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ANIMAL SHELTERING

MARCH / APRIL 2012

Articles

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Unforgettable

Shots and stories of your most memorable animals.

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Scoop

Rescue U students help out with construction work at shelters around the country; a trap-neuter-return program in West Virginia shrinks a community’s feral cat population; a photographer in California snaps away to raise thousands of dollars for animal welfare organizations; a shelter worker in Ohio helps rescue a cat from a minivan dashboard; a shelter in Florida welcomes animals rescued from natural and man-made disasters; and much more.

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Coffee Break

In your space, you told us about the funniest (or strangest) things you’ve encountered in your animal welfare work.

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The People’s Power

To do the best job of caring for animals, shelters need to pay attention to those other creatures in the building—their staff. The Shelter Diagnostic System surveys employees on key on-the-job issues—including communication, pay, stress, and role clarity—to find out how people feel about working for your organization, and what you can do to improve it. Learn how two shelters took their employees’ pulse and used that feedback to make their workplaces better.

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Life Preservers

Erie County in upstate New York is one of the nation’s poorer regions, and animal welfare organizations there struggle to find the resources and the room for the large number of cats arriving at their doorsteps. Amazingly, they’ve managed for the last several years to avoid euthanizing any healthy, adoptable felines. How are they doing it?

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Culture Corner

Books, movies, and other cool stuff for animal lovers.

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The “101” Department

Group housing isn’t for every shelter cat, but for those who do enjoy the company of other kitties, colony rooms are a great way to provide an enriched environment that reduces stress on your whiskered residents, wows shelter visitors, and spurs adoptions. Here are some important issues to consider before you “colonize” your cats—and a look at two shelters that are doing it right.

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Q&A

Photographer Teresa Berg couldn’t stand the idea that dogs wouldn’t find homes simply because their online adoption pictures weren’t appealing. She set out to fix that.

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Humane Law Forum

Volunteers provide essential support to shelters and rescues around the country, but they also bring with them some potential liability issues. Can a shelter be held responsible for a volunteer’s negligence? Can a volunteer sue over on-the-job injuries? To protect your organization against lawsuits, learn the issues and develop smart policies for training and safety.

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Behavior Department

Emotional stress in cats has emerged as the key cause of upper respiratory infection. Researcher Nadine Gourkow points out that you can increase a cat’s resistance to pathogens by making him happy. She’s developed a scale to assess a cat’s emotional state, and found that mental stimulation and gentling techniques not only improve emotional well-being—they reduce the incidence of URI.