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Shelter operations and management

Utilize our resources to improve the health and welfare of the animals in your care and ensure you're following the best and most current operations and management procedures.

  • No more guessing games

    It doesn’t take a marketing degree to know that, in the sheltering business, you shouldn’t be naming your dogs things like Trouble, Biter, Loud Mouth, Dimwit or Sir Sheds-A-Lot. But could you unintentionally be creating the same effect every time you put a breed label on a kennel card? Learn how the combination of breed stereotypes and breed guesses often works against the best interests of dogs and adopters—and why more shelters are choosing breed-free ways to describe the dogs in their care.

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  • Building quality leadership

    In the first quarter of 2016, the Washington Humane Society (WHS) and the Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL) merged two century-old organizations who now provide care and outreach for more than 60,000 animals a year in the nation’s capital. As a result, we are blending a leadership team and, in many ways, reinventing ourselves: expanding programs and services, developing a new culture and unrolling a new brand and identity.

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Most recent Tools and Resources > Shelter operations and management

  • 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

    Are they getting the care they deserve?

    Using the Five Freedoms to ensure quality of life for animals in our care

    In my days working in a shelter, when I turned out the lights and left at the end of the day, I would ask myself one very important question: “Did I give each and every animal the best possible care today?” 

    I’m guessing you do the same. But how can we be certain? How do we know for sure that any animal is living a good quality life, let alone an animal living in a shelter environment? The answer lies in something called “The Five Freedoms.”

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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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  • Magazine Article

    Women’s movement

    Caroline Earle White (front row, left) poses with other founding members of the Women’s Humane Society (WHS) in 1913. WHS continues its tradition of female leadership today.

    Philadelphia shelter blazed trails with all-female leadership

    Nearly 50 years before some women were granted the right to vote, 30 women spearheaded the Women’s Branch of the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals—and 150 years later, women still drive the animal welfare field.

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  • Magazine Article

    How to get the most out of Animal Care Expo

    So does Sherbet.

    The senior director of volunteer engagement for The HSUS shares her best tips for effective networking at conferences

    Full disclosure: I hate networking. I’m not on LinkedIn, I loathe going into a room where I don’t really know someone and having to strike up a conversation (it’s so much like college: “What’s your major?”) and if “networking” is in the title of an event, I usually skip it. I know there are a million articles explaining both why networking is important and how to do it, but this is just how I am. I can’t help it.

    So, imagine my surprise when my colleague asked me to write a blog about it!

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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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