We are thrilled to announce that, thanks to a grant from the ASPCA, we are joining over 750 other shelters in implementing the Adoption Ambassador program! This program allows potential adopters to meet available animals outside of a shelter environment with our Adoption Ambassadors.
Foster parent Brooke has fostered many kittens already, & found forever homes for almost all of them!
What is it?
For Adoption Ambassadors: Members of the community join the BHS family and become an Adoption Ambassador! Ambassadors are an integral part of our adoption team; they take home available animals, find their perfect matches, and send them home.
For Potential Adopters: Search our pet listings for available animals, animals in the program will have a special filter over their photos that say "Adoption Ambassador", with details in their bio about how to get in touch with their host to set up a meet and greet! You can also come into the shelter to take a look at our Adoption Ambassador command center. Photos of all of the animals in the program, along with their paperwork and contact information for their Adoption Ambassador will be available near our merchandise area.
How do I become an Adoption Ambassador?
Applying is easy! Fill out this application and send it to our Volunteer and Foster Care Coordinator Katelyn at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be in touch with you as soon as possible to set up a brief orientation. After that you will attend a quick training session, get an invite to our private Adoption Ambassador Facebook group, and then we will get you started with your first furry friend!
A special thanks to the ASPCA for awarding the Bangor Humane Society with a generous grant, as well as the tools and support necessary to implement this innovative program to help BHS make more matches and find more homes for the animals in our community!
Fast Track Dog's Day Out
Not quite ready to take an animal into your home for an overnight? That's okay! We are thrilled to announce our Fast Track Dog's Day Out program, insipired by Adoption Ambassadors. The program encourages people to take our dogs offsite for some time out and about, and have them back before the shelter cloeses that same day.
It's so easy to participate in the program; come in, fill out a quick forum, let us take a copy of your driver's license, and see if we have any dogs that are a match for your activity level. We have a Dog's Day Out tote bag with supplies (food and water dishes, treat bags, harness, leash, treats, toys, "Adopt Me!" vest or bandanna, and a Dog's Day Out report card). Pick up your tote bag, work with staff to pick out your dog, and then go have fun! We encourage people to take dogs to the Bangor City Forest, home for a snuggle session on the couch, to a doggy friendly restuarant, anywhere you want - the possilbities are endless. When you come back, just give us back the dog, the tote bag, and the completed Dog's Day Out report card. The report card highlights what you did and how your canine companion liked their adventure.
This program has been great for our community and our dogs! Not only do other community members get to meet our dogs out and about in a non-shelter setting, the people who participate in the program sometimes end up falling in love and adopting their Dog's Day Out partner!
Winston - pictured here with his new owners - was adopted through the program! His owners had taken quite a few dogs out through the program, in hopes of giving them some one-on-one time out of their kennels (and possibly finding a human companion willing to adopt)! Winston was a different kind of Dog's Day Out candidate though, he quickly stole their hearts and they decided to take him home for good.
Adoption Ambassador FAQ
Yes! We will supply all food, supplies, and necessary veterinary care if applicable. Each Adoption Ambassador will also receive a special TShirt (while supplies last), and animals in the program will receive a special Adopt Me vest or bandanna to wear when they are out and about!
We encourage Adoption Ambassadors to network with friends, family, and other Ambassadors to find homes. We also are huge fans of social media: post your animals on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more with the hashtag #BHSAdoptMyFoster. We will help you promote with the animal's photo, information, and more in our lobby. We also invite Adoption Ambassadors to a private Facebook group to share stories, brainstorm, and ask questions! Having trouble finding your foster a home? Don't fret! Just reach out to your Adoption Ambassador contact and we will figure something out.
In most cases, Adoption Ambassadors will have an email address available to potential adopters. Potential adopters will email to set up a meet and greet. If a great potential adopter doesn't have an email, a staff person at BHS will set up the meet and greet for the potential adopter. For privacy reasons we do not recommend giving out personal home or cell phone numbers.
Now it's all up to you! We trust our Adoption Ambassadors to find new forever homes, and complete the process from start to finish:
- Ensure the adopter is a good fit for the animal through verbal confirmation and by having them fill out a pre-adoption survey.
- Set up a meet and greet and address any concerns the potential adopter may have. Make the match!
- Complete the adoption contract provided by BHS.
- Collect the adoption fee (cash only) and put the adoption contract, money, and pre-adoption survey into the "Someone Adopted My Foster!" envelope.
- Drop the envelope off at the shelter by the next business day.
- Let your Adoption Ambassador contact know when you're ready to help the next animal find their forever home!
Not necessarily. You are welcome to have potential adopters at your home to do a meet and greet if you feel comfortable doing so. BHS is also happy to have you bring any dogs to the shelter; they can do visits around our trail, in one of our fenced in yards, or even in our large administration office. Just contact us to give us a head's up that you will be coming by. Cats and small animals can also be brought to the shelter to do visits in in our administration office. Meet ups can also happen at local parks and other animal friendly establishments.
We also have a partnership with PetSmart and PetLife, where meets can be set up at both stores. To set up a meeting this way, just get in touch with a staff member and we would love to faciilate it for you!
There are many, we were hooked the second we learned about it!
Return rates: animals are going from home-to-home, and because of that the matches made are even better than shelter-to-home. In the program, our Adoption Ambassadors really get to know the available animals outside of a kennel environment, making them better match makers, in turn making it less likely that the animal will be returned. Less time spent in a kennel: this one is a no-brainer, the less time an animal has to spend in a kennel, the better. A new audience: the ASPCA conducted a survey at two different shelters, asking people inside each shelter if they had ever adopted before. They then polled people who adopted from the Adoption Ambassador program at the same shelters and asked them the same question. Over 70% of the people who adopted from the Adoption Ambassador program had never adopted before. We can't wait to change the way people think about shelter pets and pet adoption in general!
Just get in touch with Foster Care Coordinator Katelyn, we would love to have you find adopters for your fosters!
Our Foster Care program and our Adoption Ambassadors program work in conjunction with each other, but there is still a need for each individual program at BHS. Foster parents take in animals that need to be socialized, have medical issues, etc. and benefit from going into foster care before they go up for adoption. Adoption Ambassadors host animals that are already available for adoption and find them their forever homes.
If you are a current foster parent and are interested in finding your foster animal a home through the Adoption Ambassadors program, we welcome you to do so! Just get in touch with Volunteer and Foster Care Coordinator Katelyn – we can’t wait for you to be an Adoption Ambassador for your foster!
That's okay! We understand that sometimes it may take a while, or sometimes a different audience is needed for a particular animal. If you don't find your match right away, or feel like it's been a while since you've had any interest, get in touch with Volunteer and Foster Care Coordinator, Katelyn. Maybe switching out for a different animal, or taking a break, will be all you need to start attracting new adopters!