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Tools and Resources > Shelter + Rescue Essentials

  • 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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  • Magazine Article

    What's your magic number?

    At the Animal Humane Society in Minnesota, portals between adjacent cages give resident felines double the space, making for healthier, happier, more adoptable animals.

    Analyzing shelter capacity can increase live releases

    Just a handful of years ago, if an owner stopped by to surrender a cat, the staff at the SPCA Serving Erie County would find a way to accommodate them.

    But a tragedy left the New York shelter exploring a new way of thinking.

    “It was in August of 2009, and we were taking in every cat that we could fit,” recalls executive director Barbara Carr. “We [even] had 75 cats in our multipurpose room, a 40-by-40-foot room intended for overflow.”

    After the highly contagious feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) swept through, 39 of those cats died.

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  • Magazine Article

    The road to regional animal protection services

    The move to a regional program enabled Spokane County to create a facility that serves not only as a shelter, but as a community hub offering resources and information for pet owners.

    How one agency shifted to an animal control model that works better for its community

    Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS), an open-admission animal control agency in Washington state, has been around since 1922, when dog licenses were $1 and—according to old record books—the most common breed of dog was a “cur.” In those days, everyone knew the animal shelter as a “dog pound,” and “dogcatchers” patrolled the streets.

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  • Magazine Article

    Closed for safety

    Sometimes the best way to manage a disease outbreak is to temporarily shut down your facility.

    Shutting down your shelter during an infectious disease outbreak

    In my role as senior director of shelter medicine at the ASPCA, I consult with shelters from across the country during widespread or severe infectious disease outbreaks. Most are facilities housing dogs and cats, although equine and farm animal shelters in the United States are increasingly seeking medical advice.

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  • Magazine Article

    The purrpose of life

    Steve heads to the solarium from his suite via an easy-access transport tube.

    Catty Corner: In honor of one cat, Tabby's Place saves many

    Stray cat Tabby showed up at Jonathan Rosenberg’s door in 1984, and decided to stay. He lived a long life, despite being FIV-positive—but of course, his life wasn’t long enough for Rosenberg and his wife Sharon. They were heartbroken when 16-year-old Tabby was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in April 1999 and had to be euthanized.

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  • Magazine Article

    Getting bigger all the time

    Making space for Colorado kitties

    More spacious and thoughtfully designed cat kennels lead to a happier and more relaxed feline population at the Dumb Friends League in Denver.

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  • Magazine Article

    The ASV Guidelines in real life part 6: safe and sound

    From slippery floors to rambunctious dogs and hazardous chemicals, animal shelters contain many potential dangers to the public. You can mitigate these with smart safety practices and tips from the Association of Shelter Veterinarians.

    Creating a healthy shelter environment for animals and people

    From slippery floors to rambunctious dogs and hazardous chemicals, animal shelters contain many potential dangers to the public. You can mitigate these with smart safety practices and tips from the Association of Shelter Veterinarians.

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  • Magazine Article

    Poison control

    Quats may be safely used in cat housing areas, but care should be taken to dry surfaces thoroughly before returning cats to them. Cats who lick quats may develop ulcers of the tongue that can be severe.

    Keeping kitties safe from common substances

    Cats are highly susceptible to toxic substances, a surprising number of which can be found in shelters and foster homes. Fortunately, a little education can help you protect the felines in your care.

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  • Magazine Article

    All together now

    Individual cages have their place, but there are many benefits to housing cats in a colony room. Enriched environments offer more stimulation, reduce stress on residents, and allow cats to show off their purr-sonalities.

    Done properly, group housing can produce happier cats, delighted visitors—and more adoptions

    Done properly, group housing can produce happier cats, delighted visitors, and more adoptions. Learn what you need to know before you start your own colony room.

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