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James Hettinger

James Hettinger is the assistant editorial director for Animal Sheltering magazine at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). He's responsible for editing copy and managing the production of the award-winning quarterly publication aimed at shelter and rescue personnel. Prior to joining The HSUS in 2008, James worked for several local newspapers and trade associations in the Washington, D.C., area. He shares his home with three cats: Edgar, Dana and Vinny. 

Content by James Hettinger

  • Magazine Article

    Weathering the storms, part III

    Armed with safety equipment, supplies and experience, members of the HSUS Animal Rescue Team wade into Texas floodwaters to rescue animals stranded by the storm.

    The heart of Texas

    Yes, Hurricane Harvey was a catastrophe. The historic storm dumped trillions of gallons of water on Texas last summer, destroying homes and disrupting thousands of human and animal lives.

    But amid the chaos and destruction, people’s resilience came shining through, along with their compassion and willingness to cooperate. The storm forced pet owners in the Houston area and along the Gulf Coast to evacuate, but the animal welfare community responded by working together, setting up shelters and arranging transports. Donations poured in from a public moved to help.

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  • Magazine Article

    Easy riders

    To reduce cats’ stress during transport, Second Chance Animal Services in Massachusetts recommends filling their crates with familiar items.

    When transporting cats, battle stress with familiarity

    Have you ever seen the internet meme showing how dogs and cats view road trips differently?

    The dog sits calmly in a car seat, floating through the bright lights and enticing purple hues of outer space. Meanwhile the cat, with his eyes closed and mouth wide open in terror, desperately sinks his claws into the seat to avoid being sucked into a swirling vortex.

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  • Magazine Article

    Garfield gets (a little) serious

    Garfield—Jim Davis’ lasagna-loving, Monday-hating protagonist—is helping to spread the word that wonderful companions can be found in animal shelters.

    The iconic cartoon cat lends a paw to the Shelter Pet Project

    Who knew he had it in him?

    Garfield—that famous (and famously self-centered) cartoon cat, who’s been known to spar with his canine housemate Odie and torture his owner Jon—actually cares about his fellow creatures.

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  • Magazine Article

    Plumbing the depths

    Shelter drainage systems vary, but they’re key to keeping your shelter clean and your animals healthy

    Shelter work isn’t all sweet puppy kisses and kitten nuzzles. What goes in one end of our furry charges eventually comes out the other, and a well-functioning drainage system is essential if you hope to minimize odors and control the spread of disease at your facility. But there’s more to shelter drains than meets the eye: Which types of drains are best for you, and where should you put them? Our “101” explores what you ought to consider before taking the plunge.

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  • Magazine Article

    Hope in the valley

    Fresno Humane Animal Services (FHAS) doesn’t yet have a modern facility, but the nonprofit takes a modern approach to sheltering and community engagement.

    Fresno group works to improve animal outcomes amid difficult circumstances

    In California, Fresno Humane Animal Services is facing all sorts of challenges, from a huge service area to kennels located in the parking lot of an abandoned morgue. But the group is improving animal care and saving more lives by pursuing partnerships in the community and embracing a can-do attitude.

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  • Magazine Article

    Design for living

    Does your new shelter need to be the Taj Mahal?

    Today’s animal shelters must meet a variety of needs: They’re expected to look like a shopping center and perform like a hospital, all while remaining a secure facility. They need to be functional, but also welcoming. They need to be welcoming, but not seem so extravagant they’ll make donors or taxpayers wonder where their money is going. They need to showcase adoptable pets in a friendly and appealing way, but also provide safe, secure space for animals who may be quarantined for health or behavior reasons.

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