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Animal Sheltering blog

Hear different voices each month, from the Animal Sheltering team and other colleagues in animal welfare, reflecting on the most critical issues in our field. Share your own voice in the comments!


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  • The lobby of the Greenville Humane Society is designed to be a retail destination for animal-lovers.

    Good shelter design is good for animals

    How your architecture influences visitors and animal flow

    Many of our new animal shelter clients tell us the same story: Their facility is overcrowded, they struggle to reduce numbers without euthanasia and intake numbers continue to be unwieldy. Compounding the issue is the fact that an overcrowded shelter is harder to keep clean and free of disease, yet it’s more difficult to adopt out sick or stressed animals.

    This cycle sounds familiar because it’s one that almost every shelter faces.

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  • Blog Post

    Transport: A summit, collaboration and planning

    Did you ever think that we would see a shortage of cats in some areas of the country? Yes, there are still plenty of shelters saturated with cats, and shelter intake numbers can vary a lot by season, but a cat shortage in any part of the country at any time of year is exciting! We have entered a time in animal welfare where a home for all healthy and treatable animals is attainable. Collaboration is the key component to achieving this nationwide goal.

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  • Blog Post

    Rethinking their final days

    What we do for our aging family members

    There’s not much that enrages animal lovers more than someone surrendering an elderly pet to a shelter. The stories, shared from one rescuer to another, are prime fodder for Facebook condemnation—that 9-year-old German shepherd purchased as a puppy; the 12-year-old cat who wandered onto the porch as a kitten; or perhaps the 3-year-old hamster the kids clamored for at the pet store. That pet no doubt gave her family the best years of her life, and this is how that devotion is repaid? Dumped at a shelter, scared and alone, left in the hands of strangers? What could be more cruel?

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  • Blog Post

    The right response to wildlife calls

    This is the second in a series of three blogs showcasing how our Wild Neighbors partners have implemented one of the criteria of our Wild Neighbors pledge.

    “I need a trap for this raccoon so he’ll stay out of my trash cans!”

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  • Blog Post

    Rescuers to the rescue

    Rescue and shelter partnerships growing beyond adoption

    The animal sheltering field has changed. We can see it in the decline in the euthanasia rate for companion animals nationwide, the increase in adoption rates in animal shelters and the “community animal welfare center” role that many animal shelters are shifting to. Working to keep pets in homes through behavior assistance, affordable and accessible medical care and food pantries are all common in the portfolio of services offered by a large number of animal shelters in 2018.

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  • Blog Post

    Helping your community’s forgotten animals: Wildlife

    Photo by Stan Rohrer

    How one Virginia community connects the dots

    This is the first in a series of three blogs showcasing how our Wild Neighbors partners have implemented one or more of the criteria of our Wild Neighbors pledge.

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  • Blog Post

    Food for thought

    It's not all bean burgers! The Humane Society of the United States shares Meatless Monday recipes online and in its magazine, including avocado tostadas ...

    How sheltering professionals can help foster a humane society for all animals

    It’s hard to overstate the importance of food. It keeps us alive, obviously, but it’s also at the center of so many of our favorite traditions, from Sunday brunch, to the heaving Thanksgiving table, to Taco Tuesday. So it’s no surprise that people bristle when others suggest eating less or none of their favorite familiar foods. No one likes change, especially when it’s a change from how we've been eating our whole lives!

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Tools and Resources >

  • Guide

  • Assessment

    Operation Hero-Animal Bond

    Vietnam veteran with cat

    A new partnership between the Humane Society of the United States and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that will connect qualified veterans with adoptable shelter pets, to the benefit of both.

    What is Operation Hero-Animal Bond?

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  • Magazine Article

    Itty bitty kitty apprentices

    Animal professionals learn from Humane Society Silicon Valley kittens

    It was so crazy it just might work: Around five years ago, Humane Society Silicon Valley in California decided to stop housing kittens in its nursery … so it could care for more kittens.

    “In-house, we had a whole fleet of volunteers who would come in and clean the babies and feed them and socialize them, but we had to turn kittens away from the program,” explains Christie Kamiya, the shelter’s chief of shelter medicine. At the time, HSSV housed around 400 kittens a year, but “we wanted to pretty much take any kitten that came through our doors.”

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