November 5, 2020

Animal Shelter Appreciation Week – Showing Our Customer Service Team Some Love

HSPPR employee with bird on her shoulder

Carolyn H

Taylor D

It’s Animal Shelter Appreciation Week! And, while we appreciate EVERY person involved in keeping our shelters open for pets in need (including donors, volunteers, supporters, transfer partners, and staff), we wanted to use this week to highlight some unsung heroes in the industry – our customer service team!

Our customer service staff work very hard every single day. They reunite lost pets with their owners, comfort people who are surrendering their animals, help people as they adopt their new pets, answer countless questions and phone calls, and SO. MUCH. MORE.

So, to get some insight on what they do and why they love it, we interviewed two outstanding customer service representatives from our Colorado Springs and Pueblo locations. Here’s what they had to say:

What’s your favorite part of your job?

Seeing pets reunited with their families – and even better when a shelter animal finds a new home and gets their better second chance! – Taylor D

I really enjoy making matches with lost and found reports and seeing the animals being reunited with their owners (whether it has been a couple of hours or a couple of years). – Carolyn H

What’s something most people don’t know about your job?

It’s not just playing with puppies and kitties. I think the public sees our job as a dream job, and it is, but on the inside it’s more complicated than that. It’s seeing the sick, sometimes critical, animals rise above the illness, or the shy animals come out of their shells. Occasionally falling in love with an animal and having to make the decision to humanely euthanize to save them from pain. – Taylor D

The volume of data entry that we do quickly is a lot.  Being able to write memos for one animal quickly and detailed, while talking with a patron about something else… while talking on the phone… – Carolyn H

What’s one story from your job that is the most memorable?

Here at HSPPR one that has stuck with me is Meg the cat. Meg’s owner’s name is Samantha, and unexpectedly Meg got critically sick, and Samantha came in hoping we could save Meg’s life. And I of course got attached and equally emotional about the situation. We had humanely euthanize Meg, as she had panleukopenia and was critically ill. It broke my heart to have to tell them the news, but I stayed as strong as I could for them. A few days later, I ran into Samantha’s husband on my way home. He thanked me for being there for them when they had the unexpected thrown at them and told me that his wife was starting to make a recovery from the loss of her pet. It’s the ones we attach ourselves to that become most memorable.  – Taylor D

I’ve been here many years and there are always new stories and new people that remain lodged in my memories. – Carolyn H  

Why do you work in this role for HSPPR?

I work in Customer Service because I love the feeling of watching those furbabies go to their new homes. It’s the excitement of an adoption or an RTO (return to owner) that keeps me going to work. Yes, I see beautiful dogs and cats every day, but it’s seeing the happy smiles and happy paws that makes me smile like a dork and aim for the next one in line to go home.  – Taylor D

I enjoy helping people and animals when they’re scared, stressed or happy… people don’t always make the best decisions, and I appreciate being able to help them in making decisions for the animals that they love. – Carolyn H

Thank you, customer service team, for all you do for both the pets and the people in our community!