Resources for Shelters and Rescue Groups

Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters Published

standards-web3The Association of Shelter Veterinarians’Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters is available ask for a copy today! Several thousand hours of work collectively went into researching, assembling, reviewing, and editing the final content to ensure that these recommendations are relevant for all shelters while still being achievable. The overriding consideration throughout their development has been the well-being of shelter animals. Drawing from the literature and a broad experience base, we outlined what is needed to meet the minimum basic needs of companion animals living in population settings. Additional recommendations and suggestions for ideal practices are provided where relevant.

This is not an operational document; rather it is intended to assist shelters as they develop and implement protocols that impact animal care and well-being. Recognizing that there are many ways to meet the basic needs of animals, the recommendations are performance-based and not overly prescriptive. The Guidelines are intended as a positive tool for shelters and communities to review animal care, identify areas that need improvement, allocate resources, and implement solutions so welfare is optimized, euthanasia is minimized, and suffering is prevented. Comments and questions can be sent to

On behalf of the ASV Board and the Shelter Standards Task Force, we thank you for your contributions and support.

Sandra Newbury, DVM, Chair, Shelter Standards Task Force
Jeanette O’Quin, DVM, President, Association of Shelter Veterinarians

For shelter medicine information, including housing and care, UCDavis’ Koret Shelter Medicine Program –
To see a list of the approved shelters & rescues in Massachusetts –
Places to talk with colleagues across the country, learn about exciting things they’re doing at their organizations, and ask questions:
Million Cat Challenge
Maddie’s Pet Forum



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