No Kill Resources

  • No Kill South Carolina – Thousands of animals are dying across South Carolina, because of a lack of space or a lack of dollars. But what’s exciting is that No Kill South Carolina can help communities end the killing, by teaching them how Charleston Animal Society was able to do it here in the Lowcountry, through No Kill Charleston. The grassroots plan is bold: each region of the state will have a “key resource center” that will help under-performing animal shelters raise the bar of animal care across all of South Carolina. It is boldest animal care initiative ever undertaken in the U.S.
  • No Kill. No Harm. No More. – Become part of a grassroots movement for animals unlike any other before it. No Kill. No Harm. No More. is a movement that will help fund everything that Charleston Animal Society sets out to do for animal welfare in the future.
  • Community Building – A significant reduction of the euthanasia rate in a community is not possible without strong collaboration among many community actors.
  • Aha! Moments in the Deep South: How the Charleston Animal Society turned scandal into lifesaving – When the Charleston Animal Society faced a massive scandal after years of high kill rates in the shelter, it might have been the end of the line. Thanks to the courage to recognize and act on its Aha! Moments, the organization and the community it serves have never been more in sync, and the animals have never been better off.
  • Shelter Animals Count – Despite the hard work of shelters and rescues everywhere, it is estimated that millions of dogs and cats enter America’s shelters each year, and more than half of them will never leave. While great progress has been made, accurate and comprehensive nation-wide data does not exist. It’s precisely this data that will guide good decision-making, and help us save thousands of sheltered animals’ lives. The numbers really do count.
  • Shelter Animals Count Basic Data Matrix – This basic matrix was designed to serve as a tool for basic data collection.
  • Million Cat Challenge – The Million Cat Challenge is a shelter-based campaign to save the lives of one million cats in North America over the next five years.

Lifesaving Strategies

Strategy #1: Finding homes for shelter canines and felines through and aggressive and nonjudgmental adoption program

  • Forget the Fairy Tale – Lowering your drawbridge will help more adopters and animals live happily ever after.
  • Adopters Welcome Manual – Adopters Welcome highlights an approach to adoptions that embraces community members, encourages them to adopt, and helps them and their pets succeed. The approach also acknowledges the connection among all local adoption agencies and the impact adoptions, or lack of adoptions, can have on all of the animals in a community.
  • Reduced Fee Adoption – Why they work – Reduced adoption fees save lives. Consider what happened when Animal Outreach of Shelby County in Indiana lowered fees. Kerry Ann May, president of the organization, said, “Our cats were being adopted so darn quickly, we were able to pull cats from the municipal shelter more often. This resulted in a nearly 10-fold increase in pulls from the shelter in one year!”
  • Meet the Adopters – ASPCA Workshop Material
  • Meet the Adopters Facilitator Guide
  • Fee-Waived Adoptions – The traditional view has been that “giving away” cats devalues them in the eyes of the adopter, may compromise their care and reflects poorly on the shelter giving them away. But research and experiences of individual shelters have proven that this just isn’t the case.
  • A comparison of attachment levels of adopters of cats: fee-based adoptions versus free adoptions
  • Adoption Ambassadors – More than 600 agencies have pledged to empower their fosters to save more lives through Adoption Ambassadors.
  • Meet your Match – Tools and resources you need to talk about Meet Your Match with your adopters and promote the program in your community.
  • Home for the Holidays – Since 2012, Charleston Animal Society has been delivering homeless dogs and cats to their new families in time for the holidays, creating Christmas miracles in the community of Charleston, SC.
  • Adopt a Pet – North America’s Largest Non-Profit Pet Adoption Website.

Strategy #2: Preventing births of unwanted canine and felines through a high-volume, high-quality spay & neuter program

  • Spay Neuter Database – Through our partnership with PetSmart Charities™, our comprehensive and searchable database is designed to help you find low-cost spay/neuter programs in your community. We are constantly adding to this database, so if you don’t find any listings for your zip code immediately, please check back soon.
  • Shelter Guidelines Spay/Neuter Webinar – he Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) compiled the Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters to provide research-based guidelines that will help any sheltering operation meet the physical, medical, and behavioral needs of the animals in their care.
  • Effective Spay/Neuter Outreach Manual – Research shows that cost is a primary barrier to people getting their pets altered.
  • ASPCA Spay Neuter Alliance (Formerly Humane Alliance) – Training, consulting and resources for low-cost high-volume spay/neuter clinics.

Strategy #3: Reducing the number of free-roaming felines through a trap-vaccinate-alter & return-to-habitat comprehensive plan

  • How to Trap a Cat Video – Trapping cats for spaying and neutering not only saves lives but is safe and is a wonderful educational experience for the whole family.
  • The Jackson Galaxy Project Guide to TNR– This guide is designed to help you learn about and prepare to do TNR and to help you tackle common issues that you might see while implementing a TNR program for your community cats.
  • The Vacuum Effect – Removing cats from an area by killing or relocating them is not only cruel—it’s pointless. Animal control agencies and city governments have blindly perpetuated this futile approach for decades. But scientific research, years of failed attempts, and evidence from animal control personnel prove that catch and kill doesn’t permanently clear an area of cats.
  • Association between a shelter-neuter-return program and cat health at a large municipal animal shelter –  Initiation of the SNR program was associated with a decreased number of cats admitted to the shelter and a lower proportion euthanized. With increased resources to care for cats with URI and changes in the URI treatment protocol, fewer cats were euthanized for URI and more cats were treated at lower cost and with a briefer shelter stay.
  • Million Cat Challenge Impact Report
  • Million Cat Challenge Return to Field – In traditional trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs, community cats are trapped and transported directly to a spay/neuter clinic, where they are sterilized, vaccinated, and ear-tipped for identification.
  • Feline Shelter Intake Reduction Program FAQs – Kate Hurley, DVM, MPVM, and Dr. Julie Levy, DVM, Ph.D., DACVIM – Hear from shelter medicine leaders what it is and why it works.
  • Watch community cat diversion in practice at Greenville County Animal Care: Video #1 Video #2.
  • Community Cat Programs Handbook – Through various partnerships, Best Friends operates more large-scale community cat programs (CCPs) than any other organization in the country. We are, therefore, in a unique position to comment on what it takes to make such programs effective. Indeed, we feel an obligation to share our knowledge with individuals and organizations interested in creating their own CCPs. This handbook is one manifestation of that obligation.
  • Save Lives with Feral Freedom – One of the keys to bringing about a time of No More Homeless Pets is reducing the number of cats currently dying in shelters nationwide. In most communities, at least 50 percent of the animals entering shelters are felines and on average only three out of every 10 cats leave alive. Sadly, in many shelters, only one in 10 cats survive.
  • Shelter-Based Feral Freedom – In Charleston County, South Carolina, animal organizations have implemented the Feral Freedom strategy as a collaboration of local organizations and animal control agencies, affirmed by ordinances created to reinforce this strategy to save more lives and reduce intake.
  • Transforming Shelters to Save More Cats: Activist Toolkit – Do you want to help your local shelter save more cats’ lives? This toolkit will help you organize your community and approach your shelter about implementing positive changes for cats.
  • Community Cats Data – TNR works—there is no question. But the need for ongoing research to improve and perfect this emerging specialty within the animal welfare field is critical. In the ongoing and polarized dialogue concerning the impact cats have on wildlife, detractors often argue there is not enough scientific data to prove that TNR works.
  • Managing Community Cats – Few animal-related issues facing local leaders are potentially more difficult and time-consuming than those involving un-owned cats in the community. Complaints or concerns regarding cats often represent a disproportionate share of animal-related calls to elected officials and local animal care and control agencies.
  • TNR Essentials – Trap-neuter-return (TNR) is the most humane, effective way to help reduce the number of community cats who live on our streets. With TNR, community cats are humanely trapped, vaccinated* and sterilized by licensed veterinarians before being returned to their outdoor homes.
  • Community Cats: Public Policies and Legal Considerations – Despite the significant, tangible benefits of community cat programs, and the trap-neuter-return (TNR) method of managing unowned free-roaming cats, these programs are sometimes challenged by opponents who raise questions about whether this progressive approach is sound public policy, or is “legal” under state and local law. The opposition is almost always rhetorical, fear-driven and comes from outside interests offering no feasible alternative. This opposition also operates on a flimsy foundation that runs counter to sound public policy and legal theory and misrepresents existing animal protection provisions.
  • Community Cats and Public Health – Looking for resources and information to help you provide accurate information to your communities about public health issues and free-roaming cats? Guest blogger Jesse Oldham has compiled them for you.

Strategy #4: Fostering canines and felines until they are placed in permanent homes

  • Foster Program Webinar Recruiting – Want a thriving foster program for cats and dogs? Learn how Charleston Animal Society (CAS) successfully recruits foster families.
  • Foster Program Webinar Preventing a “Mountain of Kittens” – Learn how Charleston Animal Society (CAS) effectively supports their foster families, and discover their strategies for preventing a “mountain of kittens”.
  • 6 Ways to Find Foster Families – We all know the importance of foster families to a shelter or rescue—but how do you find these lifesavers? Below we share tips for recruiting fosters, gleaned from two agencies with highly successful foster programs.
  • Grow and Keep your Fosters Happy – How can shelters or rescue groups assist their foster caregivers and expand the number of foster families?  Watch this Maddie Talk from Pibbles and More Animal Rescue about a peer support program that helps foster families aid and train each other. An added benefit? The program helps recruit new members and prevent volunteer dropout. See how a peer support program in your organization can promote community, build caregiver skills, and ultimately save more lives!
  • Charleston Animal Society General Foster Manual 
  • Dog Foster Care Manual – Best Friends’ dog foster care manual has information on preparing for, bringing home and caring for a foster dog to prepare him or her for a forever home.
  • Kitten Foster Care Manual – Best Friends’ kitten foster care manual has information on preparing for, bringing home and caring for a foster kitten to prepare him or her for a forever home.
  • Best Friends Cat Foster Care Manual – Best Friends’ cat foster care manual has information on preparing for, bringing home and caring for a foster cat to prepare him or her for a forever home.
  • Maddie’s® Pet Assistant App – Maddie’s® Pet Assistant is a tool to help foster caregivers or adopters with enhanced support for questions or challenges while providing valuable insights to your organization.

Strategy #5: Reuniting loved ones through an in-depth lost and found program

  • Webinar 5 steps to Increase Cat Reclaims –  Each year, only 2-5% of lost cats are reclaimed by owners from shelters each year. Many missing cats roam unnoticed or are taken in by neighbors, remaining “lost” in the community forever! Fortunately, there are proven strategies that you can use to improve the odds of happy reunions, in some cases, up to three times the national average! In this webinar, we’ll examine both human and feline behaviors that prevent lost cats from returning home. Shelter professionals will learn five steps they can start taking today to improve cat owner reclaims and decrease intake.
  • Good Microchip Scanning – I may have a microchip, but sometimes those little suckers can be hard to find. But if you promise to scan me thoroughly so I can get home to my family, I’ll try not to wiggle or lick too much while you wave that weird thingy at me!
  • Tips for Locating Lost Cats – Smart tips for locating cats.
  • What You Don’t Know About Pets – Want to find lost pets? Whether you’re a shelter worker trying to help a guardian find a missing pet or you’ve lost a pet yourself, the first step to successfully locating a lost pet is to understand how they behave.
  • Understanding Strays – When pets are lost, both the animals and their owners can suffer. But where do they end up? New research on lost pets conducted by the ASPCA reveals that a significant percentage of the stray dogs and cats in shelters around the country may not have someone looking for them.
  • Boost Return To Owner – Whether you are new to social media or an advanced user, consider the following tips when using venues such as Facebook to advertise lost pets.
  • Strategies to Boost Return to Owner Rates – A strong return-to-owner program can bring immediate joy to lost animals and their worried families, and can work in tandem with your adoption efforts to help your shelter save more lives.
  • Successful Lost and Found Pet Matching – Tips for happy endings.

Strategy #6: Saving the lives of healthy and treatable canines and felines through individually customized treatment regimens

  • Pet Evaluation Matrix – A Pet Evaluation Matrix (PEM) is a list of specific, commonly seen medical and behavioral conditions that may occur in individual sheltered animals. A PEM categorizes the conditions as healthy, treatable-rehabilitatable, treatable-manageable or unhealthy & untreatable using Asilomar Accords definitions based on the standard of care.
  • Shelter Animals Count The Asilomar Accords – In August of 2004, a group of animal welfare industry leaders from across the nation convened at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, California, for the purpose of building bridges across varying philosophies, developing relationships and creating goals focused on significantly reducing the euthanasia of healthy and treatable companion animals in the United States.
  • Vaccination Education – Vaccines have long been a mainstay of routine preventive health care for both people and animals. Their use has controlled and prevented widespread epidemics of numerous infectious diseases that otherwise would claim many human and animal lives each year. In the past few years, however, the safety of vaccination has been called into question.
  • Success Stories
  • Neglected Dogs Continues to Recover at Charleston Animal Society .
  • Jason & Sugar Mama.
  • Franz, the doxie puppy.

Strategy #7: Optimizing collective opportunities for the live outcome/release of felines and canines through transfer/placements with other humane/lifesaving organizations

  • Relocation and Transport – Effective animal relocation and transport can be key to saving more lives, especially animals who are euthanized because of shelter overcrowding.
  • Sample Transfer Agreement – Use this PDF transfer agreement as is, or use the information captured here to create one tailored to your specific needs.
  • Transporting to the Future – Connecting places of opportunity with areas of need.

Strategy #8 Providing for humane care in shelters through adherence to the Association of Shelter Veterinarians Guidelines for Standard of Care in Animal Shelter and Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare

  • 5 Freedoms of Animal Welfare – These principles are relevant and appropriate measures of welfare for any animal species and the task force tried to be mindful of them throughout the process.
  • Facility Design and Animal Housing – A shelter facility designed with animal health and welfare at the core can be transformative not only to the animals housed there but also to the people who care for them and to the communities they serve. At best most organizations get one opportunity every 20, 30, or more years to build a new sheltering facility; therefore, it is imperative that the design is right. If you start with this information sheet you will be well on your way.
  • Shelter Housing for Cats – Well-designed accommodation enables improved standards of husbandry, as well as a better working environment for staff. This can have a significant benefit in expediting rehoming, as cats are healthier, and more likely to display natural behaviors and have positive interactions with potential adopters.
  • Capacity for Care – How many lives can your shelter save? The Capacity for Care / Magic Number Calculator helps you find out. This data-based spreadsheet app was revealed at the Million Cat Challenge – Where the Rubber meets the Road presentation at the 2016 HSUS Animal Care Expo. Here you’ll find the calculator, plus notes on how to use it to make life better for shelter animals and shelter staff.
  • Length of Stay – There isn’t one average or median length of stay that’s right for every sheltering organization or for every animal. The idea is that every animal should stay just as long as they need to in order to get the care they need and the best outcome that’s possible without delays. For a kitten or a puppy who is old enough for adoption that could even be just a few minutes but for an injured or sick dog or cat that might be a lot longer.
  • Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters – The Guidelines are meant to be applicable to virtually any situation in which care for companion animals is delivered in a group or population setting, including traditional brick and mortar shelters, sanctuaries and home based foster or rescue networks.
  • Shelter Care Checklist – These checklists can be used in your shelter to see where you meet or exceed standards, where improvement can be made, and where immediate changes should be implemented. The first step should be to urgently address and correct any unacceptable practices. Aside from those immediate changes, implementing change based on the Guidelines should be a gradual and thoughtful process designed to provide maximum benefit for the animals.

Strategies to create a Humane Community

Strategy #1: Fighting animal cruelty wherever it exists through assisting law enforcement and advocating for stronger laws

  • Where to Report Animal in South Carolina:
  • How to Report Animal Cruelty – Your community views your shelter or rescue as an authority on animal welfare issues and looks to you for advice on reporting animal cruelty. Familiarizing yourself with your local laws will help you to support concerned citizens and protect animals from harm.
  • Training to Fight Animal Cruelty – The ASPCA offers numerous training opportunities for law enforcement, veterinarians, prosecutors, and animal sheltering professionals who wish to learn more about how to fight animal cruelty.
  • The Veterinarian’s Legal Rule In Animal Cruelty Cases – While prosecution of animal cruelty cases is generally considered the exclusive purview of law enforcement, veterinarians who routinely examine and treat sick and injured animals occupy a unique role in the legal process of identifying cruelty and bringing its perpetrators to justice.
  • 5 Freedoms are our Guiding Principles – These principles are relevant and appropriate measures of welfare for any animal species and has been adopted veterinary groups, the World Organization for Animal Health and rank-and-file animal organizations across the United States

Strategy #2: Helping families keep their pets for life through a nonjudgmental pet-focused food bank and a network of support for underserved communities

  • HSUS Pets for Life Program – The Pets for Life Community Outreach Toolkit is a product of The HSUS’ Pets for Life program, supported by PetSmart Charities. This step-by-step manual guides animal care and social welfare advocates through development and implementation of a pioneering community outreach program.
  • Reaching Pet Owners Who Aren’t Looking for You Webinar – In the last decade, as spay/neuter has become a critical part of the movement to end animal homelessness, it has become almost an ethical issue: “People who spay/neuter are good, and people who don’t are not.” The problem with this thinking is that it seeps into our programs, operations, and attitudes, and alienates the very people we must reach to create lasting social change. In this webinar, we explore this concept and discuss successful strategies for forming trusting and respectful relationships with the pet owners most critical to our movement — those with unaltered pets.  This webinar is geared towards staff and volunteers of spay/neuter clinics, advocates of Spay & Neuter, and veterinarians.
  • Community Pet Health Fairs – Six times a year, several organizations throughout Albuquerque team up to hold pet health fairs, events where pet owners can bring their dogs and cats to get the resources they need.
  • Breaking Down Care Barriers – Access to basic medical careis considered a fundamental human right in many nations. In any community, it has a major impact on quality of life. This goes not only for humans, but for their companion animals as well. Most of us know that if we wake up with a sore throat, we can drive to a doctor. Similarly, when our pets are unwell, we can take them to a veterinarian and get the treatment to help make them healthy.

Strategy #3: Guiding children to grow into humanitarians through a comprehensive humane education initiative

  • Charleston Animal Society Education Programs – Making the World More Humane, One Person at a Time.
  • Association of Professional Humane Educators – A Humane Educator is anyone who teaches and promotes humane attitudes toward people, animals and the environment. This includes, but is not limited to, anyone who teaches animal welfare, animal rights, animal behavior, environmental concerns, character education, cultural studies and any combination of the above.
  • Academy of Prosocial Learning – The Academy of Prosocial Learning is the hub for education professionals looking to bring student-centered learning, social and emotional growth, and critical thinking into your work. Having served as educational consultants in the United States and Internationally, our team specializes in supporting all types of educators who wish to cultivate a culture of learning and empathy. The Academy offers the premier humane education credentialing program, the only national registry of humane education specialists, and helps clients achieve their goals by providing the professional development, curriculum frameworks, and guidance they need in order to be successful.
  • The Latham Foundation – Promoting humane education.
  • The Institute for Humane Education – Creating a better world through education.
  • Red Rover – This unique community-based social and emotional learning program is aligned with Common Core and academic state standards and helps develop perspective-taking, empathy and critical thinking skills as children explore the bond between people and animals through stories and discussion. Teachers and educators trained in the RedRover Readers curriculum read to children and facilitate engaging discussions – helping children increase their level of empathy for people and animals.

Strategy #4 Shaping public opinion about animal welfare through advocacy and adult education efforts

  • Advocating for Animals – Find the tools you need to effectively communicate with law enforcement, veterinarians, and legislators about animal issues that are important to you.
  • ASPCA Advocacy Center – The ASPCA works with local, state and federal legislators to help enact meaningful protections for animals. We also offer advocacy training and support for citizens who wish to engage in grassroots lobbying. Stay informed and get involved—politics is not a spectator sport!

Animal Shelter Resources

  • ASPCA pro – ASPCApro provides training, research and resources to help animal welfare professionals save more lives.
  • Maddie’s Fund – The Maddie’s Fund mission is to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals.
  • Animal Sheltering (HSUS) – The Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Sheltering works to create a world where people and animals thrive, living happy, healthy lives together by focusing on key areas of impact.
  • Petfinder Pro – Resources to increase pet adoptions.
  • Best Friends Network – The No More Homeless Pets Network, made up of hundreds of shelters, rescue groups and other animal welfare organizations in all corners of the country, is committed to saving the lives of homeless pets through collaboration and implementation of effective adoption, spay/neuter and intake prevention programs. We are leading the way by implementing proven methods and inspiring communities to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters. Together, we will Save Them All.
  • SC Animal Care & Control Association – Our mission is to continue to promote professionalism within our field by offering up-to-date training and techniques for animal control and welfare professionals, thereby keeping them in the forefront of animal care.
  • National Animal Care & Control Association – Committed to setting the standard of professionalism in animal welfare and public safety through training, networking, and advocacy.
  • The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement – AAWA is a non-profit individual membership organization of professionals in animal welfare, care & control, dedicated to the growth and prestige of our industry. SAWA strives to advocate humane ideals through professional advancement of members.
  • Virtual Shelter Consultant – The University of California Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program and the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine Shelter Medicine Program have partnered to create Virtual Consultant: a free web-based tool that enables animal shelters to assess their everyday practices.
  • Community Partnering as a Tool for Improving Live Release Rate in Animal Shelters in the United States – Collaboration among all shelters and nonhuman animal welfare groups within a community along with the transparent, shared reporting of uniform data have been promoted as effective ways to increase the number of animals’ lives saved. This article summarizes the shelter intakes, outcomes, and live release rate (LRR) from 6 geographically diverse communities participating in the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Partnership program for 5 years (2007–2011).
  • American Humane’s Complete OSHA and Safety Guide for Animal Shelters (PDF)

Volunteer Resources

  • Volunteer Management – HSUS Volunteer Management for Animal Care Organizations.
  • Volunteer Engagement – Volunteers are incredible individuals, each one committed, passionate and uniquely skilled. The ability to harness that passion and those skills can make or break an organization. Whether your organization has 10 or 10,000 volunteers, the foundations of volunteer engagement are the same. The following guidelines are designed to help you recruit, engage and retain exceptional volunteers in order to meet the goals and objectives of your organization.
  • Volunteer Management 101 Webinar – his webinar starts with the basics to help you create or expand a volunteer program that advances your mission and is productive and rewarding for both staff and volunteers. You can listen to this webinar at your convenience, any time 24/7.
  • Animal Transport Volunteer Playbook – It is incumbent on all organizations to ensure that all stakeholder concerns are adequately monitored and addressed if transfer programs are to be a widely accepted tool in our effort to find homes for all healthy and treatable animals. We encourage collaboration among all stakeholders to provide input for our efforts to promote the best practices which will ensure the safe and effective transfer of animals between organizations.

Welfare Resources

  • USDA Animal Welfare Act – Animal welfare act and regulations.
  • Positive Reinforcement – Positive reinforcement is the most effective and humane way to train animals. The basic principle is to reward the desired behavior with something pleasant. As with so many things, correct timing is essential. To get the animal to associate the reward with the correct behavior, the treat or praise must be delivered immediately. Consistency is also essential – always reward the desired behavior and don’t ever reward undesired behavior.
  • Fear Free Handling and Restraining – Our mission is to prevent and alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress in pets by inspiring and educating the people who care for them.
  • Cat Declawing: The Price of Convenience – Considering whether to declaw your cat or not? The declawing of cats is still routinely performed in this country, even though it is illegal or considered inhumane in many other countries around the world. Most people decide to have their cats declawed as a matter of convenience to protect their furniture from cat scratching or to guard against injury to themselves and family members.
  • Dogs Playing for Life Manual – A Game-Changing Enrichment Tool for Shelters.

Legislative Resources

  • Effective Animal Management for Building Humane Communities – A strong foundation of animal management policies is essential for creating and sustaining humane communities. These policies should balance public health and safety with animal welfare needs, enabling harmonious coexistence. State laws and local ordinances can be specifically tailored to suit a community’s unique needs, such as setting a baseline level for standard of care, prescribing community norms and creating funding streams.
  • Engaging Legislative Process – With all the things a busy sheltering professional has on his or her plate, few are more important than making the time to influence public policy.
  • Code of Laws Title 47 South Carolina
  • Repealing Breed Specific Legislation – Moving beyond breed to save dogs and strengthen communities.

Veterinary Resources

  • University of Florida Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program
  • UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program
  • Association of Shelter Veterinarians
  • Shelter Sanitation – Proper sanitation is vital to keeping pets healthy, and shelters face unique sanitation challenges. Here are details about what, when, and how to clean, plus suggestions for creating a cleaning protocol.
  • Disinfectant Product Table – There are countless products available for use in an animal shelter. Use this handy table to find the disinfectants that are the right fit for your organization.
  • Shelter Vaccination Protocols Webinar – Learn about the use of vaccinations as part of a comprehensive wellness plan to protect the health of cats and dogs in your care.
  • Proper Vaccine Handling – Vaccinations are truly among the greatest, most cost-effective tools that are available to shelters to enhance the health and welfare of the animals entrusted to our care.
  • Vaccination at Intake – Can infectious disease outbreaks in shelters be halted with just a small change in when animals are being vaccinated?
  • Red Flag Medical Conditions – To stop disease outbreaks before they start, shelter staff should look for symptoms of infectious disease in individual animals during daily rounds. Here’s what to watch out for.
  • Canine Distemper – Canine distemper outbreaks are a fact of life in animal shelters across the country, and a frequent cause of loss of life for infected and exposed dogs.
  • Canine and Feline Parvovirus – Many pet owners and some veterinary professionals are increasingly concerned about the risk of overvaccination, and are choosing to vaccinate owned animals less frequently—or even not to vaccinate at all. Indeed, the American Veterinary Medical Association’s panleukopenia handout (2010) boldly announces, “In the past, feline panleukopenia was a leading cause of death in cats. Today, it is an uncommon disease, due in large part to the availability and use of very effective vaccines.”
  • Parvovirus Protocol – Canine parvovirus outbreaks can’t always be prevented, but you can be sure your organization is prepared. By using this tool to create standard operating procedures, your staff will be equipped to respond to canine parvovirus quickly and confidently, keeping more animals healthy and saving more lives.
  • Feline Herpes Virus – Herpes virus creates a mild to severe upper respiratory infection in cats, and the severity depends on the overall health and immune system of the cat. Most cats recover and lead a normal long life. The virus is short-lived in the environment and is easily killed by most common disinfectants.
  • Feline FeLV – FeLV stands for feline leukemia virus. As the name implies, it is a viral infection of cats that affects a cat’s immune system and bone marrow.
  • Feline FIV – FIV, or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, is a contagious disease that presents different challenges to shelters, rescue groups, and foster homes. In this information sheet we offer an overview of the disease in an effort to assist organizations in formulating their own strategy to deal with this frustrating disease.
  • Ringworm – Ringworm is a zoonotic fungal infection that can wreak havoc on a shelter. Here is information about how to diagnose, treat and prevent this infectious disease.

Veterinary Care for Pet Owners

  • The Pet Fund – The Pet Fund is a registered 501(c) 3 nonprofit association that provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals in the United States who need veterinary care.
  • Banfield Foundation – Providing access to a network of nonprofit organizations which serve qualifying pet owners.
  • Brown Dog Foundation – Provides funding to families who find themselves in similar situations – a sick pet that would likely respond to treatment, but due to an unforeseen circumstance, there is not enough money immediately available to make it happen.
  • Diabetic Cats in Need – The heart of their mission is to keep diabetic cats in their original, loving homes, regardless of the income level of their caregivers.
  • Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance – Provides emergency financial assistance to cat and kitten guardians who are unable to afford veterinary services to save their companion with Vaccine Associated Sarcoma (VAS), also referred to as Injection Site Sarcoma (ISS).
  • Joshua Louis Animal Cancer Foundation – Provides assistance for owners and families of pets who are in need of cancer treatment.
  • The Magic Bullet Fun – Provides help for the families who can’t afford cancer treatment costs.
  • The Mosby Foundation – Assists in the care of critically sick, injured, abused and neglected dogs through financial support and public education.
  • Paws for a Cure – Provides financial assistance to qualified families throughout the United States who cannot afford veterinary care for their beloved furry family members. Paws 4 A Cure does not discriminate against breed, age, or diagnosis.
  • HSUS Pet Assistance Organization Links.

Management Resources

  • Humane Animal Control – In the Humane Animal Control manual, you will find a roadmap for progressive, community-based animal care and control. Best Friends Animal Society has assembled a collection of descriptions of our country’s most successful lifesaving programs, written by those who helped make them possible. Whether you’re a municipal employee new to this field or a seasoned veteran, we hope that this publication will empower you and your agency to expand the level of service you bring to the people and animals in your community.
  • Best Practice Guide – Rescue Group Best Practices Guide is intended to provide general information about rescue best practices.
  • Rescue Group Best Practices: Budget and Business Plan – As a tax-exempt organization, you are required to stay in good standing with the IRS. This means annually filing a 990, 990-EZ or 990-N tax return with the IRS, in addition to fulfilling any local and state requirements. Engaging in good accounting practices from the beginning will help you stay organized and focused. An essential step toward this goal is creating a budget for your organization. Developing a budget will require you to thoughtfully estimate costs for the year for items such as food, veterinary care and insurance, and it will help you plan fundraisers to support your efforts.
  • Shelter Software Guide – There are many options from which to choose, with a range of features and costs.  Due to popular demand, we are proud to provide a tool to help you select the best animal management software program for your organization.

Pet Statistics


  • GuideStar – We envision a nonprofit sector strong enough to tackle the great challenges of our time. GuideStar’s Nonprofit Profiles provide you with the information you need to make smart decisions, build connections, and learn from each other to achieve your missions.
  • Guidestar Best Practices Guide – A best practice guide for collecting and sharing information about nonprofit organizations.
  • Charity Navigator – Guide to intelligent giving.
  • Great Nonprofits – Guide of nonprofit organizations.
  • Foundation Center – Find the Knowledge you need to make a difference.
  • Foundation Center’s Location List – The Foundation Center provides free funding information through more than 400 Funding Information Network locations (formerly called Cooperating Collections) — libraries, community foundations, and other nonprofit resource centers located across the U.S. and several countries.
  • Google Adwords How-to Link to Download PDF – A guide to getting $120k a year in free google ads.


Nonprofit News & Community

Human Resources

  • Smile! You are Saving Lives Webinar – our organization serves many people: clients, adopters, donors, staff, volunteers.  How do you provide them each with satisfying service in the interest of building great relationships and saving more lives?  Remembering WHY we do this work – and putting that front and center – can change our outlook dramatically.
  • Compassion Fatigue – If you manage a team at an animal welfare organization, it’s important to help them identify when they’re stressed, and give them the proper tools to deal with compassion fatigue.
  • Engaging Humane Discourse – Animal rescue is among the most difficult work out there. Every day we witness some of the very worst of human behavior and it breaks our hearts. But we also work with some of the most caring and passionate individuals who are dedicated to saving as many lives as possible. While we spend so many resources caring for the animals, we often forget to care for ourselves as well as the thousands of other people in the animal welfare community.
  • Carolina Leadership Seminar – Carolina Leadership Seminars are designed to strengthen the abilities of dedicated executive directors as well as emerging leaders from nonprofits across South Carolina.

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