Osceola County Animal Services’ work with the animals of the area, claimed or otherwise, is pretty clear around here.
The agency has a legion of volunteers who, with hearts firmly planted in the right place to help, make it far easier for it to carry out its mission.

Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to identifying and helping service organizations that depend on volunteers, has taken notice.

Animal Services has earned Points of Light’s Service Enterprise certification, as announced by Osceola County.
What’s it mean? It means Animal Services is recognized for having the capability and management expertise to strategically use volunteers to maintain and improve its performance. This puts it among the only 11 percent of similar operations nationwide in volunteer management and organizational performance.

In order to qualify as a Service Enterprise program, Osceola County Animal Services leadership and staff completed an extensive assessment, more than 20 hours of training and coaching, and conducted internal planning and changes to their process to better integrate volunteers into their pet rescue, shelter and adoption strategies.

Director Kim Staton said the agency is a better organization for having done all that work.

“Participation in the Service Enterprise certification has forced the entire team at our shelter to assess and update many of our procedures and policies,” she said. “This will make Osceola County Animal Services more effective as a volunteer site and as a place that saves and improves the lives of our animals.”

Through Service Enterprise certification process, Animal Services developed and adopted a one-team approach for volunteers, staff and management, updated training materials, created numerous new team positions, both paid and volunteer, updated job descriptions to include participation of volunteers in almost all shelter function and created and implemented a team recognition area for our website that can be publicly viewed.

As a result, for each dollar spent by Osceola County Animal Services on the volunteer program in the past year, there is now a return to the organization of $11.42 in services by our volunteer team members, as calculated using the Service Enterprise formula. If you like big numbers that don’t cost anything, that adds up to $993,395 in volunteer contributions in the past year, including both onsite and foster care volunteers. (Which also means that will a couple more volunteers, that number could have been over a smooth one million dollars.)

It’s all in the name of better serving the animals, team, and community members.

“The staff and volunteers working for Osceola County Animal Services really are the front lines of service for families searching for missing pets, or perhaps wanting to adopt shelter strays or surrendered animals,” said Commission Chairwoman Cheryl Grieb. “The team effort to achieve this certification shows a strong commitment to serving the County’s human (and animal) residents — and the value that our staff and volunteers provide to the community.”

For information on how to volunteer with Osceola County Animal Services visit: www.osceolacountypets.com/volunteer. Doing so can help make a positive difference – another one – in the lives of the county’s animals, their owners, and all of Osceola County.