The front desk staff at TAPS are truly the front line of TAPS. They have to be able to handle a variety of responsibilities at once. Multi-tasking is the name of the game for our front desk attendants. Answer the 50+ phone calls a day, check! Process applications, check! Register low cost spay/neuter, check! Dog intros, check! Pull cats for visits, check! Handle owner surrenders and returns, check! They are on their feet all day long working hard to make sure animals are adopted to go home.
Prior to COVID, the front desk staff were supported by a variety of volunteers to help make their job easier. Since COVID, many of the volunteers are quarantining so the responsibilities, in large part, now fall directly to the front desk staff. We are grateful for Wendy, Lori, Maggie and Ashley who help download adoption applications remotely, so the front desk can jump straight into listening to messages and processing applications when they come in the door.
The front desk is not an easy position and people are not always kind. Our attendants are responsible for learning about the special needs of animals and trying to match them with the best fit. It’s not always easy, for example, when someone has children and demands a dog that the front desk know will not be good with toddlers. Sadly, some take the message personally rather than understanding we simply want to send them home with a good fit. Our front desk workers take their jobs seriously and their goal is to find our adoptable pets their forever home. Unfortunately, some potential adopters fall in love with a photo on the internet and become unreasonable when they are informed by our front desk that they are just one of many applications for a particular pet. Our front desk handles a multitude of behaviors, take a deep breath, and jump right back into looking for the perfect match for our dogs and cats.
The front desk staff are the first to know when our shelter animals are going home. On a positive, they are the first to see our dogs and cats go happily out the door with their adoptive families. They are also the first one to greet our shelter dogs and cats upon return. They are the first to witness the defeated look on their faces when they realize they are being brought back to the shelter. They handle it with grace and kindness even though they are tearing up inside.
Their biggest task, by far, is tackling the incoming applications that they receive each day to process. For every adoption the public sees, there are a handful of applications that aren’t approved. Some don’t meet our minimum criteria for adoption. Some, they simply can’t finish processing due to insufficient information. The staff spend their days calling references, landlords, vets offices, checking home ownership, and fielding the return calls, all in an effort to move our animals into adoptive homes. The front desk works long-hours, well beyond their 40 hours a week, all in the name of adoptions. If you’ve adopted a shelter animal from TAPS, you know how they put their heart into the task at hand of finding the best fit for our dogs and cats. Behind every daily adoption you see posted on our Facebook page, the front desk have put in hours of work…and for that, I give thanks.