The Gastineau Humane Society put its best face forward and came away with a $500 weekly prize in an innovative grant program by Maddie's Fund, a foundation working in conjunction with www.Petfinder.com and the Petfinder.com Foundation to improve customer service in animal welfare. Each week, secret shoppers phoned, e-mailed or visited randomly chosen animal rescue groups and found a winner based on the organizations' responses. To be eligible, all groups had to be Petfinder.com members in good standing.
Gastineau Humane Society won the award by responding to a phone call inquiry with helpful information delivered in a courteous way about an available cat or dog posted on the group's website.
"Working in animal welfare can be very stressful and staff often feels underappreciated," said Betsy Saul, co-founder of Petfinder.com. "But it comes to this: we have to treat potential adopters with respect.They are the ones who will help us make the U.S. a nation where all adoptable pets find loving homes, which is the goal of Maddie's Fund and ours at Petfinder as well. Bad customer service stands in the way, while good customer service can make it happen. And Gastineau Humane Society is doing it right."