I volunteered here with a work group. I loved learning about the amazing work they do. The are an asset to our community.
We found our sweet and beautiful dog Bailey through this foundation. They did an excellent job of getting to know their dogs and understanding their traits in order to make successful placements. They also understood what we needed as a family. We adopted Bailey who had already lived in two other homes. We are so lucky to have her- she is our protector, our best friend, and she is wonderful with our children. She makes us laugh every day. We are so thankful for finding her through Lost Our Home!
I volunteer at this amazing organization! It is committed to helping the pets in their care, be they adoptable, or there for low cost boarding for those families in crisis. It's an amazing organization and I am proud to be a small part of it.
Lost Our Home offers so many unique programs to help the people of our community facing a variety of hardships. Even in the most heartbreaking and awful of situations that they find themselves facing, they do everything they can to find the best solution for everyone involved. The animals are always very well cared for between the loving staff and caring volunteer base. It's always clean and smells so wonderful, too. It's by no means an easy field to work in, but the people here absolutely have the heart to do it.
I've worked in the animal welfare world for quite some time and Lost Our Home is a shelter that truly cares about their staff, volunteers, and customers. Their Temporary Care Program and partnership with Sojourner domestic violence shelter is very unique and has helped keep pets and pet parents together.
I was introduced to LOH back in March when I found a kitty (Tommy) wandering around my apartment complex. He was so sweet and in need of attention, he could only be someone's fur baby. Within 12 hours of posting his pic online, I had - not one, but TWO - messages from two very relieved LOH volunteers. Those wonderful ladies went so far out of their way to get sweet Tommy back: searching around; setting up food, shelter, and traps, even going as far as meeting me after their long work day & again first thing in the morning once we recaptured him. The poor guy had quite the adventure, having been dumped in an act of desperation! Now, I didn't know this at the time, but Tommy had become something of a celebrity mascot of [complex name withheld]! Some residents knew him, some fed him & when he was found, the complex had cause celebre! Anyway, after days on his own (well...mostly on his own), his owners clearly weren't sold on taking him home (understsndable with baby on the way; though LOH did offer to foster/test him til he got the all clear). I fostered him over night until the super hero Florine, met me at 6am (!!!) to pick him up so that I wouldn't miss work. The situation could have gotten really awkward or even heated since his (ex) owners and I found him simultaneously. I can't speak for them, but I'd been looking for him since I posted his picture 3 days prior (he wasn't quite ready to forgive hoomans that first day); it was a HUGE coincidence that we searched for & found him at exactly the same time. Once I learned who they were, I called LOH immediately to let them know I found Tommy and his most recent adopters were present. To the never ending credit of Florine, she gracefully but firmly mediated the conversation/resolution over the phone. Thanks to her, we all came to the agreement that Tommy deserved a shot at happiness with another family more ready. I felt horrible "taking" Tommy just as I'm sure they felt terrible "surrendering" him, but it truly was in his best interest. Tommy was successfully re-homed almost immediately. He is happy and very loved with his new family!
I know of no other shelter so willing to go SO FAR above and beyond!! LOH and it's volunteers handled everything perfectly... from communication to care and convenience and calm. They quite literally saved this little guy's life. And you know what? This is 1 story out of HUNDREDS just like it heard over the last 6 months.
I now volunteer with LOH and my team really does care for the wellbeing and best interest of both hoomans and our animals equally. They have most genuine passion I've ever seen. We take the time to help our families and match the appropriate kitty to each family's situation and desires. Thank you LOH crew for being you!!
As a side note/after thought that's relevant to my story I'd like to point out the following: if an adoption isn't working out for you, LOH will accept the animal back with open arms and no questions asked. Similarly, if your struggling and are in need of assistance (whether due to financial issues, behavioural, or anything in between) LOH will do all that we can. We give surplus food to food banks and can help you with feeding your pet or if integration isn't going so well, we can help you with that, too!
My teen daughter and I volunteer regularly at LOH. It has been a great experience. They do an awesome job with the animals...some of whom are easy to place and some not so easy...from puppies/kittens to seniors...from rowdy to blind...from undernourished to obese. The staff and volunteers really get to know the animals. Volunteers are a crucial part of the operation of this non-profit walking dogs, cleaning, laundry, organization, adoption events, etc.
Also have amazing temporary care program which we have seen how much it benefits families in need to keep animals they might otherwise need to relinquish.
Have had the pleasure of volunteering for LOH this past year and I am amazed at how incredibly dedicated everyone involved in this group is. It's been a pleasure to give anytime that I have to do my small part with such a wonderful organization. The fur babies are truly their most important priority and it is extremely heartwarming to be associated with this group of dedicated people...
My husband found a kitten at work. She was so lovey and friendly, we believed she had been someone's pet. We tried to find the owners and then tried to find her a home. We knew we couldn't keep her and we didn't want to take to the county animal shelter. Lost Our Home was the only rescue that said they would take her. The staff was super friendly and the facility was very clean. We know the kitten will find a great home!
I have been volunteering at this shelter for several months now, and they are simply excellent at what they do. The temporary boarding program is awesome, the facilities are excellent and the way they work with the animals to keep them engaged and make them better able to fit into their (hopefully!) new homes are outstanding. Everyone there is friendly and committed. It is genuinely a joy to work there.
I started volunteering here after I experienced a couple of traumatic events. I needed an outlet that was not only close to my school, but also helped out the community. When I found Lost Our Home, I was completely ecstatic. I’ve volunteered at other shelters before, but none of them met the standards I prefer to be in, except for LOH. They care so much for their animals and try to find the best possible homes for them; and it shows not only in their work ethic, but also with how much love and support they give to each animal. I’ve never been happier giving my time to an organization such as this.
We have adopted all three of our pets from Lost Our Home. Their care of the animals and dedication to placing the animals in the right homes is the best of any shelter around. They run an efficient operation with minimal staff and a large cadre of volunteers. We were so impressed with how things are run that not only did we adopt our fur-kids from Lost Our Home, my human daughter and I are now volunteers as well!!!
This outstanding non profit s a great resources to the state of Arzona both for the servces they provide to the community and for the mentoring that they do to rescues and other on-profits seeking their own excellence.
Please support them in any way you can as they continue to provide both rescue services and aid to those needing temporary pet housing or pet food support!
It is our honor to partner with this outstanding agency who has done so much good n the Arizona community, lead by an Executive Officer that so graciously provides guidance to other non-profits to help them grow quickly and effectively!
.Lost Our Home Pet Rescue's founder and director, Jodi Polanski, who was honored for being one of 30 of the Phoenix Business Journal's 2016 Outstanding Women in Business, also s a graduate of ASU's Lodestar Non-Profit School and an untiring member of the Business Leadership of Arizona.
While it is unfortunate, that some people don't understand the politics of food products and some company's need to protect themselves from liability as well as a profit strategy, by having people throw out food and buy more, we too are blessed by companies giving us pet products past the "sell by " date to able to give to others who are having challenges and are facing giving up their beloved pets.Because of this we have been able to give $675,000 worth of pet food and pet items to 11 counties in Arizona, and count Lost our Home as one of our role models. Interested people can read more here: http://www.emptybowlpetfoodpantry.org/pet-food-safety.html and don't forget to follow the links to learn how some companies prosper by playing to our fears.
Congratulations as well, on being a Guidestar Gold Star member for your agency transparency. http://www.guidestar.org/profile/37-1589959 We suspect that you have also been chosen to apply for the Platinum rating, to appear in a few months.
CJ Anderson, Founder/President/CEO
When I started volunteering at Lost our Home, I was about 11 years old. My father and I were driving home one day when I noticed a PetSmart near us was having a grand opening, so I asked if we could go check it out. After a couple minutes of wandering around, I found the Cat Room and all the cats they had out for adoption. Now, I never had a cat before, so I was so intrigued to learn more about the fluffy, soft little things. I spent a good hour or two there holding, petting, and playing with a tiny little grey kitten that was found and needed love. With my dad's permission, every Saturday and Sunday from then on I volunteered. 10am-4pm, for a few years. About two years ago, I moved 20 minutes away from that PetSmart, so I slowly stopped being able to volunteer. Just recently, my dad and I started going to the shelter together to volunteer for the cats and dogs again. Lost Our Home is an amazing shelter, with amazing people. It has definitely influenced me for the better, and I absolutely love the organization. Thank you for everything you've done for me!
I'm a journalism student at the Walter Cronkite ASU school, and wrote this story about the culture of volunteers at the Lost Our Home, while I'm also a volunteer! It really captures how great the place is.
Even when the sign on the front door says “closed,” a place like the Lost Our Home Pet Foundation is always open with an unlocked door ready for whoever walks in. This shelter, LOH for short, is a no-kill shelter that shines with potential forever love inside and out. When most people first hear the word “shelter,” they think of a dark place filled with small cages, lined up in long rows facing one another with animals packed inside, sad and ready to die in a week. If that same person were to walk in this shelter with that idea, they’d be blown away with the atmosphere. You feel hope for the animals in there, looking for their forever home, knowing that someone will come by one day ready to give that to them. Not only is a shelter like LOH a place where animals can find their evermore dwelling, but it holds the passionate volunteers that make it worth your time.
When I first walk into the shelter, they have a smiling volunteer and worker at the front desk, both ready to help me with whatever I need. There’s a fresh scent of Pine Sol in the air that warms my nose. The FIV positive fat cat Baylor meows at me before the volunteer desk assistance can help me. My eyes are glued to Baylor, and then Renee Fridman, as she asked me what I can do for her. Fridman isn’t usually working the front desk, but she already knows what she’s doing, as if it isn’t her first time up here. It’s my first time seeing her up here.
I don’t expect Fridman to recognize me at first. She’s usually back in the dog’s shaded area outside in the fake grass, spraying down a happy pup who has its tongue out, belly up in the mini pool. Fridman has been volunteering for LOH for over four months now, and while she is usually shuffling around a happy dog waiting for their walk, sometimes I find her in the cat room trying to lure one of the chubbier cats onto the exercise wheel. They catch onto her game quickly, but she always tries it.
“Did Tootsie get adopted yet?” I ask Fridman, and then she remembers who I am. She’s always forgetting that I’m not silver trained, just bronze trained, so I never get to hang with the dogs. I have to be trained to work my way up to the silver status, but until then, my bronze status means I’m socializing with the cats. Her face lights up with joy, and I instantly know that Tootsie finally found her forever home. Fridman is your ultra-animal lover, and doesn’t stop at just cats and dogs. Although she has had over 15 animals in her lifetime, it’s inclusive with cats, dogs, snakes, tarantulas, turtles, and as she states, “God knows how many fish.”
Fridman has always been a fan of giving back to the community – especially animals, as they need the help the most. “I used to work in behavioral health, but with helping at Lost Our Home, I finally feel like I’m doing something that I’ve always wanted to do, even if it’s just volunteering. Most people seem to want pets more than children nowadays, so I want to make sure that all the pets are ready to become a part of someone’s family,” Fridman says.
Some call Fridman a recruiter as well for the organization, as the shelter has been flooded with volunteers who claim to know her. Since she is so involved, she’s volunteering around all parts of the shelter to prepare herself for working at the Petco that the shelter partners with. “The number of volunteers has skyrocketed since I’ve been here; maybe that’s why they like me so much,” says Fridman. “In all reality, though, who wouldn’t want to help with such an organized shelter where it seems like everyone genuinely loves animals and wants the best for them?”
Another volunteer I’ll run into while I’m here is Kimberly McGlynn. The young college student is here every Sunday like myself. She has been volunteering since May of 2016, excitedly approaching her one-year anniversary. I’ll typically find her in the cat room, socializing with all the cats and kittens. She’s always making sure to give the cats that have been at the shelter for what seems like too long a little extra love.
“Mochi’s in a mood, so make sure you give her some space,” McGlynn says as I walk through the gate, making sure no cats are in my way. I see Mochi next to her on the cat post, giving me a side eye as she has another episode. I’ve been bitten once by the cat, but I still always want to give her love. She has worked closely with Mochi while she has been at the shelter for over six months now. She’s been waiting for someone as patient as McGlynn to adopt her and deal with her diagnosed bi-polar disorder. I had never heard of a cat with such a mental disorder. After being diagnosed, she was given up to the shelter, and still hasn’t been neglected ever since she has been back.
McGlynn has further connected with the animals, studying to be a Vet Tech and devoting her time to LOH. She has been doing this to gain not only the hours for when she tries to submit her application in the fall at MCC, but also because this shelter is the only shelter where she has ever felt like a real volunteer.
“There’s always things that need to be done, and they make sure to keep us all informed about events that they want help with. They always let us know how much we are not only needed, but appreciated,” McGlynn says. “It’s refreshing to work with a staff that cares about the animals within it and understand how hard it can be on the future pets.”
Animals have come in under the recommendation of McGlynn, and many have gotten adopted because of her as well. “Not only is it a wonderful place to volunteer for, but I always tell people that find animals or cannot care for their animal anymore to bring them in to Lost Our Home. This way I know they’re going to the right home eventually,” McGlynn says.
She has always told me how comfortable she feels at a place like this, and it shows in how comfortable the animals are with her. McGlynn has had a few animals herself, and knows the important of a no-kill shelter being the go-to for future animal owners. Feral cats and abused animals have felt her love, and giving love to an animal to the point where they finally warm up to you is something special. While most people volunteer to help, the people that volunteer at an animal shelter like LOH are the right kind of people. They seem to have that special connection and touch that cannot be replicated easily.
“Lost Our Home is a second home for me, as it never feels like a chore to volunteer for a place that is so organized, caring, and hardworking to make sure that every animal they come across has a happy life,” McGlynn says.
When I walk around the shelter some more, passing the three cat rooms, the temporary care room, the medical room, and the various “kennels” with the wagging tails coming from sweet dogs on their made-up beds, I eventually run into Jarred Ervin in the back office. While he is a longtime volunteer back in his hometown in Maryland for the Association for Animal Rights, Ervin is the volunteer manager at Lost Our Home, which he feels is a bit of an upgrade.
“When I first moved to Arizona last July to live with some family, I knew I wanted to work with animals like I have my whole life. There were a lot of jobs at multiple shelters, but Lost Our Home caught my eye,” Ervin says. “I’ve always volunteered as a boy scout and my parents wanted me giving back to the community although I didn’t have a lot. I’ve volunteered for the homeless communities, but when it comes to animals, I feel more compelled to help an animal that cannot help themselves.”
While I will usually run into Ervin in the back office on Sundays when I’m volunteering, I will see him all around the shelter playing with dogs and cats and showing some love to the wonderful animals. If he had to choose though, he would rather hang in the back office with Ariel, the 21-pound cat currently on a diet, helping her exercise and stay active and happy. His biggest accomplishment in his two months has involved her. When he first started working, she was 26 pounds, and he has helped her lose five pounds since, knowing that Ariel is his girl and needs his attention.
“I’m a dog person, but it’s hard not to make a best friend like Ariel when she’s always back here hanging out with me,” Ervin says. “My parents always pushed fostering animals when I was young, and I adopted an older chocolate lab mix, Charlie, who I connected with at the shelter back in Maryland. I have to keep telling myself I can’t bring Ariel home – but we will see.”
Although Ervin has been with the organization for two months now, he has made sure to increase the volunteer interactions, as he knows how important something like this is. He acknowledges that the more hours he can get from the volunteers, the more adoptions they can make overall in the shelter. The numbers have been at all-time highs – hitting 138 as of mid-March since the beginning of the year. That number last year during the first three months was 93, and Ervin attributes the high adoptions to the wonderful volunteers.
“A no-kill shelter that offers so many programs like this one and makes your job not even feel like one, is all I could ask for, and I get that at Lost Our Home,” Ervin says. “The people here are the most passionate – especially the volunteers I work with every day – and I encourage them all to be consistent, even when I help them out in my free time.”
I follow many nonprofit animal rescue groups and have adopted pets before, but I can tell you not many compare to Lost Our Home Pet Foundation. I saw a post on Facebook of a little dog that caught my eye, who appeared to be exactly what we were looking for. When I arrived at the rescue place I was instantly impressed with how the animals were being cared for. It seemed more like a pet hotel than a shelter. It was clean and well organized. The staff were all very helpful. I just fell in love with the little dog I went to see and wanted to take him home that day, but he had been exposed to kennel cough and was being treated. The staff took every precaution to not infect the other dogs and he was quarantined. Because I had another dog at home, they recommended he stay at the shelter until he was cleared by their vet to be healthy. When I left that day, I felt like I was leaving my new child behind in a hospital. The staff was very good about keeping me updated on the pups health. I even got pictures sent to me via text
My family and I started volunteering at LOH 2.5 years ago and still enjoy and look forward to being there every single week! We have adopted 5 dogs from LOH as well. Founder Jodi Polanski has created a truly amazing, unique service to our community by providing not only a rescue for dogs and cats, but a food bank to hundreds of families, low cost boarding, a partnership with Sojourner center for women, and a temporary care program for people in transition who need a home for their pets for up to 3 months at a time.
Lost Our Home 08/17/2016
Thank you for your wonderful review! We appreciate all of your hard work and your compassion, dedication and care for the pets! :)
I found out about LOH through the Volunteer Match program at work. I like how they run the rescue and ever since I started volunteering, they just keep on improving in many ways. The organized levels of training and classes along with the newsletters that keep everyone up-to-date is top notch! The staff is beyond friendly and knowledgeable. Jodi made the decision to play an instrumental role in a growing problem here in the valley and focus on rescuing pets that have been abandoned in homes by their previous owners. Not only did she focus on that aspect, but in prevention as well by offering low income boarding among other options to struggling pet parents. I am proud to be a volunteer here!
Lost Our Home 07/13/2016
Thank you so much for the great review! We truly appreciate all of our volunteers, thank you for donating your time and your love for the pets of Lost Our Home Pet Rescue!
LOH does amazing work with dogs and cats who for one reason or another have become homeless! The staff is caring and works to ensure the health of every animal. As a volunteer, I get to share love with these animals, walk them, groom them, and borrow them so they can have a break from shelter life.
LOH also provides low cost temporary housing - my nephew, a vet, recently lost his residence and was able to put his baby girl (black lab) at LOH until he had a place to go with her. What a blessing!
Lost Our Home 07/13/2016
Thank you for this great review! And thank you for volunteering, we are happy to hear your nephew had such a good experience as well!
I was introduced to LOH Pet Foundation almost 2 years ago. I am amazed how it has inspired me to volunteer. The staff is so friendly and their goal is to assist cats and dogs to be adopted to wonderful families. While at the shelter, they are loved and cared for. I am so happy to be there.
Lost Our Home 07/13/2016
Thank you for the wonderful review and your committed volunteer work! We appreciate all of our volunteers, and are so happy to hear how these great pets and experiences have inspired you!