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.
Mouthpieces flyer designed to promote keeping cats indoors.
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.
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: 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