Best Practices for Rescues
Our knowledge about the science of animal care grows every day. The tools provided below can help your rescue be as humane, and professional, as possible.
The Five Freedoms
To live a good quality life, all animals, regardless of whether they reside in a home, kennel, laboratory, farm or shelter, must have all "Five Freedoms:" Freedom from Hunger & Thirst, Freedom from Discomfort, Freedom from Pain, Injury & Disease, Freedom to Express Normal Behaviors, and Freedom from Fear & Distress.
Quality animal care in every setting (shelters, kennels, rescues, etc.)
- The Association of Shelter Veterinarians' Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters were developed by experts in the field of population management to raise the standard of animal care throughout the industry, meeting the needs of each individual animal without losing sight of the needs of the population as a whole. Don't let the title fool you—it's a must-read-and-implement for every type of animal care organization.
- Fetching the Perfect Trainer: Are you inadvertently promoting worrisome training methods by Animal Sheltering magazine
- National Federation of Humane Societies has established transport best practices
- Things to consider before you transport animals by the ASPCA
Do you know your Humane Capacity for Care?
- As explained in the Maddie's Fund webinar Knowing Your Capacity for Humane Care, a facility's capacity is not defined by the number of foster homes or beds it has but by the resources (volunteers and otherwise) it has to provide humane care and housing.
- Calculating Shelter Capacity by UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program
- Infection Control for Home Based Foster Care by the ASPCA
Animal Hoarding Resources
It’s an unfortunate aspect of our work, but rescuers can find themselves in over their heads and don’t know where to turn until it’s too late. An organization’s decision, intentional or not, to exceed capacity for humane care will ruin the lives of the animals and people involved. Please read these important articles and learn how to recognize signs of hoarding as well as resources to turn to if you or someone you know finds themselves going down this path.
- The Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium's Common Questions About Animal Hoarding
- Rescued from Squalor from All Animals magazine
- A Matter of Measurement: Defining Capacity and Detecting Crowding from Animal Sheltering magazine
- Detailed Discussion of Animal Hoarding by the Animal Legal & Historical Center
- What Happened at Spindletop? from Animal Sheltering magazine
Additional Professional Resources
- The Humane Society's resources for animal care professionals
- UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program
- ASPCA resources for animal care professionals
- Maddie's Fund resources for animal care professionals
- Animal Care Expo, the world's largest international training conference for animal care providers
Applicable State Laws, Regulations and Local Ordinances
Laws and ordinances specific to your jurisdiction may affect your policies and procedures. Contact your local State Veterinary Office or Department of Agriculture or visit http://www.municode.com/Library for local statutory and regulatory information.