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 vocal minority of private practice veterinarians view low-cost, subsidized care provided by nonprofit spay/neuter clinics and vet care assistance programs as unfair competition and a threat to their livelihoods. Though there has always been some friction on this issue, tensions are rising in some communities, placing lifesaving services in the crosshairs.
Your adopters and novice foster caregivers may not be prepared for that horking sound longtime cat owners know so well. Here's what one kitty devotee learned when he explored the world of cat vomit.
Learn how you can analyze your shelter’s capacity for care using real data to calculate the number of animals your shelter can comfortably care for.
Diarrhea is unpleasant to deal with and can signal serious health issues for a shelter population. We offer advice on how to prevent diarrhea and, when it does occur, diagnose the causes and appropriately care for sick animals.
Orphaned kittens get the special care they need in order to thrive at the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA’s Paws Nursery.
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