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Shelter design

As you strive to create a state-of-the-art animal shelter, take time to assess your community’s growth rate as well as your shelter’s animal data and programs to help determine your future needs. Read stories from shelters that have maximized their space and begin plans for your own shelter facility, whether you're retrofitting to maximize your current capacity or starting from scratch.

  • Making the shelter a happier place for animals

    We all want the animals in our care to be as healthy and happy as possible. To accomplish this, we must attend to both their physical and emotional needs. We protect the animals’ physical health through routine vaccination, parasite control, proper nutrition, spay/neuter and other basic medical care. We create a healthy environment for them—one that is clean and well-maintained, not crowded, kept at a comfortable temperature and with good air quality.

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  • Design for living

    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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Most recent Tools and Resources > Shelter design

  • Blog Post

    Finding sanctuary

    Can sanctuaries be a tool in our cat toolbox? An expert shares five top tips.

    From the outside looking in, managing the Lanai Cat Sanctuary sure looks easy. Erect a fence, construct some shelter, landscape, open the doors and call it kitty paradise. Not a month goes by that someone doesn’t ask me: “How do you set one up? I want to do this in my community.” The truth is that animal sheltering is complex, costly and requires expertise in a wide spectrum of disciplines including shelter and herd health management and medicine, nonprofit leadership, fundraising and animal welfare. It’s not as easy as it looks.

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  • Magazine Article

    A room with a view

    A Good Mews Animal Foundation resident checks out a chipmunk.

    Cage-free cat shelter and wildlife habitat peacefully coexist in Georgia

    What do you get when you mix a cat shelter, a barren yard and eager volunteers with green thumbs? A wildlife habitat certified by the National Wildlife Federation—or, as community outreach chair Lisa Bass of Good Mews Animal Foundation in Marietta, Georgia, calls it, a “big-screen kitty TV.”

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  • Magazine Article

    Baby love

    Kitten nurseries often specialize in caring for unweaned kittens (commonly referred to as “bottle babies” or “neonates”) who need to be hand fed.

    In its new kitten nursery manual, the National Kitten Coalition provides an in-depth look at innovative solutions for kittens who need extra time and care

    For shelter workers and rescue volunteers around the country, spring can seem the cruelest season. That’s when kitten intakes typically peak.

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