Other Useful Shelter/Rescue Information

Practical Suggestions to Help Implement the No-Kill Philosophy

We have a WALDO volunteer who is an experienced shelter worker who took a high kill shelter in a poor area to a no-kill shelter in a relatively short period. She is available to consult with any shelter/rescue who would like her help. Contact info@whowillletthedogsout.org for more information.

Rescue Partnerships

A robust rescue program for both cats and dogs is an important key to keep animals moving out of the shelter.  Build good relationships with trusted partners to have assortment of rescue types so that you know who to reach out when in need.

Foster Care

Foster care is especially helpful with little ones who may need to be bottle fed, medical/health issues.  Fostering is also very helpful when you can keep a litter from ever entering the actual building, but yet get vaccinated, dewormed, and yet be promoted while in their foster home. 

Community Cat Sterilization

A large percentage of kittens are born outside.  Creating a trap-neuter-release-and manage program will not only lower the volume of feral cats entering the system, but will prevent far too many kittens dying while living outside or being brought in too sick to help.

Pet Retention

When an owner surrender calls the shelter, the first question should be, “What can we do to help you keep your pet at home?”  Helping the community member who has a life problem keep their pet is a successful way to keep pets in their homes.  Have a list of resources available to talk to the family for what can help them with their needs.

Comprehensive Adoption Program

Saving lives requires a multi-prong approach.  And yes, a robust rescue program is part of the solution, but reaching out to your community for adoptions is now sometimes overlooked.  Check your adoption applications to see where you may be being unnecessarily restrictive.  This also includes having the shelter be open on Saturdays so that people who work can also come and visit and possibly adopt.    

Public Relations/Community Involvement

It really is all about the PR and more PR.  Your community needs to not only know your needs (such as supplies, etc.) but share with them your successes as well.   Use social media, websites, pet store promotions to their fullest.  Rabies clinics and microchip clinics are two easy ways to let your community know you are working with them, not against them.  Absolutely no people/community/owner bashing!

Medical and Behavior Prevention and Rehab

Age-appropriate vaccinations on intake and up-to-date cleaning processes.  Many behavior issues can be prevented with strong enrichment programs that use all of their senses.  For example:

  • Group walks
    • Play groups
    • Food enrichment, even something as easy as work for food puzzles
    • Pick an appropriate scent to use in their kennels and then switch it up
    • Soothing music

High Volume/Low-Cost Sterilization

This win-win is so obvious, not sure what else needs to be said.

Proactive Redemption

Not only help them get home after they get to the shelter, but also work with animal control to see if they can get them home before they actually get to the shelter.  Use the return to owner time as a way to discuss any help the family may need.  And it is a perfect time to offer low or no cost spay/neuter and microchipping.

Hard Working, Compassionate Shelter Director

Number one most important point is to have a Shelter Director agree that there is to be no more killing of healthy/treatable adoptable dogs and cats.