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Animal Sheltering blog

Hear different voices each month, from the Animal Sheltering team and other colleagues in animal welfare, reflecting on the most critical issues in our field. Share your own voice in the comments!


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  • The changing world of pet transport

    Supply, demand and the changing world of pet transport

    A couple of weeks ago, the Humane Society of the United States, along with our partner in pet transport, Humane Society of Tulsa, loaded 173 pets on a large cargo plane heading to our shelter and rescue partners in Oregon and Washington state from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The cost of the plane was just under $35,000. Did you ever think transports like this would become the norm? I sure didn’t. To figure out how we got here, we need to go back a bit in time.

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  • Blog Post

    Animal-friendly menu policies: It’s a thing!

    Making your events more inclusive for all animals

    How many of us have stopped traffic to help a turtle safely cross the road, or spent hours tracking a stray cat or dog to make sure they were brought to a safe place? If you’ve ever carried an abandoned duckling to the nearest pond in the hopes of reuniting them with their mom, or made a quick U-turn after spotting a young rooster wandering the shoulder of the highway, you just might be an animal advocate.

    If you’re here, you probably knew that already!

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  • Blog Post

    No place like home

    Should your animal shelter offer a private rehoming service?

    For as long as there have been newspaper classifieds and online forums, pets have found themselves listed for rehoming—often with very little oversight or support. Why is that?

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  • Blog Post

    You too can launch a return-to-field program!

    New handbook covers how to do RTF from A-to-Z

    It was a sunny, blue sky morning when we set out from the shelter with a ginger cat stowed in the back of our SUV. A large towel covered his trap, pulled back at the ends to make sure he had enough air. Typical for ferals, he was completely silent—someone stepping into the car at that moment might not have even realized he was there. For my wife, Suzi, and me, our job was to get him home now that he was neutered and ear-tipped. I was concerned, though, because the information we were given about where he was trapped was hazy.

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  • Blog Post

    Sharing your animal welfare expertise after retirement

    Goodbye to full-time work doesn’t mean you’re finished contributing

    Retirees from the animal welfare field have a lot to offer and shouldn’t quietly fade away—that would be such a loss to our cause!

    After 45 years of employment in animal welfare, the time finally came for me to retire from active duty. I spent the last 32 years as the executive director of the Humane Society of Carroll County, Maryland, handling animal care and control for our county. I was fortunate to have lasted that long, given the emotional toll this work takes on the heart, family and occasionally, friendships.

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  • Blog Post

    Combining foster and hospice care

    A fospice volunteer describes the bittersweet rewards of caring for terminally ill animals

    One of my first foster dogs came from a puppy mill raid in 2009. I knew little about puppy mills at the time, so it was very eye-opening to see this adorable dog who was also one of the most mentally damaged beings I’d ever met. Over the next three months, my husband and I watched Itsy Bitsy transform into a normal, happy dog. She was adopted by a beautiful couple and is living in Miami now. Seeing the impact we could have on an animal, my husband and I were hooked on fostering.

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  • Blog Post

    One-stop shopping for wildlife questions

    This is the third in a series of three blogs showcasing how our Wild Neighbors partners have implemented one of the criteria of our Wild Neighbors pledge.

    It may seem like a simple question, but the issue of who is responsible for the wildlife in the City of Austin, Texas, can be confusing. Are these creatures the responsibility of the parks department or a combination of the departments with land management responsibilities? What happens when wild animals don’t stay in our parks and greenspaces? Should someone call a community nonprofit? The police department? A state agency?

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  • Blog Post

    The changing world of pet transport

    Supply, demand and the changing world of pet transport

    A couple of weeks ago, the Humane Society of the United States, along with our partner in pet transport, Humane Society of Tulsa, loaded 173 pets on a large cargo plane heading to our shelter and rescue partners in Oregon and Washington state from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The cost of the plane was just under $35,000. Did you ever think transports like this would become the norm? I sure didn’t. To figure out how we got here, we need to go back a bit in time.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    A can-do catman

    The American Museum of the House Cat has attracted over 18,000 visitors.

    This stubborn, spry retiree forgoes cruises and even sleep, preferring to run a shelter and a cat museum

    At a time of life when most people are savoring a more leisurely pace, Harold Sims of Cullowhee, North Carolina, is busier than ever and has no intention of slowing down.

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  • Magazine Article

    A word from us

    Lindsay Hamrick gets a greeting from a puppy rescued from an unlicensed breeder in New Hampshire.

    I came to the Humane Society of the United States in 2014 after a decade (more if you count those years I spent as a kid sitting in cat rooms and walking dogs way too big for me) overseeing operations at animal shelters. I wouldn’t say I was particularly excited about or motivated to fit policy into my daily workload of caring for homeless pets—until I worked for an animal shelter that was located in a city with breed-specific legislation, flawed policies that ban certain types of dogs based on their physical appearance.

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