Shelby Humane Society works to expand Adoption Ambassador Program

FROM STAFF REPORTS

COLUMBIANA – Shelby Humane Society is aiming to expand its existing Adoption Ambassador Program, made possible by a grant awarded by the ASPCA.

“In previous years, our foster program has primarily focused on the needs of neonate puppies and kittens, or animals with medical issues,” SHS Executive Director Judy Van Luchene said. “While these foster homes are vital, our Adoption Ambassador Program has struggled finding Foster Care Volunteers.”

Made possible by a grant from ASPCA, Shelby Humane Society's Adoption Ambassador Program is similar to foster care and provides temporary homes to dogs and cats. (Contributed)

Made possible by a grant from ASPCA, Shelby Humane Society’s Adoption Ambassador Program is similar to foster care and provides temporary homes to dogs and cats. (Contributed)

Shelby Humane Society’s Adoption Ambassador Program is similar to foster care, but goes a step further. Adoption Ambassadors provide temporary homes for select dogs and cats, which will be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, heartworm tested (dogs only) and dewormed and microchipped before arriving in their temporary homes.

But unlike foster families, Ambassadors will help maximize their pet’s availability and exposure to potential adopters.

Adoption Ambassadors raise the profiles and availability of their foster pets by placing “Adopt Me” vests on the animals while walking their companions in parks and other pet-friendly, highly visible public venues.

Other creative means, such as social media, homemade signs and by alerting their contacts in their professional and community networks can be used to help find homes for their foster animals.

Once they have found an adopter that is a good fit, they will process the paperwork and present the adopting family with their new companion. As a further reward, they will know, as a result of their efforts, the dog or cat will not have to spend another day at the shelter.

“The most important part of expanding this program is finding foster homes willing to take on healthy, adult animals into their home for an undetermined amount of time,” Apryl Stanley, Foster Coordinator for SHS. “It’s a large task, but we are confident that our community will come through and help us make this program a success.”

For more information about the Shelby Humane Adoption Ambassador program and how to help, email astanley@shelbyhumane.org or call the shelter at 669-3916.

Shelby Humane Society cares for homeless, abused, neglected and abandoned animals and educates the community to instill an increased awareness and commitment to the responsibility of animal ownership.