Check out our latest resources
We consistently add new resources to our site to keep you informed on the latest topics in animal welfare, updated on innovative lifesaving strategies, and informed on new tools to improve operations.
We added new resources and information in May in the following categories:
- People, Pets and Policies Manual
- Saving America's Pets Vlog
- The Best Friends Podcast
- Additional Information & Resources
- Kitten Kits Help the Public Participate in Lifesaving: Kitten season is well underway around the country, and Network partners are implementing all kinds of strategies to cope with the influx. If your organization hasn’t tried a “Don’t Kit-Nap Kittens” campaign, they are very effective at educating people about the fact that many “orphaned” kittens are not orphaned at all and have the greatest chance of survival if they are left with mom. For those neonates that do end up at the shelter when people find them, the most promising programs are those that ask the public to play a significant role in caring for these most fragile beings.
- Setting the Record Straight on Shelter Returns: You might have noticed recent media coverage that makes it seem as if pets who were adopted during the pandemic are being returned in droves. This viral media narrative is misleading for several reasons, missing the mark on the real challenges surrounding shelter animals and pets. Sensational coverage such as the New York Post piece “Pets adopted during the pandemic are being returned in record numbers” or Salon.com’s claim that there are “drastic increases in animals being abandoned,” don’t paint an accurate picture of what is really happening at shelters around the country.
- Finding Pathways to Success for Rural Shelters: As someone who spent a decade in the rural* community of Kanab, Utah, that houses Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, I can attest to the benefits of living in such an area. The wide-open spaces, proximity to nature and wildlife and slower pace of life were, for me, a definite respite from the hustle of living in Los Angeles. But the challenges that rural residents face—fewer employment opportunities, lower incomes, limited transportation, a lack of advanced medical services—are very real, and trickle down to impact pets in addition to people.
- Keeping Pets with their Families: It’s no secret that we love our companion animals. According to the American Pet Products Association’s 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey, 67% of households have at least one pet. And for most of those families, giving up a pet is something that happens only when people are faced with extreme circumstances like a financial crisis, health problems or challenges with finding affordable, pet-inclusive housing.
- Cat Programs E-Learning Modules: As animal services organizations evolve across the country and meet the lifesaving expectations of the community, it has become clear that cats losing their lives in shelters or removing them from their outdoor homes is not an effective way to build trust, seek solutions or create humane outcomes. This self paced course will not only equip you with the nuts-and-bolts knowledge of launching new cat programming, but will also detail how members of your community will become agents of change.
- Module 1: Community Cat Programming: In this module you will gain an overview of comprehensive community cat program components, including targeted return-to -field (RTF) and targeted trap-neuter-vaccinate-return (TNVR). These programs are proven lifesaving strategies that shelters can utilize to increase the lifesaving of cats in their care.
- Module 2: Community Engagement: By engaging and working with your community, cats and kittens stay out of your shelter and in the community where they belong. Recognizing that people are the solution rather than the problem allows organizations to implement innovative programs and solve long-standing cat-related complaints
- Module 3: Adoptions and Fostering: In this module you will learn to create, advocate for, market and implement lifesaving adoption, working cat and foster programs for cats in the shelter.
- Module 4: Cats in Shelters: To ensure that every cat’s time in a shelter is as safe and stress free as possible, it’s important to know how to safely use cat handling equipment, provide enrichment and decompression and incorporate cleaning protocols into the shelter's daily tasks.
- Module 5: Shelter Medicine: Review medical guidelines to help build programming that will best route and expedite the cats in your shelter toward positive outcomes.
- Module 6: Kittens: The care of underage kittens can be a daunting endeavor for many organizations. This module will help you create programming that can swiftly and effectively care for the neonatal kittens in your community.
- Module 7: Leading Change: Data is a critical tool to help identify gaps in programming. Once gaps are identified, you can review steps for making changes and launching new programming, get stakeholder buy-in, communicate change and empower others to become agents of change.
People, Pets, and Policies Manual
- People, Pets, and Policies: Towards Community Supported Animal Sheltering: Together with IMLA (International Municipal Lawyers Association), we have created the following comprehensive guide to provide municipalities with programs and policies that encourage the humane treatment of animals. The chapters included in the manual address topics such as pet inclusive public housing, empowering animal field officers, integrating animal services and municipal departments, managing feral cat populations, foster care, adoption services, volunteering at animal shelters, public and private partnerships, and breed-neutral policies and laws.
Saving America's Pets Vlog
- How to encourage community support and save the lives of animals in shelters: In this episode, Holly continues the conversation with Jessica Aria from Burlington Animal Services. They discuss the success of Burlington Animal Services in North Carolina, how their Mighty Mousers Program became successful and what other shelters can do to help save more lives in the coming years.
- A community cat program in this Burlington shelter helped save even more animals: Meet Jessica Arias, the shelter director at Burlington Animal Services in North Carolina. She discusses with Holly the feeling you get when your shelter reaches the status of no-kill and the journey she traveled with the community in Burlington to get there.
The Best Friends Podcast
- Managed intake programs: Learn how changing a shelter's intake procedures saves lives, keeps families together, and fosters a positive relationship with your community.
- Kitten Action Team: When a resident of Sacramento calls 3-1-1 to report kittens in need, a volunteer - not an animal services officer - responds to the call through their recently launched Kitten Action Team.
- Saving lives in rural Indiana: The Brown County Humane Society, an open-admission shelter, has been a shining example of no-kill success, first reaching the 90% save rate benchmark in 2008. They didn't stop there, in 2019 they hit a save rate of 98.3%
- Ed Jamison - Part Two: In this second part of our discussion Ed, we talk about the status of the DEI efforts, his new role with the nonprofit Operation Kindness, supporting, and the role he thinks rescue organizations can play to support municipal shelters.