Special to The Dallas Examiner
Dallas Animal Services has joined a national coalition that includes 13 other animal shelters in the Human Animal Support Services, a pilot program that implements a new animal welfare organizational model that recognizes pets and people as family-units and works to keep them together.
“The driving force behind all DAS operations is our motto of public safety, compassion and no shortcuts, and we believe joining HASS is the next logical step in that direction,” said DAS director Ed Jamison.
DAS and HASS have recognized that many of Dallas’ animal challenges are rooted in significant struggles surrounding inequity facing our human population. HASS pilot shelters will expand their role from mainly response-based services to comprehensive, social service-inspired programs that will help keep pets with their families, get lost pets home more quickly and assist pet owners who are struggling to meet their pets’ needs.
“Our focus on innovation, including our response to COVID-19, means that we are already leaders in many of the HASS-model aspects,” Jamison said. “The HASS coalition will help to create systemic change across the country that will ultimately end the cycle of need by addressing the true causes of our largest challenges that include threats to public safety, loose dogs, pet homelessness and non-compliance.”
The idea for HASS was developed during the beginning stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, as leaders in animal welfare watched record numbers of pets being housed in foster homes and discussed the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on shelter operations and the community at large.
The coalition will help its pilot organizations, including DAS, advance their operations by testing new resources, technologies and programs, including many that have proven to be successful as part of amended COVID-19 practices. These practices include remote services like veterinary telehealth and text support, comprehensive stray and lost pet return services, supported self-rehoming for people who cannot keep their pets and community-based animal protection services.
More than 100 industry leaders, including those from national organizations, shelter veterinarians and animal shelter directors are part of this collaborative effort, with 20 additional animal shelters participating in phase two of the project in the coming months.
To learn more about Dallas Animal Services and how you can help save a life, visit dallasanimalservices.org. For more information about HASS, visit http://www.humananimalsupportservices.org.