I have been an adopter and occasional volunteer over many years. This is an organization that continues to grow and improve in all areas. They hold some creative fundraisers to directly enhance the lives of both cats and dogs while they wait for their forever families to adopt them. A new 'living room' downstairs is a great example. This is a place within the shelter that feels like a home to the animals. It is available for volunteers and staff to spend some quiet time getting to know new arrivals. There is a couch, TV/Movies/Fireplace and just a nice warm feeling of home. Potential adoptive families can also use the space to get to know animals. There are also two new spaces for cats. One is outside and one inside where cats can roam in a larger space to socialize. Not that the cat 'condos' aren't large enough....they are! Indoor/Outdoor condos with hammocks to lounge in and space to stretch out.
There is a new training program where some dogs go home with a certificate/credit toward training at a local facility. The staff also receives periodic training from these professionals.
I find it refreshing to hear the staff's knowledge of the animals in their care. You can tell they spend time with each and every one as time allows.
The shelter is very clean as well! Overall a nice place to visit and volunteer.
Review from Guidestar
I have adopted three cats from this shelter and I donate my time and supplies whenever possible. This shelter has several volunteers who are extremely dedicated to the best interest of the animals while in the shelter and as they are being adopted. The shelter is clean, and the health of the animals is well-monitored.
There is lots of room for improvement with the public relations, promoting adoptions, screening, matching, and supporting adopters. Much more enthusiasm needs to be inspired in the reception staff. There are so many fundraising events supported by the community, but never any adoption events or outreach that I've seen in the past 6 years. I strongly believe that all animal shelters should have a trainer on staff or on call at least part time. Any dogs surrendered to the shelter should be formally temperament tested upon intake and any issues worked on with a trainer or at least a volunteer. I have been informed that several dogs were euthanized for behaviors that were likely due to the stress of confinement and could have been modified with minimal training.
I hope that the board will address some of the weaknesses in the operation of this potentially wonderful shelter. They do help many animals, and they coud help many more with some inspiration and updated protocol.
I volunteered here for eight months in 2010. The animals are loved and well-cared for. Staff and volunteers keep all the animal areas clean and help to socialize the cats and dogs. Harvest Hills staff are very professional, friendly, and talkative. I never felt like a burden when I needed to ask a question about the daily routine or animal care. I have adopted three cats from here and all are social, loving, and definitely grateful to have a forever home!
If you don't like dealing with animal poop or have senstivities to cleaning materials like bleach, this volunteer job might not be for you. Harvest Hills also have opportunities to be involved in fundraising, so if you'd rather stay clean, ask how to help in other ways!