Frequently Asked Questions
What is the mission of the Alaska Mindful Paws (AMP)?
Our mission: Alaska Mindful Paws is a non-profit organization in Homer, Alaska dedicated to providing shelter, care and advocacy to homeless animals in our community.
Where do you get your funding from; the City or from donations?
Both! Alaska Mindful Paws is a nonprofit agency that is contracted out by the City of Homer to manage the animal shelter. The bulk of our operating budget comes from the City and donations are used for medical care and other necessities of shelter residents.
Are you the same as Homer Animal Friends?
No. We are two different agencies/nonprofits, but we work closely together. HAF contributes to the spay and neuter surgeries of shelter animals. They also provide support to community pets through their spay and neuter coupon program, various clinics, and educational programs. Alaska Mindful Paws provides care and support to homeless, and stray animals that come through the shelter.
Does AMP provide animal control services?
Yes. Along with providing a safe place for homeless animals awaiting adoption, Alaska Mindful Paws provides animal control services. This includes, but is not limited to, picking up loose dogs and cats with the Homer city limits, following up on animal complaints or concerns within the city, and providing welfare checks on pets within city limits.
What happens when you get a stray cat or dog?
First, we scan the animal to see if it has a microchip or other identification. If not, then we check our ‘lost animal’ registry to see if the animal was reported missing. If not, then we post a photo online and share, share, share on social media to try and find its owners. We give the animal a visual health inspection and make sure it is comfortable. If no one comes forward to claim the animal in five days, we move towards making it available for adoption. That means, vaccinations, spay/neuter, a vet check and a microchip.
Is AMP a no-kill shelter?
The term “no-kill” is incredibly inflammatory and is a term we do not use. Unfortunately, there are animals that come into the shelter that we do euthanize. Those decisions are based on an animal’s mental and/or physical health, and they are not taken lightly. The definition of no-kill is a 90 percent save rate, and in that case, we are ‘no-kill.’
What is your euthanasia policy?
We do our best to place every healthy animal in our shelter into new and loving homes. Euthanasia can be an unfortunate and difficult component. We explore every option and avenue prior to recommending euthanasia. We are committed to saving as many animals as possible, but we recognize that sometimes the best thing we can do for an animal is give it a peaceful end, and we take that responsibility very seriously. Alaska Mindful Paws does not euthanize animals due to time or space constraints, but rather reserves euthanasia for animals who are suffering, who are mentally or physically ill, or considered dangerous to themselves, other animals, and/or humans. AMP works very closely with the veterinarians at the Homer Veterinary Clinic in determining an animal’s state of health. Euthanasia is conducted by a licensed veterinarian and is performed compassionately and humanely to ease an animal’s pain and suffering.
What is the AMP policy on spaying and neutering?
Spaying and neutering is an essential component to reducing the number of homeless animals. AMP aims to educate and encourage the community with regards to spay/neuter. A key goal is to have all animals spayed or neutered prior to adoption unless due to health or age restrictions. This would be difficult to achieve without the incredibly generous support of Homer Animal Friends, which covers 50 percent of the spay/neuter costs for shelter animals.
How can people help?
By adopting an animal from the shelter. All shelter animals have their vaccinations, are spayed or neutered, microchipped and dewormed
By providing an item on our wish list of supplies ranging from sponges to dog food that are easily obtainable in most grocery stores
By volunteering your time (see volunteer information on this website)
By getting your current pets spayed or neutered
How many adoptions do you do a month?
We average 13 adoptions per month.
What do you do if someone cannot keep their pet?
The owner of the animal will need to call the shelter and set up an appointment if possible or at least give us a heads up. A staff member will ask them to fill out paperwork that includes a medical release form and a pet personality profile. Our staff recognizes that surrendering a pet is a difficult and painful decision. We try our best to help each person by providing resources if they are open to keeping their pet, but will always take in animals that can no longer be cared for in the home, for whatever reason.
What happens if I find an animal after hours?
Call the Homer Police Department and they will meet you at the shelter to make sure it has a safe place for the night. The HPD is at 235-3150.
What is the process to volunteer?
Alaska Mindful Paws values our volunteers very much. If you’re interested in volunteering, we ask that attend our monthly volunteer orientation to take a tour of the shelter and get basic information. We’ll ask you to sign a liability waiver, and a confidentiality agreement before you start volunteering. There are a variety of tasks and areas that we need volunteers for including, socializing with cats, dog walking, cleaning, and fundraising.