Animals in shelters typically come from a background of abuse and neglect. Sometimes these animals have little or no social skills with other animals or humans. Similar to humans, social skills with humans or other animals are vital.

What is socialization?

Socialization teaches dogs to interact with humans and other animals in a friendly manner. Those responsible for socializing dogs use different tactics and methods. Placing dogs in foster homes and forever homes requires they have certain socialization skills. The skills required depend on the makeup of those homes. Do the homes have children, other dogs, or other pets? How does the dog respond to children, males, females, and other animals?

Often times, animal shelters know little about the dogs in their care. Especially when the dogs are found abandoned. In these situations, how do you know what type of environment they will thrive in? The best shelters perform aggression testing to determine what social skills are in place and which need to be worked on.

Proper socialization decreases the dog’s stress and the chance of lashing out. Shelter dogs need to be introduced to socializing differently than a 3-week old puppy. Follow these steps for socializing your shelter dogs:

  1. Choose the right volunteer. Choose volunteers who are calm by nature. Anxiousness is easily detected by the dogs. If the volunteer is anxious or quick to yank on the leash, the dogs get scared.
  2. Introduce them to other shelter dogs. During the initial meetings keep both dogs on a loose leash. This gives the dogs chance to move freely to check out the surrounding environment. Keep the dogs about 8 feet apart to avoid a face to face meeting which many dogs don’t enjoy.
  3. Pay attention. Take notice of how the dogs react to one another. Look for signs of discomfort – stiff body, bared teeth, or growling. Maintain distance between the dogs in these situations or stop for the day if they don’t calm down.
  4. Introduce them to a group setting. After the dogs do well in the one on one introduction, they can be introduced to a group setting. Have the volunteer take the dog into a group environment on a leash. Drop the leash inside – give them chance to explore while still having a method to manage them. Take them off the leash after 20-30 minutes of good behavior. Continue to watch them for another 20- 30 minutes to make sure they remain calm.
  5. Slowly move them full-time to the group setting. Move new dogs into the group setting in stages. Let them stay for a few hours adding time every day until you work up to a full day with the other dogs.

Animal shelters and rescues have the weight of the helpless animal population on their shoulders.  They find ways and methods to accomplish their significant missions and visions with minimal funding and resources. Animal shelters and rescues rely heavily on the support of donors who provide needed items as well as financial donations.  The last thing they need to add to their daily worries is the risk of a cyber attack that compromises their donor’s confidential information. According to a recent study released by The Global State of Information Security, security incidents increased by 38% and theft of “hard” information rose by 56% in 2015 when compared to 2014.  With the threat of cyber attacks on the rise, it is a real concern for many nonprofit animal shelters and rescues. Implement a cyber security program to protect your donors and your animal shelter or rescue.

Here are eight items to include in your program:

  1. Backup your data. Create a backup of information stored on your computers and server daily. Hackers have the power to compromise your electronic information, making it inaccessible. A backup provides you with an up to date list of your donors and their contact information, simplifying the notification process (a little at least).
  2. Secure physical data. Store physical donor files and confidential information in a locked, fireproof filing cabinet. Allow access to this information on an as-needed basis.  The fewer hands that physically touch the files, the smaller chance they can be misplaced.
  3. Limit the information you collect. A great rule of thumb to implement immediately is “if you don’t need it, don’t ask for it.” The less data you collect from donors, the less information a hacker gains during a breach.
  4. Purge unneeded information. If you have years of donor information stored in a back room at your animal shelter or on discs, it may be time to purge it. Keep only information you need. Often times, older files are stored and forgotten about. Holding onto donor files and information increases your chance of suffering from a breach.
  5. Update computers and software. Update computers and software programs on a consistent basis. Companies release updates and patches to help protect their customers from data breaches.  If updates are left unattended, your risk for a breach increases.  If you are not technology savvy, hire a local IT company to help keep your system up to date and secure.
  6. Use encryption. Use a data or donor collection service that encrypts the information your donors enter. Encryption encodes the information making it only accessible by those authorized to view it.
  7. Train your volunteer staff. Volunteers are a significant help to animal shelters and rescues. They can also be a great risk.  If your volunteer team is not internet or computer intelligent, they may unknowingly download malware or spyware.  Educate them on what is an acceptable use of the organization’s computers and emails.  Make it mandatory that downloads are not acceptable and should be approved by the director.  Phishing schemes are a common hacker specialty. Train your team on these to protect your shelter or rescue.
  8. Purchase cyber liability insurance. Cyber liability insurance is beneficial if it is purchased prior to a cyber breach or theft.  Cyber liability insurance protects your nonprofit animal shelter at the time of the breach by paying defense and settlement costs. The best cyber insurance policies take care of the state required notifications, which can be a long and treacherous task.

Cyber breaches are a serious threat to nonprofits like animal shelters and rescues.  The unfortunate news is hackers are becoming more creative in their schemes, making it difficult for companies to keep information secure.  Implement a cyber security program outlined here to protect your nonprofit animal shelter or rescue.

 

Every year several animals are put to death in kill shelters simply due to overpopulation and not enough available loving homes for the unwanted animals. The only way to stop kill shelters from putting animals down is to stop the overpopulation of homeless cats and dogs. If your wondering what you can do to help stop pet over populations the tips below can assist.
1. Offer donations to shelters and clinics to help spayed female cats and dogs that need it.
2. Offer donations to veterinary clinics and shelters for male kittens and puppies that need neutering.
3. Adopting a pet that needs a home can mean less animals on the streets, which means less unnecessary liters being produced.
4. Becoming a foster parent for animals in shelters that are overloaded with animals can help provide more room in shelters to help get overpopulated pets off the streets and from producing more unneeded liters.
5. Preventing pet overpopulation also begins with you making sure your own pets have been spayed or neutered.
6. One of the ways vets can help stop the overpopulation of pets is by offer free spaying and neutering clinics to people who cannot afford to get their pets fixed, but wish to do so to prevent pet overpopulation.
7. Animals that are abandoned on the streets need to be rescued and brought to shelters and clinics. The less cats and dogs on the streets the less liters occur and euthanasia.
8. Providing more resources to help with the adoption and fostering process can help.
9. Donating plenty of food, water, pet care products, bedding and toys to local animal shelters can help the shelters provide for more rescued or abandoned animals, which means a reduction in cat and dog populations.
10. Opening your own non-profit shelter or rescue service can help get unwanted cats and dogs off the streets and from producing more liters.
11. Volunteering at your local animal shelter can help reduce animal population. Sometimes all shelters need is some extra pairs of hands to help take in more animals.
12. Preventing animal hoarding is a huge way to prevent animal overpopulation.
13. Creating a non-profit safe drop off spot for unwanted pets can help drastically.
14. Prevent the selling of fighting dogs. Once a dog is done fighting it’s put out onto the streets. A particular breed that is often used for fighting is the pitbull.
15. Make sure stray cats and dogs are rescued by animal patrol.

Each year thousands and thousands of animals enter into shelters. Sadly, some of these shelters are kill shelters meaning they put to sleep animals that are in perfect health and fun of love. This is because many shelters lack proper communication with their local communities about each animal that is in them. If shelters would, share important information about the animals that come into their shelters the animals would have a better chance at becoming adopted. If you are a shelter, wondering what needs to be shared with the community take a look at the list below for guidance.
#1 Share with the Community that Not All Animals in the Shelter have Behavioral Problems
It is important to share with the community, not all animals that come into your shelter have behavioral problems. Some are well behaved and just neglected and need a new loving home. Share information about particular animals in your shelter that do have certain behavioral issues, but also share how these issues can be resolved with tender love and care and lots of patience.
#2 Share with the Community that Not All Animals in the Shelter have Health Issues
It is common for people to believe that animals in shelters have troublesome healthy issues, but this is not always true. Discuss with your community that the animals that come into your shelter are most of the time healthy, but on some occasions, you do get animals with health issues that are treated successfully. In addition, talk about the animals that are loving, and well behaved, that simply need ongoing treatments to live happy healthy lives so they can have a chance at becoming adopted too.
#3 Share with the Community that Adopting animals from the Shelter is More Affordable and a lot Safer
If you think going to the pet store and purchasing a new puppy is affordable, guess again. Adopting a new animal from a shelter is actually more affordable. This is because most of the animals from shelters are fixed, have already had a wellness check by a veterinarian hospital, and are up to date on all vaccinations. This means you simply get to enjoy the new pet you are bring home. Most importantly, animals adopted from the shelter have had behavioral evaluations, which helps properly place an animal in the right home that is safe for them and their new owners.
#4 Discuss with the Community that Adopting a Pet can Enrich Their Lives
It’s important to discuss with the community that adopting a pet from the shelter can enrich their lives. This is because animals can provide love, laughter and protection too. In fact, not only do animals from shelters provide love, laughter and protection, but animals are also a great remedy for curing loneliness and sadness. They can even help a person with a certain health condition to become more independent.
Bottom Line for Shelter Animals Needing New Homes
The best way for a shelter to find animals new loving homes that fit their needs and their new owners needs is by communicating with your community properly. Proper placement of an animal can ensure they have a home for life and their new owners have a new pal they will just absolutely love and adore. So, get the word out in your community about the animals you have in your shelters by posting articles in a local newspaper, posting flyers in your community areas and send news letters to each member that lives you’re your community. Let everyone know the truth about your shelter and the animals you have in them.

Everyone knows someone with the perfect, purebred dog. The puppy that arrives with a certified family tree documenting all of its award winning ancestors. Yet, do these families really know where this dog came from? Are they aware of the health risks associated with over breeding among many popular breeds? The decision to purchase a dog or other pet from an animal breeder is a personal, yet important decision to consider seriously. It’s important to contemplate all the options before welcoming a new pet into your home.
When searching for the new addition to your family, consider looking towards your local animal shelter or animal welfare organization. This alternative of adoption brings many rewarding benefits not only to the adopted pet in need of a loving home, but also to you, its new family. These animal shelters are full of all breeds, sizes and types of animals searching for their forever homes. Many are mixes of several breeds, while others are left behind purebred breeds whose families didn’t have time for them. Others, sadly, are animals recovering from abuse and neglect, in desperate need of a loving family.
When deciding between adoption from an animal shelter and purchasing from a breeder keep the following pet adoption rewards in mind. Upon adopting an animal in need, you will enjoy an infinite amount of rewards. Your pet adoption:
• opposes puppy mills and other illegal breeders.
• provides new hope to an animal which had otherwise been forgotten.
• keeps one less animal on the streets, without a home.
• fights over breeding and its many associated health risks.
• welcomes a new loving member into your family.
• rehabilitates and protects a neglected or abused animal.
All pets deserve a loving home and family. As you search for your perfect pet, remember to visit your local shelters and consult with animal welfare organizations which can assist you in finding the perfect match for your family.

Your kids probably love animals, and just might bring a stray dog or cat home with them someday. It might follow them home and they may not know what to do. This will be an excellent time to educate your kids and teens about their local animal shelters or animal rescue organization. It will teach them a valuable life lesson.
Animals like dogs and cats are numerous, and may even outnumber humans in some areas. While many of them belong to loving homes, many of them aren’t so lucky. These animals will likely end up roaming the streets until they get picked up by animal control, follow your kids home, or (worst case scenario) get hit by a car. In the case of the two scenarios that keep these animals alive, these animals will likely end up at your local animal shelter.
Teaching your kids about their local animal shelter will serve to teach them about the realities of pet ownership and responsibilities. It will show them the importance of spaying and neutering pets so the dog and cat population is down. This will cause fewer shelter animals, which will cut back on otherwise crowded shelters. It will also show your kids a more humane means of getting pets, rather than buying one from a pet store, which often relies on puppy and kitten mills, which are often inhumane.
Your local animal shelter or animal rescue organization is always there for you when their services are needed. Whether you are dropping off a stray cat or dog, or you have decided to adopt an animal, these organizations have the animal’s best intentions in mind. Whatever the case may be, you should educate your kids about these wonderful organizations. You’ll be glad you did.

One look into the eyes of an abused and discarded animal is enough to melt the heart of any animal lover. You know that animal is looking for love and affection, you know that animal has never been given any. This is most evident when you see pets in a shelter. They are either very friendly or very angry. The two extremes are there for a reason. Just like any human would react to mistreatment so do animals.
However shelter pets make the best pets:
They are not Spoiled
Animal lovers the world over have the worst trend of spoiling their pets. Pet shops also need to make that animal look and smell great in order to attract a sale. The pet is groomed and given a clean bed sometimes twice a day. Their only job is to look pretty so they can be sold. A shelter animal before arriving at a shelter has been lying in it’s own feces and fleas and dirt for so long that when he is cleaned it is a luxury and not a expectation.
They can Stomach variety of Foods
From their hard life on the streets when a animal is placed at the shelter they adapt to eat the food given. They are not fussy and do not need special diets. They just need a well balanced healthy meal.
Very Loving
A shelter animal can become very loving once adopted and treated well. Even the animal that has become aggressive from abuse, can with a gentle loving touch and good care become a loving pet. They have hardly known love so when they feel it they adore it and fall in love with you immediately.
Disciplined
A shelter animal is also more disciplined once they have been taught and are loved. The reason for this is that they have known a bad life and they do not want to go back to that life. They listen when you talk and they try not test your patience.
Healthier
A shelter pet is healthier as it has had all it’s shots and also from a life of abuse and living on the street it has learned to eat lower quality food than normal. It’s immune system is higher and the animals threshold for catching diseases is strong.
Shelter animal most definitely make the better pet.Stop by your shelter today and get a friend for life.

Animal shelter volunteers are some of the most patient, reliable, and capable people around when it comes to taking care of both pets and wild creatures… in fact, many of them will stay long hours or go very far out of their way any time it’s needed, but how can you actually find these people?
One of the best ways to find volunteers is by networking and asking around – but it’s very important to have as wide of an impact as you can. Consider some of the following ways to find (and talk to) people who like animals:
• Pet Shows: If there’s a local showing of pets, then most of the people who attend will be the sort who love animals. Partial sponsorship of the show is a great way to make sure everyone hears about your need – but if you can’t (or don’t want to) pay, most shows will still let you set up a booth and talk to people.
• Pet Stores: Many pet stores are happy to partner with animal shelters in order to find good homes for the animals in question – after all, more pet owners means more business! However, shelters can also use this opportunity to post notices and let people know that they could make a difference as a volunteer.
• Social Media: Many animal shelter volunteers are the “friend of a friend” that someone close to you already knows – and social media is a great outreach tool. The best way to find volunteers through this method is to invite people to some kind of shelter-related event and, while they’re there, invite them to help out a few times. Some people will be more than willing to come back again and again.
As you can see, there are many ways to connect with people and find animal shelter volunteers. Every gathering of animal enthusiasts offers the chance to be seen, be heard, and find people who have the time and passion to volunteer at your animal shelter.
Finally, be sure to ask everyone you know if there are any teens who’d like to get involved with animals. They may not have the same level of experience as older volunteers, but very few teens are anything less than completely motivated while they’re still with you, and one or two new faces every year can provide a steady stream of willing talent.

 

Off-Site adoptions can be a great way for animal welfare organizations to get their message out and to get some animals adopted. At the same time, off-site events mean a lot of work. If you’re organizing an event, you also need to consider which animals to bring and how to get those animals to the event safely.
With all that work, of course it’s mission critical that the event goes well and that you reach your goals. There are 5 things you can do to improve your odds:
1. Choose locations very carefully. Look for a location that offers lots of traffic and visibility. You will also need a location where you can manage animals easily. One way to improve your chances of finding the right venue and making the entire process easier is to form a partnership with places such as PETCO or PETsMART. Large pet stores such as these have already hosted off-site adoptions and have the resources (and venues) needed to appeal to animal lovers.
2. Get a few more volunteers than you think you need. If you get a better turnout than you expect, you will want to make sure that no potential adopters are ignored. Ask for volunteers early and choose volunteers who are great with people and enthusiastic.
3. Plan for good animal management. Animals will need to be sheltered and provided with water and possibly food. It is also essential to prevent all possible unsupervised contact with animals and to provide potential adopters with a space where they can interact with animals individually.
4. Advertise properly. Start advertising well ahead of the event to prevent impulse adoptions from people who are not ready for the responsibility. To promote the event, use social media, but also contact television or radio stations and newspapers. Often, pet adoptions are a solid “feel good” local story. Put up posters and don’t discount word of mouth advertising.
5. Keep it fun. Planning off-site adoptions can be stressful, but don’t let them see you sweat. Give animals a chance to play at the event and introduce bright colors, balloons, or even games to attract more visitors. Just keep in mind that this will require more volunteers.
There’s no way to guarantee that your big event will be a rousing success if you follow these steps, but these tips can improve the chances that you and your organization will change the lives of more pets.

There will always be a need for animal rescue shelter as more and more people discard their pets especially in bad economic times. Discarding a pet is often the first economy when a family budget is pressed. Other pets are unwanted presents and gifts and are thrown out to fend for themselves. You may feel there is a need a need for an animal rescue shelter in your area. Below we have some tips on how to start a rescue shelter.

1, Stop and think. Is this something you really want to do? You’ll be letting yourself in for considerable commitment and for a long time. Please consider carefully before making a final decision.

2, Do lots of research, you need to know exactly what is involved in running a shelter. Speak to people who have run or running an animal rescue shelter.  It might be an idea to volunteer at an animal shelter to get some hands on experience so you know exactly what you are letting yourself in for.

3, You’ll need to speak to a lawyer to understand the legal implication of starting an animal rescue shelter.

4, Now comes the time to decide on what kind of animal rescue shelter you want to start. Do you want to specialize in dog or cats, or will you be sheltering all kinds of pets.

5, Next you’ll need to write up a mission statement. This is a document that sets out your aims, goals and ambitions for the future. You may need to write the mission statement with the help of a lawyer to ensure the legalities are observed.

6, Find suitable premises and make sure there is room for future expansion.

7, Raise initial funds by arranging garage sales and consider radio, television appeals and press statements. The more initial publicity you get the better.

8. Finally enjoy yourself.  Setting up an animal rescue will have it tribulations but the rewards may make the whole enterprise worthwhile for you, the animals your rescue, and your local community.