Tip of the Week: Are We Having Phone Yet?

It’s Monday calling! This week’s tip, courtesy of your colleagues at Panhandle Humane Society and Michiana Humane Society, addresses the right phone system for your agency. Hint: It’s not one size fits all.

Heard that tech myth that the latest model will save you time and resources? When it comes to phones, sometimes nothing else will do than the tried-and-true.

“We have a very old, very simple system,” says Michiana Humane Society’s Johanna Humbert, “and only pay for four incoming lines, with ten or twelve phone units throughout the building. It is adequate for our shelter.” Size really matters with phones—the size of your agency, that is. 

“I second this!” agrees Amy Bartholomew of Panhandle Humane. “We have a two-line phone system that is just fine for our small, rural shelter. We looked into voice over IP, and it would have been a lot more expensive for us. Plus, if your Internet goes down, you cannot receive or make phone calls.”


“This is what we have,” shares Amy Bartholomew. “It’s fairly new. We got one that has a base station, and then 5 additional phones with charging bases. You do have to be careful when looking at phones to make sure they have 2 lines.”

While there are multiple options out there for telephone systems, many are geared toward businesses where staff is tied to their computers. That’s why it’s so important to state your needs. Says Humbert, “If you have a larger, more complex need, I highly recommend finding a company that knows what they’re doing to design your telecommunications system.”

How efficient is your telecommunications system? Leave a comment and share your experience.

More Tips

Tip of the Week: “Tell Me a Little Bit More…”
Tip of the Week: Hold ‘Em Close
Tip of the Week: The Recruit-Cute

Top photo: Johanna Humbert
“Here’s what our phones look like. I think the system is 20+ years old!”


The Association is the only international society of leaders actively leading and managing community animal shelters/animal control agencies.


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