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Tools and Resources > Shelter + Rescue Essentials

  • Blog Post

    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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  • Store Product

    Return-to-Field Handbook

    Return to field handbook cover

    A collaboration between the Humane Society of the United States, Neighborhood Cats and Alley Cat Advocates

    This Return-to-Field Handbook was developed as a practical guide to help shelter staff develop the processes and protocols needed to provide positive outcomes for healthy stray cats. Detailed chapters cover everything from how to gather important information at intake to managing returns and everything in between. Whether you are just starting out or looking for ways to improve your existing program, this handbook is for you!

    This complete handbook is also available for free download online.

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  • Magazine Article

    Helping hands across the island

    More than two dozen organizations are working together to provide free spay/neuter services and vaccinations to thousands of pets in Puerto Rico.

    In a huge collaborative effort, an HSUS-led coalition brings veterinary services to the pets of Puerto Rico

    The pet owners of Puerto Rico have welcomed Spayathon™ with open arms, arriving early and waiting for hours to get their animals sterilized and vaccinated. The unprecedented initiative, spearheaded by the Humane Society of the United States, has serviced thousands of pets and produced nearly as many heartwarming stories.

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  • Magazine Article

    One fine day

    A dog and owner wait their turn at a 2012 clinic in Chicago.

    World Spay Day hits quarter-century mark

    Spay Day celebrates a quarter century of litter prevention.

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  • Magazine Article

    Pointing the way with a pyramid

    Inspired by diagrams for healthy diets, the community cat pyramid encourages a holistic approach to cat management and a strategic use of resources.

    How cat advocates can allocate time and other resources for the biggest impact

    Community cat advocates tap the power of a pyramid.

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  • Magazine Article

    The long road to fertility control

    Researchers seek a permanent, nonsurgical method

    Scientists from around the world research ways to prevent dogs and cats from getting pregnant without surgery.

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  • Magazine Article

    Bunny days ahead

    Chelsea Jones, communications specialist at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, offers a treat to Lis.

    In many shelters, rabbit care is improving by leaps and bounds

    Rabbits were once relegated to back rooms in animal shelters, with care that was woefully inadequate by today’s standards. Now, as shelters’ and rescues’ knowledge and resources expand, bunny care is leaping into the modern age.

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  • Magazine Article

    Million-dollar question

    Ohio Alleycat Resource's Neuterville Express transports cats from greater Cincinnati's outermost communities to the clinic and back again. Including those from the NKADD initiative, the organization spayed 11,543 cats in 2017.

    Broad collaboration makes powerful use of bequest dollars

    Here’s how an unprecedented public-private partnership enabled a Northern Kentucky district to make the best use of bequest dollars— while setting a lifesaving example for communities across the country.

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  • Magazine Article

    The little clinic that could

    Veterinarian Kelly Pinkston performs a spay surgery at the Help for Animals clinic in West Virginia, which has sterilized more than 160,000 animals.

    Animal Care Expo legacy is still going strong at a West Virginia spay/neuter clinic

    As Donna Spencer tells it, one of her most life-altering experiences took place 22 years ago during a visit to Las Vegas.

    She didn’t win (or lose) a fortune at the casinos or get married at a drive-through chapel. What Spencer did in Vegas was even more meaningful, and it would impact countless lives in the years to come.

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  • Blog Post

    Promoting social justice through spay/neuter

    To improve your services, dive into your community’s issues

    On this World Spay Day 2018, let’s talk about creating a culture of inclusivity and understanding within your spay/neuter programs.

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  • Magazine Article

    A delicate balance

    On an island with limited resources but deep pride in its horses, The HSUS partners with locals to forge a path forward

    A tiny island in Puerto Rico, Vieques is a study in contrasts: It's blessed with beautiful beaches but plagued by a poor economy. Horses roam free, serving as a popular tourist attraction, but also causing damage in towns and creating dangerous driving conditions; serious accidents involving vehicles and horses are common. To help provide a safer and healthier future for all the animals on Vieques, The HSUS and its global arm, Humane Society International, are working with locals on projects ranging from spay/neuter clinics for companion animals to a contraceptive program for horses.

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  • Magazine Article

    Walking a mile in the other veterinarian’s shoes

    Public health veterinarian Tamerin Scott, right, a frequent volunteer at the Amanda Foundation’s quarterly Wags for Wellness in Watts clinics in Los Angeles, delivers a pooch into waiting arms.

    Shelter vets and private practitioners can save lives through collaboration

    Ideally, all veterinarians would work in harmony to ensure animals in their communities receive the medical attention they need. Unfortunately, relationships between shelter veterinarians and private practitioners are often marked by misunderstanding or mistrust. The persistent, misguided stereotypes—private vets are greedy, shelter vets provide inferior care—can make cooperation difficult. In Southern California, the veterinary community is trying to improve communication between the two camps—with the goal of greater understanding and partnerships to benefit animals.

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