Why shelters and rescue groups need to unstop the customer service bottleneck to save more lives

March 5, 2020

Customer service is a crucial component of pet adoption. Which is why we are rerunning this story from June 2017 on the very topic. Treating potential adopters with warmth and positive attitude can go a long way and will help increase lifesaving.  As pet adoption increases in popularity and social cachet, and national campaigns like…


Build Resilience and Excitement Around Change

Shelly Thompson, Tawny Hammond, Cheryl Schneider, Teresa Johnson and Lee Ann ShenefielApril 2020

Shelly Thompson moderates this panel to help you get the insider tips on how to cultivate a team of resilience and build strong teams that will rally around you.


Toolkit for the Time-Starved Leader: A Practical Guide to Hiring and Retaining Engaged Employees

Jocelyn Kessler, MBA, Senior Director of Operations, Community Medicine, ASPCAJuly 2019

This workshop provides a clear and simple path hiring the right people, setting goals and expectations and spending worthwhile one-on-one time with your staff. This presentation was recorded at the 2019 ASPCA Maddie's® Cornell Shelter Medicine Conference.


Change Can Be Fun! A Simple, Proven Framework Can Help Take the Pain Out of Change

Jocelyn Kessler, MBA, Senior Director of Operations, Community Medicine, ASPCAJuly 2019

This workshop walks viewers through a change management model based on research published in the Harvard Business Review. This presentation was recorded at the 2019 ASPCA Maddie's® Cornell Shelter Medicine Conference.


Personnel Satisfaction - Managing Compassion Stress (Part 1 of 2)

Karen Walsh, CAWA, LVMT, CFE, Director of Animal Relocation, ASPCAJuly 2019

Part 1 of 2. During this two-part workshop, viewers learn how to measure the negative and positive effects of working in a mission driven caring profession. This presentation was recorded at the 2019 ASPCA Maddie's® Cornell Shelter Medicine Conference.


Proactive Return to Owner Programs

Shyanne Schull, Director, Washoe County Regional Animal Services, and Paula Powell, Director, El Paso Animal ServicesMarch 2019

Learn about how two very large animal shelters reached higher live release rates by attaining Return to Owner rates over 25% - way above best practice!


Save Lives in Space Crises

Michele Figueroa, Christi Metropole and Faith WrightMarch 2019

Learn how to not end lives due to temporary space shortages by pulling other levers that will decrease the pressure that you feel.


Saving Dogs with Behavioral Challenges

Aaron Caldwell, Dog Behavior Co-Manager, Austin Pets Alive! and Mike Kaviani, Director, OC Animal CareMarch 2019

Viewers will learn about cutting edge ways to solve non-shelter created behavior problems in shelter dogs.


Conquer Fear and Doubt: Managing Your Team Through Change and Controversy - panel

Tawny Hammond, Jose Ocano, Mike Kaviani and Paula PowellMarch 2019

Learn how to be a motivating people manager and help your team reach their goals - even through change and controversy.


Unleashing the People Potential: How to Develop an Extraordinary Volunteer Culture for Winning Organizations

Gina Knepp and Bobby MannOctober 2018

Learn how a small municipal shelter attracted over 2,000 volunteers who give over 100,000 hours of service annually.


Crazy Awesome Customer Service for Animal People

Sue Cosby, Director of Lifesaving Programs & Partnerships, Petco FoundationOctober 2018

Learn how to integrate great customer experiences into everyday interactions, developing not just a customer relationship but creating supporters, donors and even advocates.



How to Help People Resolve Some Common Behavior Problems and Keep Their Pets

Kelley Bollen, MS, CABC, Owner and Executive Director, Kelley Bollen ConsultingOctober 2018

This talk reviews the most common behavior problems in dogs and cats and provides practical advice that can be shared with the pet owner to help keep pets in their homes.


Leadership Requires Attention

Gina Knepp, Animal Care Services Manager, Front Street Animal Shelter, City of SacramentoOctober 2018

Leadership takes a special skillset and mindset. How your staff and volunteers are managed is but one key to success. It takes courage, hard work and creativity but the pay-off is well worth every effort.


Leadership - The Who, How, What and When

Susanne Kogut, President and Executive Director, PetCo FoundationOctober 2018

In order to create a lifesaving community, our leadership needs to create a workshop of possibilities...the who is you, the how is together, the what is a positive attitude and the when is now.


Effective Communication for Staff and Volunteers, Part 1

Susan Britt, Senior Director of Shelter Training, Interim Director of Operations, ASPCA December 2018

This workshop covers techniques to keep a conversation productive and respectful.


Effective Communication for Staff and Volunteers, Part 2

Susan Britt, Senior Director of Shelter Training, Interim Director of Operations, ASPCA December 2018

This interactive workshop on honing communication skills in the shelter (or any) workplace continues from Part 1.


Engaging the Community: How to Make Your Organization a Vital Presence in Your Community

Bonney Brown, President and Founder, Humane NetworkDecember 2018

In this presentation, learn how to get the word out about your organization, develop strong relationships, ways to create memorable communication and how people become engaged, the pitfalls to avoid, and things you can do right away.


Influencing Local Policy

Jill Beckwith, Chief Philanthropy Officer, EmancipetDecember 2018

This presentation offers a step-by-step process on forming strategic relationships with policy makers to help inform their decisions.


The Role of Public Health in Animal Sheltering

Jeanette O'Quin, DVM, MPH, Clinical Assistant Professor, Shelter Medicine and Veterinary Public Health, Ohio State University College of Veterinary MedicineDecember 2018

This presentation discusses how sheltering practices in the U.S. are impacting public health internationally, in particular Ethiopia.


What's Next? Improving Welfare in Your Community with Limited Resources

Carolyn R. Brown and Jocelyn KesslerDecember 2018

This workshop helps you to identify the needs of your community and discover how to maximize your resources and incorporate affordable and accessible preventive and basic veterinary care into your organization.


Positive Alternatives to Shelter Surrender (PASS)

January 2017

How wonderful would it be if you could prevent animals from ever coming into your shelter in the first place?


How Your Animal Shelter Can Save Cats by Helping People

Rachel D. K. FinneyJanuary 2017

innovative programs that allowed each cat in need of help to receive the exact services that individual cat -- and that cat's human caretakers!


Lifesaving Animal Control Policies

Lee Ann Shenefiel, April Moore, Maria AlvaradoFebruary 2017

Learn how to leverage limited resources to engage the community in animal welfare and keep people and pets safe.


Moving Forward: Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Vincent MedleyJuly 2016

Knowing the talents of individual team members is key to setting them up for success. When a staff member is successful, their programs are usually successful.


How to make sure adopters are welcome at your shelter or rescue group

June 28, 2016

Are ‘Adopters Welcome’ at your shelter or rescue group? If not, a new DIY action plan can help you get on board with this revolutionary adoption philosophy. Even if they already are, this resource can help you kick it up a notch! The Humane Society of the United States created Adopters Welcome not only to…


Cat Adoptions 2.0 High Volume Cat Adoptions

Monica FrendenFebruary 2015

Too many cats, not enough adopters? Supersize your cat adoption program! In this Level 2 seminar, you'll learn how to manage a population of hundreds of cats in varying stages of your organization.


Exceeding Customer Service Expectations in Relation to Adoptions

Marc PeraltaFebruary 2015

Are doing all you can to help increase the number of animal lives saved? This seminar focuses on the impact of exceptional customer service.


Reducing Shelter Admissions with an Animal Help Desk

Bonney Brown, Executive Director, Nevada Humane SocietyMarch 2013

Sixty percent of the callers who wanted to surrender one or more pets were convinced to try alternatives as a result of Nevada Humane Society’s free Animal Help Desk.


When the Adopters Show Up, Will Your Shelter Be Ready?


The Shelter Pet Project advertising campaign may put shelter customer service to the test.