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Purrspectives: What I Wish Everyone Knew About Working the Help Desk

A HOPE Help Desk volunteers have the opportunity to talk directly with our animal-loving community. It can be tough, as so many are faced with stray cats showing up, having kittens, or being abandoned in their area. You call because you want to help the animals and, unfortunately, we and so many other organizations in our area are almost always at capacity and oftentimes just cannot help directly. It can be very sad sometimes.

Each Help Desk volunteer has an app on their phone that directly links to A HOPE’s business number. So, when a call comes in, we will get an email with the message transcribed, and we can then return the call from our phone via the app. A HOPE’s business number appears on caller ID. For written communications, we will again receive an email linked to A HOPE and can respond accordingly. All of these different messages populate onto a Google Groups forum for record-keeping purposes. There are more than 11,000 entries on the forum to date! It’s a pretty slick system.

Now, I love the kitties, and A HOPE is all about our adorable felines nurtured by our incredible fosters, but, I admit, I’m a dog person! The bigger the better. Being the parent of my own pup (65 lbs of pure love!), I seem to connect even more so with my fellow dog parents. Most recently, I recall the nicest lady calling the Help Desk looking for a low-cost spay for her pup (a Great Dane just over 100 lbs…her baby!).

A few adorable puppy pals who have joined us on transports.

Unfortunately, A HOPE is unable to transport dogs over 100 lbs as we just don’t have the room. But our role on the Help Desk is not just to say we can’t help. We provide resources and options. I went over all of these options with this caller. One was to make an appointment directly with Operation Spay Bay independently of our transports. Not everyone has the ability to take a day to drive to Panama City for this, but if it’s possible, it’s a great alternative. We’ve also comprised a list of other clinics in Alabama that offer lower-cost options and, again, if they are able to go the distance, it provides more options.

With The Barbara Grice Memorial Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic through the Pensacola Humane Society having not been operating now for months, options for local dog parents have been slimmed down to our 10 dogs per month on our transports. Boy, do we ever need to get our A HOPE clinic up and running! It’s coming…..join us as we grow!!

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