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Inga Fricke

Inga Fricke is Director, Pet Retention Programs, at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).  She serves on the Board of Shelter Animals Count, a non-profit organization formed to create and share a national database of sheltered animal statistics, and as Chair of the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators’ CAWA Exam Preparatory Resources Committee. Prior to joining The HSUS, Inga served as Administrator of the Wyandot County Humane Society/H.O.P.E. Clinic, helping to found the Wyandot County Equine Rescue, and as Shelter Manager for Loudoun County Animal Care and Control. 

Content by Inga Fricke

  • Blog Post

    Are they getting the care they deserve?

    Using the Five Freedoms to ensure quality of life for animals in our care

    In my days working in a shelter, when I turned out the lights and left at the end of the day, I would ask myself one very important question: “Did I give each and every animal the best possible care today?” 

    I’m guessing you do the same. But how can we be certain? How do we know for sure that any animal is living a good quality life, let alone an animal living in a shelter environment? The answer lies in something called “The Five Freedoms.”

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  • Blog Post

    Just the facts, ma’am … or maybe not!

    Are we holding on to outdated beliefs just to make our brains comfortable? Inga Fricke explains how challenging our biases can help us save more pets.

    We are truly living in a remarkable age, when new studies and data on sheltering are shaping and confirming best practices seemingly every day. For the first time ever, we can truly set policies based on what we actually know, not what we think we know.

    But no matter how much science and evidence is produced to dispel a myth (like “black dogs are overlooked for adoption”) or support a new best practice (such as eliminating adoption barriers), our field is often slow to embrace new information and make change.

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  • Blog Post

    'Return' is not a dirty word

    Pets who come back present opportunities for us to learn

    When I travel the country sharing the Adopters Welcome philosophy with shelters and rescue groups, there’s one refrain I hear over and over:  “But if we eliminate our home checks, landlord checks and other hurdles and actually embrace people who want to adopt, rather than scrutinize and judge them, the animal might get returned!”

    My standard response: "So what?"

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  • Blog Post

    Failure is not an option

    Saving lives means upping our customer service game

    Show of hands—how many of you got into animal welfare because you just love people and want to devote your life to providing stellar customer service?

    I think I’m safe in guessing virtually none of you are raising your hands! That’s because we’re animal people—dyed-in-the-wool, tried-and-true, ride-or-die animal advocates! Serve people? You’ve got to be kidding! If anything, we need to protect animals from people, right?

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  • Blog Post

    ‘Sisterhood’ Redefined!

    The Sister Shelter Project's stateside partners will provide support and guidance to shelters in Puerto Rico.

    A huge ray of sunshine has fallen on Puerto Rico in the form of the HSUS Sister Shelter Project

    Imagine what the world of animal sheltering must have been like in the 1970s (I know, some of you weren’t even born yet, but stay with me!). Chances are your community didn’t have a beautiful, state-of-the-art shelter that was open and inviting to the public, provided humane housing and enrichment for each of its animal residents, and was designed to maximize lifesaving in every respect.

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  • Blog Post

    Words Matter

    The language we use can be just as important as the actions we take, in animal welfare work, and in life.

    Last week, I read Dr. Kate Hurley’s Million Cat Challenge blog, “Turning on a Dime, the Small Price of Change,” and found myself intrigued and inspired.

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