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.
A survey of scientific literature suggests the healthiest age to spay and neuter pets.
The questions seem simple enough: How much space do you have in your shelter, and how much do you need? But Dr. Kate Hurley explores how the equation gets complicated by various factors.
Dr. Kate Hurley suggests shelter operators learn as much about crowding as they can in order to navigate its tricky intersection with animal welfare and shelter population management.
Concerned about the conditions she's seen at some shelters, veterinarian Lila Miller talks about how the "Five Freedoms" can serve as a guide for maintaining quality of life for shelter animals.
Shelters are seeing outbreaks of virulent systemic feline calicivirus ??? or are they? Dr. Kate Hurley explains the basics of diagnosing and controlling strains of FCV.
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: 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.
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.
Policies & Programs
This guide outlines an animal healthcare program for shelters, including design considerations, cleaning materials, animal handling, preventive medicine and planning. It also includes a glossary of terms.
- 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