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The best of 2016

We break down the best content from Animal Sheltering magazine and online in 2016

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Which stories resonated with you in 2016?

Here at Animal Sheltering, we’re committed to helping you drive transformational change in your communities, which is why we work so hard to bring you content you can really use. We’ve paid close attention to the lifesaving info and stories that resonated with readers throughout 2016 and highlighted your top 10 below.

Whether you’ve been a loyal Animal Sheltering reader for years or are visiting us now for the first time (or somewhere in the middle), we hope you’ll take a look, share your favorites with your colleagues and tell us about your favorite lifesaving ideas, stories or tips from 2016 in the comments below.

10. Guide to Cat Behavior Counseling
It’s no secret that our ability to help pet owners with their cats’ behavior can mean the difference between a cat keeping or losing her home, so in February 2016, we launched this guide to help address pet homelessness at its roots. Animal Sheltering readers downloaded and shared this tool more than any other in 2016!

9. Finding a new source of inspiration
Chances are that if you’re reading this, you’ve likely heard of the “starfish” story. June’s blog questions the long-term dangers we face by using this as our sole source of inspiration. While rescue, adoption and sterilization are critical, they alone are not enough. In addition, the author offers a new source of inspiration to help us end the needless euthanasia of adoptable animals.

8. What does “responsible” pet ownership really look like?
As humans, opening ourselves to criticism can be scary because it puts us in a vulnerable state. But it also puts us in a position to grow and become better at our jobs. This blog, written back in March, resonated so much with our readers that we featured the topic at our special session at Animal Care Expo 2016 (watch it here!).

7. Good colonies make good neighbors
While feeding community cats is an admirable thing to do, it’s not enough to create a safe and healthy colony. And it’s certainly not enough to prevent the nuisance issues that can trigger calls to remove the cats. The author talked to some experienced trap-neuter-return advocates for this in-depth story about how to resolve human-cat conflicts—and avoid them in the first place.

6. Forget the fairy tale
Stringent requirements for adopters can seem like the obvious way to ensure each animal gets her “happily ever after.” But a lengthy, tedious process can sour potential adopters on your organization—or push them to pet stores and irresponsible breeders. With an Adopters Welcome approach, shelters and rescues are learning how to embrace potential adopters and support them in the quest for the right match. Because even if someone doesn’t ride in on a white horse, he could still be an animal’s knight in shining armor.

5. What’s the deal with catios?
Many communities struggle with cat issues—implementing effective TNR, preventing abandonment, keeping cats and families together and mitigating conflicts that arise between outdoor cats and less cat-tolerant neighbors. Catios can help! May’s blog explains exactly what a catio is, and why they’re so cool.

4. Driving change
Until the past decade, pet owners in isolated communities have been largely overlooked by the animal welfare movement, but our Pets for Life program has been working to change that. In this story about Detroit, the staff of All About Animals Rescue bring the PFL approach to underserved neighborhoods and face some challenges that are unique to the area—and meet clients who embody the Motor City’s great heart.

3. Unnecessary surrenders? Fuhgettaboutit!
Surrendering a pet is usually a crisis point in people’s lives—a devastating, emotional experience. But if your front desk staff are overwhelmed, your shelter’s intake process can seem about as personal as the DMV. That realization led the Animal Care Centers of New York City to revolutionize its approach to owner surrenders, adding 30 trained admissions counselors and private offices where clients can tell their stories. It’s a strategy that’s connecting many owners with resources that enable them to keep their pets and facilitating better solutions for the animals who can’t stay in their homes.

2. Animal Care Expo
Every year we hear from Expo attendees about how much they took away from the Expo experience, and 2016 was certainly no exception. If you’ve never been to Expo before, we suggest taking look at previous Expo special sessions (2014, 2015, 2016) and trying to make the trip in 2017. If you’ve been to Expo before, tell us in the comments below what you love most about Expo and what you’re looking forward to most in Fort Lauderdale next May. We may be a little biased, but we think we’ve got a pretty amazing lineup scheduled!

1. Jobs
Whether you’re hiring, looking for a new job or looking to see what other organizations are posting (it’s OK, we all do it!), Animal Sheltering’s job section is the one-stop-shop for jobs in animal welfare. It’s without a doubt the most popular area of our site. Nonprofit humane organizations and animal care and control agencies can post jobs here for free, and anyone can browse the listings. You never know, you could discover the perfect next career move in 2017.

Is your favorite on this list? Let us know in the comments below!


About the Author

Animal Sheltering is for everyone who cares about the animals in their community—from shelter directors and animal care and control officers to kennel staff, volunteers, and private individuals working as activists, breed rescuers, wildlife rehabbers, veterinarians and more.