Home-to-Home Program Supports Pets Being Re-Homed with Love
Panhandle Animal Shelter (PAS) is helping animal shelters around the nation save lives through their program Home To Home™. Developed by PAS in 2016, Home To Home™ provides animal shelters throughout the U.S. with the ability to support their local community in their need to rehome their pets without having to surrender to a shelter. “We saw the pain people were going through when they would surrender their pets to us. We thought if we changed our thinking and supported the community in a different way, we could help more animals. This is how Home To Home™ was born”, said Mandy Evans, Executive Director of PAS.
Home To Home™ has the potential to save half a million pets from entering shelters if every shelter in the nation adopted the program. The benefits to people and animals are endless. For animals, they avoid entering a shelter where they can develop behavioral issues from stress, medical issues, and are at risk of euthanasia. People get to select where their pet goes and make sure it’s matched with the perfect companion bringing peace of mind and the ability to stay in touch with the adopter.
Shelters Have Resources for Rehoming Pets
“Animal shelters often have resources that can help people when they are faced with a decision to rehome a pet. Having a connection to the local shelter is invaluable, and sometimes the shelter can help prevent rehoming all together by providing simple advice or resources. If rehoming is the best option, the shelter can promote the pet to its network and help find the perfect fit. It’s a win-win,” Evans explained. Thanks to a Maddie’s Fund grant, there are 17 shelters in 13 states who have adopted the program at no cost. According to Evans, and two years’ worth of data, on average, shelters who adopt the program reduce the number of owner-surrendered animals entering the shelter by 25%. “This equates to lives saved, because shelters are overwhelmed, and 733,000 animals are still euthanized every year in animal shelters mostly due to resource constraints and a lack of space,” she continued.
Home To Home™ is managed by a small team at PAS and they are outgrowing the platform’s capability. COVID-19 has forced shelters across the nation to close their doors and find other ways to help people rehome their pets, increasing demand for the program. Locally, PAS has recorded a 22% increase in the number of animals listed on their site since it announced operation changes due to the pandemic.
Next Phase of Development Funded by Kickstarter
To bring the program to its next phase of development the team is launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. This upgrade will allow the onboarding of larger shelters, make it more user friendly, improve the way it tracks data, and improve the way the system integrates with social media platforms which will increase the number of pets finding homes. “The trick to Kickstarter is the campaign is “valued” by the number of backers not the amount of money raised, so in order for the campaign to get full exposure and support by Kickstarter we need a LOT of people backing it, even $1 does the trick!”
PAS is seeking $150,000 in funding to pay for expansion and staffing needs. In addition to this Kickstarter they are seeking grant funds. To support the campaign visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hometohome/home-to-hometm or pasidaho.org.
How Home to Home Works
Home To Home™ is managed locally by the participating shelter; each shelter receives their own custom website that is connected to their Facebook page. When pet owners call or visit the shelter asking to surrender, the shelter asks them to try their Home To Home™ program first. For people seeking to surrender their pet the process is simple; there is a brief form to fill out, they can upload pictures, and hit enter. The shelter staff reviews the profile. Once it is approved it is automatically uploaded to the shelter’s Facebook page. For those seeking a pet, there is a search feature. Home To Home™ is a free to use; however, there are some rules to the site, such as no money is allowed to exchange hands. Rehoming fees don’t lead to better outcomes for pets, but quality communications will.
PAS is a private nonprofit animal shelter located in Ponderay, Idaho. Its mission is to create and support meaningful connections by enhancing the lives of dogs, cats, and the people in our community who love them. Funded entirely by donations, grants, and a small amount of service revenue, PAS serves 8900 animals each year and champions innovative approaches to supporting both sides of the human-animal bond. In addition to providing sheltering and adoption services to the community, PAS also operates a pet food bank, a helpline, and a thrift store. PAS programs include Home To Home™, Pets for Life, Hounds on the Town, and Temporary Loving Care. For more information about PAS, visit http://pasidaho.org/.
About Maddie’s Fund®
Maddie’s Fund® is a family foundation created in 1994 by Workday® co-founder Dave Duffield and his wife, Cheryl, who have endowed the Foundation with more than $300 million. Since then, the Foundation has awarded more than $237.6 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, shelter management leadership, shelter medicine education, and foster care across the U.S. The Duffields named Maddie’s Fund after their Miniature Schnauzer Maddie, who always made them laugh and gave them much joy. Maddie was with Dave and Cheryl for ten years and continues to inspire them today. Maddie’s Fund is the fulfillment of a promise to an inspirational dog, investing its resources to create a no-kill nation where every dog and cat is guaranteed a healthy home or habitat. #ThanksToMaddie.
Contact: Mandy Evans