Alternatives to Intake - Learning Track 

Immediate admission to a shelter is not always in the best interests of cats or dogs, nor in the best interest of the pets already in the facility. There are many reasons pet owners bring pets to shelters, but what if it was possible that animal shelters could offer assistance with housing, behavior help, veterinary care and pet food? And what if Good Samaritans bringing in kittens, or people bringing in their own pets, were given resources to support the fostering of the pets until they could be adopted?

Finding positive alternatives to intake for pets in the community means shelters will have more resources available for those pets who need that care the most. It will not only drive down intake, but also expand the community®™s social safety net for animals, and leave more room and time for pets in the shelter, all of which will increase lifesaving.

Check out the following content brought to you by Maddie's Fund® and the experts in this field.

Audience(s): Executive Leadership, Foster Caregivers, Public, Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers, Veterinary Team 

Community Cats

Webcast: Alternatives to Intake - When the Shelter Isn't the Answer

Wiley Stem III
April 2015

Provide positive alternatives to keep cats in the home or community when admission to a shelter is not the best choice.
Go to the Webcast

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

Kate Hurley, DVM, MPVM                     
June 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. It's time, she says, for shelters to consider radical solutions to the suffering, stress, illness and death that are the fate of so many cats in our nation's animal shelters, including an array of positive alternative approaches such as TNR or not taking them in at all if we can't offer a lifesaving outcome.
Go to the Webcast

View Resources for Getting Started

Article: Feline Shelter Intake Reduction Programs FAQs

Kate Hurley, DVM, MPVM and Julie Levy, DVM, PhD, DACVIM  
January 2013

Historically, many shelters have routinely admitted more healthy cats than could be placed into adoptive homes. While the intention behind this practice has been to protect both cats and communities, the result has been chronically over-crowded shelters and the deaths of many millions of cats. A holistic approach to unwanted and free-roaming cats allows shelters to focus on positive, life-saving programs that account for the needs of pets, wildlife and people in our communities. This article includes the most frequently asked questions about these new approaches.
Go to the Article

Owned Cats

Example Program: Richmond SPCA®™s Project Safety Net Pet Retention Programs

Richmond SPCA and ASPCAPro
Project Safety Net is a Richmond SPCA program designed to help keep pets in their homes and out of shelters. The program considers the public part of the solution rather than part of the problem, allowing them to grow their safety net for animals with a foundation of community support.
Go to the Webpage
View the Re-Homing Packet 

Example Program: Humane Society of the United States®™ Pets for Life Program

Humane Society of the United States
Pets for Life is a powerful program of the Humane Society of the United States designed to create truly collaborative, flexible, and fresh approaches to working with people and animals in under-served communities. Recognizing that providing access to affordable pet care is critical in keeping pets with the families that love them, it®™s designed to create sustainable models of providing services, resources, and information to pets and people who need them.
Go to the Webpage

View the Community Outreach Toolkit

Example Program: How to Start a Program to Keep Pets Out of Shelters

Maddie's Institute
How can you help people and pets stay together and keep animals out of shelters? Downtown Dog Rescue pretty much wrote the book on this. See how you can do it, too.
View the webpage

Webinar Series: Keeping Cats in Homes

The Humane Society of the United States
Want to learn how to keep cats in their homes? Watch this series of 6 webinars from HSUS! More information

Underage Kittens

Example Program: A Foster-to-Surrender Program for Puppies and Kittens

Richmond SPCA and ASPCAPro
What happens when puppies and kittens too young or sick to be adopted come into the shelter? This Richmond SPCA program empowers the Good Samaritan community members who bring them in to foster them until they can be placed up for adoption.
Go to the Webpage

View the Richmond SPCA Profile

Research: Community Pet Adoption Partnerships - Stray Kitten Scenario

Maddie's Institute 
We conducted a survey to assess strategies that may prevent animals from entering shelter facilities. One such strategy involves asking community members who bring in kittens to care for them until organizational resources are available or they are old enough to be placed for adoption.  This report addresses the extent to which organizations encourage community member care, the frequency of community members who elect to provide care, how organizational resources link to involvement and more.
Go to the Report