blog

Good intentions can go very wrong when you find a lost pet

December 6, 2016

Mary Kennedy Withrow, a staffer at the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society, arrived at the shelter recently and found a woman standing outside with a gorgeous German Shepherd. She said she had found the dog running down her street, and wanted to have her scanned. “I would have kept her, but my other dog didn’t seem… Learn More

video

Moving Forward: Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Vincent MedleyJuly 2016

Knowing the talents of individual team members is key to setting them up for success. When a staff member is successful, their programs are usually successful. Learn More

webcast

Return to Field: Animal Shelters and a New Approach to Healthy Unowned Cats

Scott TrebatoskiApril 2015

What can animal shelters do about healthy unowned cats in their community? One new concept increasingly gaining ground is that, as long as the cats are thriving, the most compassionate, lifesaving approach is to sterilize them, vaccinate them, ear-tip them and return them where they were found. Learn More

webcast

Alternatives to Intake: When the Shelter Isn’t the Answer

Wiley Stem, IIIApril 2015

What if your city wanted to stop euthanizing community cats in the shelter, and decided to try something bold? And what if all the animal control officers, rescue groups and community members came together to make it work? Learn More

presentation

Achieving and Sustaining No-kill in a Medium-sized, Open Admission Shelter

Cheryl SchneiderFebruary 2015

Learn how Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter in Texas, an open admission shelter, started on their path to no-kill and how they continue to achieve a high save rate every month. Learn More

presentation

The Little Shelter that Could...and DID!

Sgt. Karl BaileyFebruary 2015

Discover how Sgt. Karl Bailey, with a small staff and a group of committed volunteers, changed a high kill city shelter to no-kill in just 120 seconds - and with a budget of less than $30,000 per year! Learn More

presentation

Taking Different Paths to No-Kill

Michael and Pam KitkoskiFebruary 2015

Learn how Rockwall Pets has taken two municipal open-admission shelters to no-kill status in Rockwall County, TX. Each shelter required a different tactic. There's more than one way to get it done! Learn More

presentation

No-Kill Kansas City

Brent ToellnerFebruary 2015

In 2011, the city of Kansas City, MO put out an RFP for private organizations to run the city shelter; a shelter with a long history of being a high-kill shelter. When the deadline for bids passed, there were no bidders to take on the project. So a small group of advocates used the city's 3-week extension to build a business plan to successfully bid on, and take over, the city shelter contract. Learn More

presentation

The Bastrop Experience: The Road to Saving More Lives

Erica Thompson and Amanda SmithFebruary 2015

After a rough first year in 2012, the mostly rural Bastrop County Animal Services in Texas was well on the path to significantly increase their save-rate. Take a look at how they did it. Learn More

presentation

Rescuing Dogs from the Euthanasia List

Palmer NeuhausFebruary 2015

Fifty percent of the dogs in Austin, Texas were dying in 2008 when Austin Pets Alive! began saving lives. The rescue team had merely one- to two-hours to go through the euthanasia list, choose animals and save them before their time was up. Learn how the rescue team evaluated and chose dogs. Learn More

presentation

Austin Animal Services Stray Cat Return Program

February 2015

Learn about the Austin's progressive program that returns community cats who enter the city shelter as strays back to their environment after spay/neuter.  This workshop will give you the details of the program from intake to release.   Learn More

webcast

Introducing the Million Cat Challenge - Webcast

Julie Levy, DVM, PhD, DACVIM and Kate Hurley, DVM, MPVMJanuary 2015

Every cat counts. That's the premise of the Million Cat Challenge, a joint campaign of the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program and the Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida. Learn More

presentation

Community Solutions for Community Cats, Part 1

Julie Levy, DVM, PhD, DACVIM and Shaye Olmstead October 2013

Operation Catnip's proactive "litter prevention" program performs 3,000 trap-neuter-return (TNR) surgeries each year for community cats using monthly high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter clinics capable of sterilizing more than 200 cats in a single day. This program was instrumental in reducing cat euthanasia at the local shelter from 81% to 42% over 13 years. In 2012, the program was expanded to include a reactive "shelter-neuter-return" program targeting the cats most at risk of immediate euthanasia: adult impounded strays. By neutering and returning these shelter cats to their neighborhoods, cat euthanasia plummeted to 13% in 2012, making Alachua County the safest place to be a cat in Florida. Learn More

presentation

Community Solutions for Community Cats, Part 2

Julie Levy, DVM, PhD, DACVIM and Shaye Olmstead October 2013

Operation Catnip's proactive "litter prevention" program performs 3,000 trap-neuter-return (TNR) surgeries each year for community cats using monthly high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter clinics capable of sterilizing more than 200 cats in a single day. This program was instrumental in reducing cat euthanasia at the local shelter from 81% to 42% over 13 years. In 2012, the program was expanded to include a reactive "shelter-neuter-return" program targeting the cats most at risk of immediate euthanasia: adult impounded strays. By neutering and returning these shelter cats to their neighborhoods, cat euthanasia plummeted to 13% in 2012, making Alachua County the safest place to be a cat in Florida. Learn More

presentation

Face-to-Face with Feral Freedom: Saving Community Cats

Rick DuCharmeOctober 2013

Feral Freedom is an innovative program that has decreased feline shelter euthanasia between 25% and 50% in every shelter in which it has been fully implemented. This talk, given by Rick DuCharme, Founder and Executive Director of First Coast No More Homeless Pets, presents an overview of the Feral Freedom program. Learn More

presentation

Outstanding Animal Control Programs: Moving Toward No-Kill

Scott Trebatoski, MBA, ACO, CET, QETIOctober 2013

Jacksonville Animal Care & Protective Services has made significant improvements towards no-kill animal control while suffering drastic budget cuts. In 2007 JACPS had an 81% euthanasia rate with a $5 million budget and 62 team members; by 2012 the euthanasia rate had been reduced to 31% while the budget was chopped to $3 million and staff to 44. Learn More

presentation

Shelter Based Feral Freedom

Joe ElmoreOctober 2013

Feral Freedom return-to-field programs are quickly becoming the gold standard for community cat management in progressive communities nationwide. In Charleston County, South Carolina, animal organizations have implemented the Feral Freedom strategy as a collaboration of local organizations and animal control agencies, affirmed by ordinances created to reinforce this strategy to save more lives and reduce intake. Learn More

webcast

Making the Case for a Paradigm Shift in Community Cat Management, Part Two

Kate Hurley, DVM, MPVM; Julie Levy, DVM, PhD, DACVIM; Richard Avanzino; Jon Cicirelli; Holly SizemoreJuly 2013

In Part Two of Making the Case for a Paradigm Shift in Community Cat Management, Maddie's InstituteSM will present some of the nation's leading experts on animal sheltering and community cats in a comprehensive Q&A panel discussion on the information in Dr. Hurley's webcast. Learn More

presentation

How to Start a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Program in Your Community

Jesse OldhamJuly 2013

The presentation covers a basic overview of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs, and explores how TNR programs might differ depending on who is implementing them, the resources available in a community and the desired program outcomes. Learn More

presentation

Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to Target Spay/Neuter Efforts

Janet M. Scarlett, DVM, MPH, PhDJuly 2013

Large numbers of kittens entering shelters continue to be a major problem for many shelters. Geographic information systems (GIS) technology can be used to identify geographic areas that repeatedly are a source of kittens. Learn More

webcast

Making the Case for a Paradigm Shift in Community Cat Management, Part One

Kate Hurley, DVM, MPVMJune 2013

Are common cat sheltering and animal control policies helping cats? Are they humane? Effective? Not according to Dr. Kate Hurley, Director of the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program.  Learn More

article

Free to Roam: A Small City's New Policy that Saves Feline Lives and Tax Payer Money

May 2013

Healthy community cats are no longer accepted at the municipal animal shelter in Chico, California, and the change has led to more lives – and dollars – saved. Learn More

article

How to Sell Policymakers on Fee-Waived Adoption

Jeannette PetersMay 2013

It’s been proven that free pet adoptions save lives, but some communities prohibit the practice. Animal advocates in Alachua County, Florida persuaded their County Commissioners to change their restrictive policy with patience, personal relationships, research and statistics. Learn More

article

Shelter Veterinarian Takes on Challenge at Beleaguered Texas Animal Control Agency

May 2013

Former shelter medicine resident Dr. Cate McManus is using her expertise to help change the management practices at a municipal animal control facility and double the shelter’s live release rate. Learn More

article

Feline Shelter Intake Reduction Program FAQs

Kate Hurley, DVM, MPVM and Dr. Julie Levy, DVM, PhD, DACVIMJanuary 2013

Is it a good idea to stop admitting community cats into shelters? Yes, if admission equals death. That's the view of two of the nation’s acknowledged leaders on community cat health and policy, the University of Florida’s Julie Levy, DVM and UC Davis’ Kate Hurley, DVM. Learn More

presentation

Shelter Crowd Control: Keeping Community Cats Out of Shelters Presentation

Julie Levy, DVM, PhD, DACVIMAugust 2012

While innovative strategies are saving lives across the country, euthanasia rates for stray and feral cats remain stubbornly high in many communities. This presentation will explore the magnitude of the community cat population problem and redefine definitions for "home" and "rescue". Learn More

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Maddie's Fund President Rich Avanzino Shares a New Perspective on Community Cats

Rich AvanzinoAugust 2012

Rich Avanzino talks about the issue of community cats and offers a solution. Learn More

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Community Cat Advocates Need a Messaging Makeover: An Interview with Becky Robinson

Becky RobinsonAugust 2012

Alley Cat Allies’ Becky Robinson has been in the trenches of community cat advocacy all over the country. She thinks it’s time we changed our approach to that advocacy, and shares her thoughts on what she believes will be an effective new direction for people trying to get community support for cat-friendly public policies. Learn More

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Community Cats: A Shelter Director’s Evolution

Barbara Carr, Executive Director, Erie County SPCAAugust 2012

Once upon a time, Barbara Carr believed feral cats lived short, miserable lives, and the kindest thing she could do for them was put them out of their misery. Today, the director of the Erie County SPCA believes the opposite, and is throwing her organization’s resources into saving their lives, not taking them. Find out how history, research, data, and experience all came together to turn a skeptic into a community cat advocate, and how you can change minds and policy in your region the same way. Learn More

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High-Quality, High-Volume Spay/Neuter for Community Cats

Kathleen Makolinski, DVMAugust 2012

Free-roaming cats have a variety of temperaments, and those who are "feral” need special consideration when performing anesthesia and spay/neuter. It is important to minimize the cat’s stress and maximize safety for the humans who are providing medical care. Learn More

article

How to Work With Municipalities to Save Community Cats

Rick DuCharme, Founder and Director of First Coast No More Homeless PetsAugust 2012

Do you ever feel like your local government agencies and officials just won’t listen when you try to talk to them about progressive community cat policies? Maybe it’s not them, but you. Rick DuCharme of First Coast No More Homeless Pets in Jacksonville, FL, explains how the power of relationships led to one of the nation’s most successful community cat programs, and what steps you need to follow to build effective working relationships with the decision-makers in your community. Hint: It involves doughnuts. Learn More

webcast

Shelter Crowd Control: Keeping Community Cats Out of Shelters Webcast

Julie Levy, DVM, PhD, DACVIMJanuary 2012

Do you want to stop the tragic deaths of shelter cats, and cut your shelter's cat intake dramatically and almost overnight? Want to practice high-volume, high-quality spay/neuter and disease management on cats? How about learning how to get your community - including municipal government - on board with trap-neuter-return programs? Want evidence that such programs can actually work to reduce the population of community cats, prevent the spread of disease, and save resources and money for local shelters? Learn More

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Expanding Lifesaving Despite Slashed Budgets Editorial

Rich Avanzino2012

Maddie's Fund President Rich Avanzino has some unexpected ideas on how to forge ahead with lifesaving progress when animal control budgets are cut. Learn More

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Providing for Community Cats

Julie Levy, DVM, PhD, DACVIM and Jan Scarlett, DVM, MPH, PhDMay 2010

It's been estimated there are as many as 40 million feral and free-roaming cats in the US. Find out how shelters can help protect those cats and reduce the strain on a shelter's housing and resources at the same time. Learn More

article

Getting Control of Animal Control

Craig Brestrup2007

Craig Brestrup describes the sad conditions and high death rates in one animal control facility and offers concrete steps on how this city and others can turn the situation around. Learn More

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Moving from a Traditional to a No-Kill Shelter

Bonney Brown2007

Bonney Brown describes her journey of transitioning a traditional humane society into a no-kill facility. Learn More

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Feral Cat Advocacy: Deep Roots Continue to Blossom in the Bay Area

2006

Some of the oldest and the best feral cat programs in the nation. Learn More

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Feral Cats: An Interview with Julie Levy, DVM

2006

Feral cat expert Lulie Levy, DVM, provides an overview of life for today's feral cats and advocates new approaches to their treatment and care. Learn More

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Honesty and Transparency in Animal Control: A Formula for Lifesaving

Tara Derby2006

Chief Executive Officer of the Philadelphia Animal Care and Control Association, Tara Derby details the steps she took to radically improve her shelter's live release rate in very short order. Learn More

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Indianapolis Animal Care & Control

2006

New managerial tactics bring new hope to Indianapolis. Learn More

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The Untouchable Bond: Promoting Care and Control of Feral and Free-Roaming Cats

Brenda Griffin, DVM2003

A feral cat program on the Auburn University campus. Learn More

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Friend of Ferals

2001

A love of feral cats led Sally Mackler to establish one of the earliest and most successful feral cat spay/neuter programs. Learn More

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How to Start a Feral Cat Program

Leslie Wilson2001

Everything you need to know from using the right kitten formula to recruiting volunteers, written by an animal lover with years of feral cat experience. Learn More