz.)
- LA Animal Services (Los Angeles)
- Oakland Animal Services (Oakland, Calif.)
- Fresno Humane Animal Services (Fresno, Calif.)
- San Diego Humane Society
There are 20 additional Tier 2 pilot shelters from the United States and Canada will begin working and developing programs based on the lessons learned from Tier 1 pilot shelters.
Human Animal Support Services is an international coalition of animal services leaders and more than 30 pilot organizations transforming the traditional sheltering system to serve the entire community in supporting the human-animal bond.
HASS is a community collaboration led by American Pets Alive! and powered by incredible partners, including Maddie’s Fund, South Fork Foundation, Michelson Found Animals Foundation, Pedigree, and Brandywine SPCA.