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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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  • You too can launch a return-to-field program!

    New handbook covers how to do RTF from A-to-Z

    It was a sunny, blue sky morning when we set out from the shelter with a ginger cat stowed in the back of our SUV. A large towel covered his trap, pulled back at the ends to make sure he had enough air. Typical for ferals, he was completely silent—someone stepping into the car at that moment might not have even realized he was there. For my wife, Suzi, and me, our job was to get him home now that he was neutered and ear-tipped. I was concerned, though, because the information we were given about where he was trapped was hazy.

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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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  • Blog Post

    Learning to be a pilot light

    The people who attend Animal Care Expo are what makes it great

    A ripple of embarrassment washes over me when I realize I’ve been squirming in my chair. I strain to focus through familiar content just to glean a couple new nuggets of wisdom. Then, directly after lunch, I fight off sleepy daydreams about what’ll be served for dinner, during which time I can use my coveted drink ticket.

    I confess, this is a brief glimpse into what my mind usually does at professional conferences— that is, until I started attending Animal Care Expo.

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  • Blog Post

    Sgt. Stubby’s legacy

    Sergeant Stubby

    Stray dog turned WWI mascot, subject of new animated film, echoes soldiers’ bonds with dogs around the world

    Any work that brings a piece of animal protection lore to a modern audience never fails to please me as a scholar of both the human-animal bond and the humane movement’s history. Given my affection for mascot narratives, I was excited to learn that the story of Stubby, arguably World War I’s best known mascot, had made it to the big screen.

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  • Magazine Article

    Betting on better behavior

    Melo represents the group at Camp Bow Wow’s Give a Fetch event.

    Las Vegas nonprofit crowdfunds training and therapy for shelter dogs

    There may be no sure bets in Las Vegas, but local shelter dogs are seeing their chances of adoption increase, thanks to a program that raises money from the public to get them trained.

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  • Magazine Article

    Handle with care

    Compassion fatigue expert offers advice for animal welfare workers

    When Jennifer Blough first felt compassion fatigue, she had never heard the term. She was a lifelong animal advocate—she became a vegetarian at a young age, followed her grandmother to animal rights protests and got a job as an animal control officer—but she had never heard anyone mention the issue. So when she burned out from her job in 2012, she had no idea what was wrong with her.

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  • Magazine Article

    Bloody brilliant fundraising

    Donors wait to give blood.

    A partnership between a California shelter and blood donation center saves lives

    In January, an unusual partnership between Humane Society Silicon Valley and Stanford Blood Center in California was lifesaving in more ways than one. For each person who donated blood throughout the month, the blood center contributed funds to the shelter.

    Overall, 3,395 people donated blood over 31 days, raising $6,790 for HSSV, which will go toward funding pet vaccinations and medical costs. The campaign included an on-site blood drive at the humane society led by blood center staff and volunteers.

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