At Yavapai Humane Society (YHS) we are always looking for new ways to help our pets find their perfect homes. However, some pets get adopted a lot faster than others. Often times we cannot pinpoint why. It is not uncommon to overhear staff and volunteers on campus pondering why a dog or cat has stayed in the shelter for so long despite their wonderful personality. These special animals could use some extra promotion and support to help get them adopted into the right home and this is where our new Animal Advocate program comes into play.
The program supports volunteers who want to advocate for long term dogs and cats. Dogs like Harley who was with us for 92 days. Harley, a cute black lab mix, was the first pup in the animal advocate program. His advocate was YHS volunteer Coleen Stivers. Coleen was brave enough to be our first official animal advocate and it only took her 17 days to find Harley’s perfect family.
Coleen has been instrumental in launching the animal advocate program. Not only has she found perfect homes for five harder to adopt dogs during her 3 months advocating at YHS – she’s also volunteered her time to coach other volunteers on how to be successful animal advocates.
Last month Coleen put on an animal advocate class with the help of volunteer photographer Stephanie Brown and a few YHS staff members. The class was held at the Prescott Library and open to the general public in hopes of recruiting volunteer animal advocates.
During the class Coleen talked about identifying those animals most in need of advocacy and how all it takes to become an advocate is commitment, creativity, and a big heart. Stephanie taught the attendees the importance good animal photos to promote the homeless pets, and with her photography expertise, she gave the volunteers tips on getting just the right shots. Elisabeth Haugan, Marketing and Development Director at YHS, shared tips on using social media and presented other ways to market homeless pets. Plus, the YHS Behavior Team taught some basic dog handling skills for making the pups show their best for photos and off campus appearances.
We are all excited about this new way to promote and campaign shelter pets. For more information on the Animal Advocacy program contact our YHS Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected] or 928-445-2666 ext 103.