About HALO

About HALO

Learn more about HALO's dedicated team.

 

This page will answer some of the basic questions you may have about HALO.  If you don't find the answer you're looking for here, contact us and we'll get back to you.

FAQs

Is HALO an acronym for something?

What is HALO's legal name?

Is HALO a 501c3, non-profit organization?

Are my donations to HALO tax-deductible?

What types of animals does HALO accept?

Is HALO a no-kill organization?

Where do HALO's animals come from?

Why doesn't HALO take more animals in directly from their owners?

HALO moved its headquarters to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control's (MCACC) shelter in January 2013. Does this mean that HALO is no longer a no-kill organization? Why did HALO move there?

How, specifically, does HALO work with MCACC to save more lives?

How does HALO select the animals they get from Animal Control?

What if HALO has my pet up for adoption through their program because I didn't find my pet before the stray holding period ended?

Why does HALO get to select the animals for their rescue before other rescues in the community can?

If I adopt an animal from HALO, why do I have to coordinate with MCACC to return it?

What is HALO's policy on taking in moms and babies?

Does HALO make a profit on the animals they adopt out?

How does HALO pay for everything?

Why do you have so many cats, Pit bulls and Chihuahuas?

Is HALO involved in the "bigger picture", trying to help animal welfare in general?

Can I volunteer to help HALO?

 


Is HALO an acronym for something?

Yes, HALO stands for Helping Animals Live On.

What is HALO's legal name?

HALO's legal name is HALO/Helping Animals Live On, Inc.  We conduct business under the trade name HALO Animal Rescue.

Is HALO a 501c3, non-profit organization?

Yes, HALO is a 501c3, non-profit organization recognized by the IRS.  We received our non-profit status in June, 1994. our tax ID number is 86-0832160.

Are my donations to HALO tax-deductible?

Yes, all donations to HALO are tax-deductible.  Please consult with your tax adviser for further information.

What types of animals does HALO accept?

HALO accepts dogs and cats of all ages, sizes and breeds.

Is HALO a no-kill organization?

We are a no-kill organization, which means we never euthanize an animal because we run out of room, for minor illness or injury, for being too young to go up for adoption or for being a bit frightened. HALO will, at times, make the agonizing decision to euthanize an animal that we cannot rehabilitate due to severe injury, illness or severe behavior concerns that are beyond our abilities to treat.

Where do HALO's animals come from?

The vast majority come in as "transfers" from two local partner agencies, the AZ Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care and Control.  For example, for the first 8 months of 2013, our animal intakes (5,480 total) were broken down by:

1.4%

Owner Surrender-taken in directly from their owner.

7.4%

Returns-animals adopted through HALO and subsequently returned to HALO.

91.2%

Transfers in-brought in by HALO from other local rescue organizations that are full and need assistance.

 

Why doesn't HALO take more animals in directly from their owners?

It is a tough decision to make as to which animals an agency will help and which they will need to say no to.  We feel that the animals most in need are the ones that are already within the systems of the Open Admission shelters (those that take in every animal that comes to them) in our community.  While there are many needy cases, there are finite resources and choosing where to focus them is an important decision all rescues are faced with.  We focus our resources on helping our partner shelters because it makes the biggest impact on increasing the number of animals that leave the shelters live (also referred to as the Live Release Rate, or LRR) and decreases the shelter's euthanasia rate.

HALO moved its headquarters to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control's (MCACC) shelter in January 2013. Does this mean that HALO is no longer a no-kill organization? Why did HALO move there?

HALO is still the same organization it has always been with the same values and guiding principles it has always had prior to the move.  HALO is a no-kill, Limited Admission organization, just as all other no-kill organizations are, which means, we select animals to take in to our shelter program based on their health, behavior, our available foster space, adoption floor space, and hospital/treatment space.  HALO has partnered closely with the largest sheltering agencies in Maricopa County for over a decade and feels strongly that with collaboration, more can be accomplished than by working separately.

HALO moved to MCACC in January 2013 after MCACC published an RFP looking for a partner organization to help them elevate their standards of care for the animals, elevate their level of customer service for individuals and families looking to adopt a new pet and to significantly increase their shelter's ability to treat the sick/injured/fearful/underage animals that arrive at their West Phoenix facility each year.  At the same time, HALO's lease at the property on 35th avenue and Camelback was going to expire and there was not an opportunity to sign a new lease because the property had been sold to Grand Canyon University. HALO's leadership strongly believes in collaborative partnerships and maximization of resources throughout the community, and saw this serendipitous need of MCACC's to bring on a partner and HALO needing a new home as the prime opportunity to provide several positive outcomes simultaneously:

  • Elevated standard of care for the animals at MCACC West
    • Better cleaning products and protocols
    • Bordatella vaccinations for every dog upon arrival
    • More specialty surgeries such as dentals and fracture repairs
    • More medical treatment of the sick and injured due to a significant increase in the treatment team staffing
    • More thorough adoption counseling and matchmaking process
    • Microchips for all animals adopted through HALO
    • Elevated level of customer service for MCACC/HALO adopters
    • Much higher number of sick/injured/fearful/underage animals leaving the shelters alive
    • Decreased euthanasia numbers for the community
    • A proper home for HALO; prior to moving in to MCACC HALO's shelter was 3,000 square feet and all the animals and humans were housed in a common space making for a loud, cramped environment
    • Improved marketing of adoptable animals by way of professional quality photos online and real-time website updates

How, specifically, does HALO work with MCACC to save more lives?

  • By handling the vast majority of the adoptions that occur from the West Phoenix shelter location, MCACC staff can focus more time in other areas.
  • By microchipping every animal that is adopted through HALO, it increases their chances of being returned to their home should they become lost and decreases their chances of ending up in the shelter, thus, keeping more shelter space for truly homeless animals.
  • By providing an animal care team, currently more than four dozen employees, to help care for the 30,000+ animals that enter the West shelter every year.
    • Behavior evaluation team
    • Medical team-administers medications/treatments to ill or injured animals
    • Adoptions team
    • Customer service team
    • Enrichment team
    • Investing $47,000 to install outdoor play yards for dogs so more dogs can receive exercise simultaneously.
    • By working with national and local animal welfare agencies to ensure we're practicing the best shelter medicine we can, given our constraints.

So far in 2013, MCACC and HALO's partnership has saved 14% more lives over this same time period last year!

How does HALO select the animals they get from Animal Control?

Each day HALO's Intake Team assesses the animals that arrived at the shelter the previous day.  During this evaluation process, we assess each animal for health and behavior to evaluate whether they may be a good match for our adoption program, our foster program or our hospital/isolation unit.  These decisions are made in the face of what space we currently have available in our hospital, foster homes and our adoption areas.  The more space we have, the more animals we can select. There are some days that we must pass up on animals we feel are adoptable/savable because we do not have any further space in our three areas. Maximizing space is the utmost importance to us; animals' lives depend on it, so we do all we can to keep all our areas full.

 

Once HALO decides an animal is a good match for the program, we put a red mylar (collar) on each animal to help the public and other rescue organizations know these animals are designated for HALO once their stray holding period has ended as long as their owners do not come to reclaim them. If an owner comes to the shelter during the stray holding period, they will arrange to retrieve their pet through MCACC. MCACC puts a memo in their computer system regarding which animals HALO has selected, and also puts a memo regarding the animals we've declined, including the reason, and then sends this list out to other rescue organizations in the community that they partner with in the hopes of getting help for the animals that HALO does not have the space/resources to help.

What if HALO has my pet up for adoption through their program because I didn't find my pet before the stray holding period ended?

If an owner finds their animal in HALO's care after the stray holding period is over, they are asked to fill out the Matchmaker Questionnaire just as any other adopter and adopt the pet from HALO.

Why does HALO get to select the animals for their rescue before other rescues in the community can?

HALO's partnership with MCACC is unique, not only to MCACC but in the country.  There are a few partnerships between a private non-profit and a governmental agency (referred to as a PPP or Public Private Partnership) but none that we're aware of that share space quite in the way we do.

As MCACC's in-house adoption partner, it makes sense that HALO would select as many animals as can be helped in the facility prior to making animals available to other rescue organizations.  Prior to HALO's arrival, MCACC would earmark certain animals for their offsite adoption locations. Now that HALO is the adoption partner onsite, HALO selects the animals that will remain at the shelter to be put up for adoption, who will go to our offsite locations and those that will go thru foster care and/or the isolation ward prior to adoption.  Any animals HALO cannot provide care for are offered to other rescue partners after MCACC has selected animals for their offsite adoption locations.

If I adopt an animal from HALO, why do I have to coordinate with MCACC to return it?

Per the contract HALO entered with MCACC, all HALO intakes that reside at the 27th avenue location must first go through MCACC's intake process.  The only exception to this is if the animals is being returned within 30 days of adoption.  HALO pays MCACC for every animal we intake in trade for veterinary services, medications, vaccinations and supplies.  In order for this payment invoice to be generated, the animals must go through MCACC's system and then transferred to HALO.  MCACC requires a $51 surrender fee for all owner surrenders, even HALO animals that are being returned. They will potentially reduce the fees on a case by case basis if you have a financial hardship that inhibits you from paying the surrender fee.  If you need to discuss the intake fee please speak to MCACC Business Office Management.  When a HALO animal is returned through MCACC, HALO gives first priority to previous HALO animals for intake over other animals currently residing at MCACC.  Each animal is evaluated at the time of return by HALO for health and behavior.  The vast majority of previous HALO animals are brought back through HALO's adoption/foster program.  HALO will not accept animals back that are too ill, too injured or too aggressive for us to provide help.  HALO and MCACC have a transparent policy regarding which animals will be euthanized and which will be placed up for adoption.  Should you wish to know how an animal is doing please don't hesitate to call.

What is HALO's policy on taking in moms and babies?

HALO takes in as many moms and babies as we have room for in our isolation unit and foster homes. Babies and mothers are always kept together until weaned unless a medical or behavior concern prevents this from happening and there are no other viable alternatives.  HALO never unnecessarily separates mothers from their babies. If a mother is too injured/ill to care for her babies, HALO attempts to find foster parents who can provide nursing care to the babies until they're weaned and we work on saving mom or euthanize her if she is too ill/injured to be saved. If HALO does not have any foster parents/hospital space available, we do not take the animals from MCACC's shelter and hope that another rescue organization can help.  If a mother is too aggressive to be safely handled by staff/foster parents, HALO does not take in the mom and babies from MCACC's shelters and hope another rescue organization can help.  If other rescue partners cannot take mom with the babies from MCACC, and therefore they're all in danger of being euthanized, HALO will seek out foster care for the babies if they're not ready for adoption. Puppies that arrive with mothers that are weaned are separated from mom, but we accept mom in to our program as well (based on health/behavior and what space we have to accommodate mom's needs).

Does HALO make a profit on the animals they adopt out?

HALO's average cost per animal in 2013 is $256 for each and every animal in our care. Our average adoption fee is $125.  As you can see, we never make a profit from adoption revenue.  While some individual animals have a higher adoption fee, many, many of our animals have low or waived adoption fees, bringing the average adoption fee to $125.  In general, younger animals have a higher adoption fee than adult animals.  HALO's adoption fees are set by management.  Fees reduce as the animal's time with us increases.

How does HALO pay for everything?

Since our adoption fees do not cover our expenses, we rely on the public to provide support by way of joining our Angel Club, making a donation in memory or honor of a person or pet, by corporate sponsorships, individual gifts, volunteering and shopping at our thrift store. we also receive grants from some wonderful funders.  With public support we can continue Helping Animals Live On.  Without it, we cannot.

Why do you have so many cats, Pit bulls and Chihuahuas?

Sadly, Phoenix has a serious population crisis with the volume of Pit bulls, Chihuahuas and cats that come to our shelters each year. Pits, Chihuahuas and cats make up a disproportionate number of the animals in our shelter due to over-breeding and under-sterilizing. If you'd like information on where to get free or low-cost spay/neuter for your Pits, Chihuahuas, cats (or any other breed of dog!) please visit http://www.adlaz.org/content/spay-neuter-programs

Is HALO involved in the "bigger picture", trying to help animal welfare in general?

Each day approximately 100 dogs and cats some in to Valley shelters and each day approximately 100 are euthanized.  HALO is part of a coalition of local rescue organizations that have joined forces under the entity called the Alliance for Companion Animals and have created a $6M campaign called Fix. Adopt. Save. in order to increase the live release rate in local shelters, decrease the intake numbers and decrease the euthanasia rates. HALO's President and CEO served as Chair of the Alliance from 2010 to 2013, and currently serves as Vice Chair.   See the links above for more information and on how you can become involved.

Can I volunteer to help HALO?

Yes, we'd love your help! HALO accepts volunteers, ages 18 and up for a myriad of different volunteer opportunities.  We need help at our shelter, our offsite adoption locations, events, and our thrift store.  Please see our volunteer page for more information.