Mission-Driven Work

Pasadena Humane seeks volunteers, fosters

By Leah Schwartz

With the holiday season swiftly approaching, Pasadena Humane has one goal: empty the kennels.

This has been the 119-year-old nonprofit’s objective since its inception in 1903. During the past 12 months, more than 2,800 pets have been adopted into forever homes, but many remain.

For the past 119 years, Pasadena Humane has provided shelter, adoption services and life-saving treatments to homeless animals, along with programs that support pet health and well-being after adoption. 

The shelter offers low-cost spay and neuter procedures, a pet food bank, vaccinations and an animal support call center. But through it all, adopting and fostering animals out of the kennels remain their priority. 

This year’s seasonal fostering initiative is aptly named “Home for the Holidays,” which encourages community members to open their homes to homeless animals. There’s a particular need for fosters for larger dogs, who make up a large portion of the dogs at the shelter. 

Dia DuVernet, who has served as president and CEO of Pasadena Humane for the last three years, knows that adoption can be a big commitment. When broached the topic, she explains that fostering could offer a low-commitment solution. 

“Of course, adopting is a wonderful way to give a homeless pet a home for the holidays, and we would love for folks to consider bringing a shelter pet into their family this holiday season,” she says.

“But we know that not everyone can make a permanent commitment. So, we’re also encouraging people to foster pets if they can. That gives the pets a much-needed break from the kennels and a little respite.”

Although fostering is usually short term, the effects on an animal’s well-being can last far longer.

“Research has shown that just a few days out of the shelter reduces the stress and anxiety in shelter pets, which ultimately helps them get adopted,” she says. 

Fostering an animal can last as little as two weeks or indefinitely, as fostering can be a great way to see if a pet is a good fit without making a long-term commitment. Pasadena Humane provides all supplies to foster homes and access to a 24/7 foster emergency hotline.

But for those unable to commit to fostering or adoption, animal lovers can volunteer or make a donation in a loved one’s name for a meaningful holiday gift. There is also an Amazon wishlist for patrons to purchase much-needed supplies directly to the shelter, like bedding and food. 

Since COVID-19, Pasadena Humane has made a few needed changes to its operation. 

“We’ve kept some of those changes because it turned out that they were positive,” DuVernet says. 

Now, adoptions are made by appointment, available seven days a week, to meet with an adoption counselor who matches patrons with compatible pets. 

This system allows prospective adopters and pets more individualized attention. 

“We found that it’s a better customer experience for the adopter because they get that dedicated time and also having less traffic in the kennels helps the animals to reduce anxiety to sleep more and to have a less stressful environment,” she says.

Community members interested in adopting a pet can schedule an appointment online. Still, for those looking to visit, the shelter is open for walk-in visiting hours on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

With countless animals still living in kennels, Pasadena Humane has one holiday wish.

“We really are hoping that folks will help to give animals some comfort and joy this holiday season by providing them at home either through adopting or through fostering,” she says.

Pasadena Humane

361 S. Raymond Avenue, Pasadena

626-792-7151, pasadenahumane.org

Leave a Reply