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Keep pets in homes

Many animals surrendered to shelters are given up due to solvable behavior issues or lack of housing. We're eliminating housing barriers in communities across the country with Pets are Welcome, raising the standard from “pet-friendly” to an all-inclusive approach to renting with pets. We’re elevating the level of cat behavior expertise in our field to keep more cats in homes and making pet care, behavior and wellness resources and information more accessible to pet owners and potential adopters.

Photo by Julie Busch Branaman/For the HSUS

Most recent Tools and Resources > Keep pets in homes

  • Magazine Article

    All Pawgwarts houses are equal

    Shelter director explains the power of magical thinking

    When the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando in Florida started “sorting” homeless dogs and cats by “Pawgwarts” house, rather than by breed, it led to an explosion of media coverage, shelter visitors and website traffic. But the Harry Potter-inspired idea isn’t just about sorting hats and spells: It’s a way to get people to stop and rethink what “breed” really means.

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  • Blog Post

    The sun is rising on pet-friendly housing

    Arbitrary species, breed and size restrictions in rental housing tear families apart and cause pets to become homeless. Let's put an end to un-"pet-friendly" policies by helping properties welcoming cats and dogs of all breeds and sizes.

    Lack of affordable pet-welcoming rental properties comes at a huge cost to pets and their people

    During my time at St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, New Jersey, I was privileged to work on an HSUS Pets Are Welcome pilot program designed to encourage property owners to allow pets in their rental units, and to support them with guidance and resources when they did.

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  • Blog Post

    Reaching outside the shelter walls

    Implementing Pets for Life means taking free medical care, services and information to people and their pets in areas of our community where access to resources are limited due to the systemic challenges of poverty

    While some pets are at shelters for reasons beyond anyone’s control, many have loving homes and their surrender is preventable.

    When I signed the contract as executive director of Peaceful Animal Adoption Shelter (PAAS) in Vinita, Oklahoma, my goal was to save thousands of dogs and cats through local adoptions.

    We had a brand new, beautiful facility, and within the first 60 days, we realized we had more than 50 dogs and 50 cats in the shelter and an owner-surrender waiting list of more than 150 dogs and 175 cats.

    The number of adoptions? Four.

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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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  • Magazine Article

    Count your organization in

    Shelter Animals Count asks organizations to report monthly information, like beginning and ending animal counts, intake types and outcomes. The project allows shelters to opt out of publicly sharing data but encourages transparency.

    Collaboration among major animal welfare organizations aims to standardize and share shelter and rescue statistics

    Animal welfare organizations have long attempted to get a grasp on national shelter and rescue statistics, but the task proved too large for one organization alone.

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  • Magazine Article

    Dangerous assumptions

    The negative affect breed stereotypes can have on public policy

    Growing up, my family had golden retrievers and other fluffy golden mixed breed dogs. I’m not sure that I met anyone with a pit bull-type dog until I moved to Pittsburgh for college. My first personal experience with breed stereotypes occurred only a couple years ago, when I was walking my sister’s dog, Bojey—a medium, short-haired dog with a muscular build and big head—and my dog, Charlie, a skinny, tall dog with a long muzzle and medium-length fur.

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