February 15, 2019

Audience: Executive Leadership, Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers, Veterinary Team

Organization: Jacksonville Humane Society
Investigator(s): Denise Deisler and Nikki Harris
Grant Amount: $52,700
Project Type: Phase 1
Project Status: Research Complete

Project Summary

Jacksonville Humane Society's "Home to Home" program empowered people surrendering their pets by assisting them with rehoming their pets, negating the need to surrender them. The project provided rehoming support for 678 pets and successfully rehomed 208 pets.


To assess the effectiveness of the rehoming program as an alternative to a shelter surrender. The following metrics were collected for the current year and compared to the same metrics for the prior year: the number of pets successfully rehomed, the length of a pet's stay on the organization's community pet page for rehoming; intake of pets surrendered by their owners, intake of stray pets, and total intake by species.


Counselors worked individually with pet owners to help market their pets for adoption. This included help with taking quality pictures, writing pet biographies, giving them access to a list of rehoming websites and to Jacksonville Humane Society's webpage. Additionally, JHS offered owners the option to bring their pets to their adoption center for a day and to their off-site adoption events. The program also helped provide the pets with current vaccinations, spay/neuter and microchipping.


  • Throughout the course of the grant (December 2017 - August 2018), 591 people accepted rehoming support for 678 pets. The demand for this program was high and people were willing to accept help.
  • 208 pets were rehomed, 40 pets were surrendered to the shelter, 139 pets were lost to follow up, and 256 pets' cases are still open.
  • Of 208 rehomed pets, 32 were rehomed though Community Pet Page, 33 were rehomed through Adopt-a-Pet.com, 41 were rehomed through a friend or family member, 25 were rehomed through a JHS event, and for 77 of the pets the rehoming method was unknown.
  • Following-up with owners was difficult. Everyone who accepted help from JHS received a phone call and email but many did not respond.
  • Medical assistance was offered to 229 pet owners, and 109 opted to receive it.


Jacksonville Humane Society's Home to Home pilot program was successful and provides a good example for other organizations considering intake prevention programs.