Skip to content Skip to navigation

Tools and Resources > Shelter + Rescue Essentials

Leave blank for all. Otherwise, the first selected term will be the default instead of "Any".
Leave blank for all. Otherwise, the first selected term will be the default instead of "Any".
  • Guide

    Managing Volunteers

    Photo by Corey Roscoe/The HSUS

    With volunteers on board and working in their roles, the focus shifts to ongoing management, retention and the "care and feeding" of volunteers. Here we offer you information and resources for ongoing engagement, evaluation and recognition of volunteers.

    Read More

  • Guide

    Bringing Volunteers On Board

    Photo by Chuck Cook/AP Images for The HSUS

    The HSUS offers a variety tools to increase understanding of key principles in volunteer management, and ways to connect individual coordinators with the larger community of volunteers managers willing to share their secrets to success.

    Read More

  • Guide

    Volunteer Professional Development

    Photo by Michael Bernard/HSI

    Managing volunteers is both an art and a science.

    The HSUS offers a variety tools to increase understanding of key principles in volunteer management, and ways to connect individual coordinators with the larger community of volunteers managers willing to share their secrets to success.

    Read More

  • Training/Event

    Create an Effective Volunteer Program Series

    PetSmart Charities

    Create and maintain a volunteer program that will help your organization execute its programs effectively

    Read More

  • Training/Event

    Building and Maintaining a Volunteer Program for Animal Rescues

    The HSUS

    Volunteers often make up the vast majority of a rescue group’s workforce. Recruiting, motivating, and keeping great volunteers is critical to a rescue organization's mission and survival. In this webinar, participants will learn about the “crisis chaos spiral” caused by a lack of volunteer program structure, different volunteer program models and how to determine which works best for an organization.

    Read More

  • Assessment

    Assess Your Organization

    Michelle Riley/The HSUS

    The HSUS has partnered with organizational science experts at the University of North Carolina Charlotte to offer four unique tools to help animal sheltering organizations and rescue groups assess and enhance their people care.

    Effective and healthy organizations have long recognized that “the people make the place.” In other words, if we do not take care of our people, they cannot take care of our organizations or the animals. The HSUS has partnered with organizational science experts at the University of North Carolina Charlotte to offer four unique tools to help animal sheltering organizations and rescue groups assess and enhance their people care.

    Read More

  • Assessment

    Volunteer Program Assessment

    volunteer hugging cat

    The VPA helps sheltering organizations assess and enhance the effectiveness of their volunteer programs.

    The Volunteer Program Assessment, or VPA, is a program run by the Organizational Science department of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte (UNCC) in partnership with The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    Three Mascoteers

    Handsome Jack makes a great spokescat for TNR.

    Some shelter animals become full-time employees

    The dog is majestic: A 76-pound golden retriever with sweeping eyelashes, eyes like melted chocolate and a regally pointed nose. But right now, he’s impatient—his human companion is talking too much, and he wants to get to work.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    Fostering Hope

    An inspiring look at a practice that helps shelters and rescues save more lives. Could you be a foster hero?

    For weeks, the small bull terrier mix waited in the shelter, her face obscured by a plastic cone. May had come to the Washington Humane Society in early November, after college students in a D.C. group house could no longer care for her. The last one to move out dropped her off at the shelter. Being in a kennel made her anxious. She rubbed her ears raw, and they became infected. She chewed her tail.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    A Novel Approach

    Participating in the Book Buddies program helped Cheyenne Boyles overcome her fear of animals.

    Shelter's reading program helps kids and cats

    Ten-year-old Sean struggledwith reading aloud at school. But one Saturday in 2013, his mom, Kristi Rodriguez, brought him to the Animal Rescue League of Berks County (ARL) in Birdsboro, Pa., where she worked as a program coordinator. She handed him a book and told him to go read to the cats. Sean loved the experience so much that he asked to come back.

    Realizing that other kids could also benefit from a furry, nonjudgmental audience, Rodriguez launched the shelter’s Book Buddies program in August 2013.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    You're in the Lifesaving Business

    Rescue groups that try to function without strong leadership and business-savvy practices may find that getting things done is like, well, herding cats. Someone has to lead the pride.

    Will you be the rescue group that roared ... or the one that whimpered?

    Do you know this rescue group?

    Based on a passionate but nonspecific foundation—“We love animals!”—its mission statement describes sweeping plans for animal welfare in its city, and the surrounding area, and seemingly anywhere else it can locate on a map. Its members will go wherever help of any kind is needed. Its leaders say yes to any appeal for help.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    The Power of Suggestion

    Tapping into the knowledge of staff and volunteers

    Thanks to one volunteer’s suggestion, the dogs at Virginia’s Fairfax County Animal Shelter have been enjoying some extra outings.

    Read More