Friday, January 14, 2011

New Shelter Standards of Care Guidelines

Finally, from the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters!

A few excerpts that resonated with me:

"(T)here can be a large gap between adequate care and deficiencies serious enough to prosecute under existing cruelty statutes. This leaves the possibility that substantial numbers of animals will live in substandard conditions within organizations expected to protect animal welfare. In some cases, the organizations that are at fault for providing inappropriate or negligent care are governed by the same entity that investigates animal cruelty, creating a conflict of interest.  ...

Many factors can alter the capacity for care. For example, loss of animal care staff, or malfunctioning enclosures, can temporarily decrease the capacity for care until such time as new persons are hired and appropriately trained, or enclosures are repaired or replaced. Operating beyond an organization’s capacity for care is an unacceptable practice.  ...

Ideally, shelters should maintain their populations below maximum housing capacity to allow for daily intake as well as more flexibility when choosing appropriate enclosures for each animal. Maximum housing capacity must not be exceeded. Even though enclosures may be available, it may be necessary to leave some empty due to other constraints on capacity for care (e.g., staffing levels and opportunities for enrichment).  ...

Organizations that develop their own evaluation should do so in consultation with a veterinarian or behaviorist familiar with the science and theory of behavior assessment.  ...

Enrichment should be given the same significance as other components of animal care, such as nutrition and veterinary care, and should not be considered optional (ILAR 1996). At a minimum, animals must be provided regular social contact, mental stimulation and physical activity (ILAR 1996). For some animals, social needs may be partially fulfilled through interaction with members of the same species.  ...

Training programs for dogs and cats (e.g., to condition or teach basic obedience commands or tricks) also serve as an important source of stimulation and social contact (Griffin 2009a; Laule 2003; Thorn 2006). For dogs, such training has been shown to increase chances for re-homing (Leuscher 2008). Training methods must be based primarily on positive reinforcement in accordance with current professional guidelines (APDT 2003; AVSAB 2007; Delta Society 2001). ...  Sufficient resources (e.g., trained staff, time for behavioral treatment, adequate housing and working space) must be available to provide appropriate care if behavioral modification is attempted. The techniques required are generally labor-intensive and time-consuming and must be applied consistently over a period of time in order to be successful."

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

great excerpts, Rebel Dog!

January 14, 2011 at 1:17 AM  

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