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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

    We stand up for the five freedoms

    <em>Animal Sheltering</em> magazine Spring 2018

    Download this Mouthpiece to show your shelter is committed to providing the five freedoms

    The Five Freedoms is an animal welfare standard developed by the U.K. Farm Animal Welfare Council and adapted by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians for pets in shelters. Download this Mouthpiece to show your community that your shelter is commited to providing your animals with the five freedoms.

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  • Magazine Article

    Not your mother’s animal shelter

    After decades of innovation, sheltering has progressed far beyond its ‘dog pound’ roots

    Some longtime animal welfare professionals can remember the days of tiny cinderblock shelters hidden away from the community, bare concrete kennels and unthinkable euthanasia rates. Decades later, shelters leading the field are innovative, creative community centers that tackle animal homelessness at the roots and boast vastly improved live-release rates. How did we get here—and where will we go next?

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  • Magazine Article

    Making the grade

    Members of the Boys &amp; Girls Club are all smiles after making dog toys at the Humane Society of Broward County.

    Florida shelter achieves high marks in humane education

    A humane education program that pays for itself?

    It’s not a pipe dream, says Caroline Crane, vice president of education at the Humane Society of Broward County in Florida.

    The open-admission shelter reaches tens of thousands of children and adults in the community each year through its rich roster of educational programs—all while generating more than $160,000 in direct revenue.

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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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