From the moment an animal walks through the door to the moment they leave, a wavering health status may not only determine one's fate, but can affect the entire shelter's population and the reputation of your organization. Learn how to identify, prevent, and treat common ailments and optimize your shelter's ability to maintain a healthy herd.
Resources and Articles
From the Magazine
The HSUS Shelter Services team offers expert tips on how to conduct a ten-minute intake exam on every animal that comes into your shelter -- and the importance of doing so.
Upper respiratory infections in cats are an ongoing challenge for shelter staff seeking to keep their kitties healthy and adoptable. Brenda Griffin, D.V.M., lays the groundwork for an approach to keep cats wheeze-free.
Canine distemper virus can easily enter a shelter, is tricky to diagnose, and may wreak havoc on a shelter's dog population. A veterinarian and a shelter official discuss the policies and procedures that helped a shelter in West Kennebunk, Maine, cope with an outbreak.
Nebulization therapy is presented as a possible treatment for cats with URI, while canine play groups are touted as a great way to both socialize and exercise shelter dogs.
Cats are highly susceptible to toxic substances, a surprising number of which can be found in shelters and foster homes. Fortunately, a little education can help you protect the felines in your care.
Researcher Nadine Gourkow developed a unique scale to assess emotional states in shelter cats and confirmed that mental stimulation and gentling techniques both improve cats’ emotional well-being and reduce the incidence of URI.
A tragic case in North Dakota—where a rabies outbreak forced a shelter to euthanize its entire dog population—offers a valuable lesson for all shelters.
What happens—or doesn’t happen—when an animal enters a shelter can affect an individual pet’s ultimate outcome, as well as impact the health of an entire shelter population.
Clients ask your front desk staff for help with many different issues, from behavioral problems to rehoming animals. Use this sample helpdesk handbook from Nevada Humane to help your staff be ready to assist!
Give our downloadable, printable handout to your adopters! Includes information on adoption, disease control, poisonous plants and more.
Use this sample medication chart to keep track of animals' medical conditions and medications.
Fact: Canine distemper is highly contagious, can be carried and transmitted by wild mammals -- and is easy to kill with proper sanitation. To get all the facts on distemper, download our factsheet to keep the basics at your fingertips.
Fact: The canine parvovirus is difficult to kill, can live in the environment for months or even years, and is transmitted only through direct contact with bodily fluids. To get all the facts on parvo, download our factsheet to keep the basics at your fingertips.
Policies & Programs
The Tufts Animal Care and Condition (TACC) Scales were developed in 1997 by Dr. Gary Patronek, with assistance from Lori Donley, MS '97, the Fort Wayne Dept. of Animal Care and Control, and the Law Enforcement Division of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to help cruelty investigators and veterinarians assess cases of animal abuse or neglect that are primarily related to husbandry, as opposed to deliberate acts of cruelty.
Articles on caring for feral cats in clinics, educating cat owners, and more, by HSUS's own Nancy Peterson, Cat Programs Manager.
This article from the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery discusses cats' needs during the different stages of their lives.
We know how traumatic declawing can be for cats. How can you help a cat that comes into your shelter already declawed?
The shelter medicine program at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine has a wealth of information on disease control, facility design, animal housing and many other topics.
- Animal Care & Handling
- Colony Housing
- Disease Control
- Disinfection & Cleaning
- Feeding Protocols
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
- Isolation & Separation
- Kennel Cough
- Pet Care
- Quality of Life
- Animal Stress & Stress Reduction
- Upper Respiratory Infection (URI)
- Vaccinations, Animals
- Veterinary Resources