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ANIMAL SHELTERING

JULY / AUGUST 2011

Articles

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Scoop

An Indiana municipal shelter steps up whenever other animal welfare organizations need a helping hand; a major rescue operation in Texas removes more than 300 animals (including tigers and mountain lions) and finds them homes; a Michigan woman builds a 360-person volunteer corps targeting the puppy mill industry where it hurts; a New York shelter raises $253,000 with its annual telethon; and much more.

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Coffee Break

In your space, you tell us about some of your favorite programs to help cats— everything from partnering with a local hockey team to a community operation (pun intended) that’s sterilized 250 cats in a single day.

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Here for a Reason

The story of an Oklahoma puppy who lived through euthanasia, had his story publicized on Facebook, and went on to get adoption applications from as far away as France captures the bittersweet complexity of dramatic survival stories, which often garner great public attention and a passion to adopt the victim.

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Getting Real

The Austin Humane Society is one of several shelters that have started a hand-feeding, enrichment, and training program for adoptable dogs. The results are easy to see—a kennel that’s a pleasant environment for both people and pets. It’s a good illustration of what happens when enrichment—a key tenet of new guidelines developed by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians— is emphasized for shelter animals.

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A New Day for Fight-Bust Dogs

Law enforcement officials, the sheltering community, and the public used to view dogs seized from dogfighting rings as too dangerous to place. The Michael Vick case and its ensuing media coverage of rehabilitated pit bulls served as a wake-up call that better options exist for these dogs

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The “101” Department

Older shelter practices dictate cleaning a cat cage by removing the cat and then blitzing the space with cleaners and bleach. The process is hard on germs— but, as it turns out, it can be hard on kitties, too. Spot-cleaning is an effective way to decrease disease transmission, and let cats stay in place amid their own familiar scents.

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Q&A

When it comes to designing effective shelter programs to reduce euthanasia, you can never have too much information. That’s the view longtime animal welfare advocate Peter Marsh expresses in his book Replacing Myth with Math: Using Evidence- Based Programs to Eradicate Shelter Overpopulation. We talk to him about how shelters can more effectively target their programs.

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Humane Law Forum

What happens when an enraged adopter tells you that the lovely little Pekingese who came to you as a stray, and behaved himself so beautifully at the shelter, has bitten a neighbor without provocation? Is your shelter legally responsible? Every adoption’s unique, but determining post-adoption liability can usually be broken down into three simple issues.

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Behavior Department

A good foster network can be a major ally in saving animals’ lives, but fledgling fosterers have a lot to learn before embarking on their kitty-mentoring adventure. How long should you keep kittens confined in their own space? How soon should you introduce them to visitors? Veteran fosterers offer their advice— and their practical knowledge and experiences are worth their weight in kitten chow.

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Off Leash

A new smartphone application gives people access to everything a Kansas City, Mo., shelter has to offer— especially adoptable pets!