Guidelines Videos

Videos highlighting ASV Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters

Below you will find videos that further define some of the recommendations found in the Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters -Second Edition. Scroll down to find videos on the following sections:

  • Animal Transport/Relocation Program
  • Behavior and Mental Well-Being
  • Disaster Response
  • Facilities
  • Forensics
  • Management and Record Keeping
  • Medical Health and Shelter Surgery
  • Population Management
  • Public Health
  • Sanitation

Of course, if you have additional questions regarding the updated guidelines, please email

Animal Transport/Relocation Program - Dr. Uri Donnett

Animal relocation programs involve the transfer and transport of animals from one sheltering organization to another. Transport can be local, regional or international. The purpose is  typically to move companion animals from communities with an excess pet population to communities with unmet adopter demand. Shelter animals are also relocated when they require services not available at the source shelter.

Behavior and Mental Well-Being
- Dr. Sheila Segurson

To promote animal health and well-being, it is essential for shelters to address the emotional needs as well as physical needs.  Shelters must provide behavioral care that considers the needs of individual animals as well as conditions experienced by the entire population. 

Disaster Response
- Dr. Stephanie Janeczko

All shelters should be prepared to respond when directly affected by a disaster. Disasters include national events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, or human-made events such as large-scale cruelty cases, etc.  Advanced planning is critical to safeguard animal welfare and to protect human health and safety. 

 - Dr. Cristie Kamiya

The facility plays a critical role in care provided to animals who are admitted into animal shelters. Thoughtful planning and use of shelter building and grounds are important parts of supporting the physical and emotional health of shelter populations while meeting the organization's mission and goals. The shelter facility must include sufficient space to allow for the execution of essential shelter operations and programs as required by mission or mandate.

 - Dr. Nancy Bradley
All animal shelters play an important role in the prevention of animal suffering. Socioeconomic factors often place owners in situations with limited access to veterinary care or difficulty meeting their pet's basic care needs. This can lead owners to surrender their pets or result in seizure if a complaint is filed. In many cases, shelters can help owners and their pets by providing necessary services and information, or connecting owners with others in the community who can assist them.

Management and Record Keeping
 - Dr. Elizabeth Berliner
A well-run sheltering organization of any size is built on a foundation of planning, training and oversight. This foundation is an essential part of implementing the suggestions in the Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters. Shelters must have a clearly defined mission/mandate, adequate personnel, up to date policies, a system for training and management practices aligned with these guidelines.
Medical Health and Shelter Surgery - Dr. Elise Gingrich

Comprehensive shelter medical programs are the foundation of humane sheltering. The WHO describes health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Health care for animals in shelters is a necessity and must include attention to overall well-being.  Additionally, in order to decrease the local population of animals needing shelter services and improve the individual animal health and welfare, shelters routinely sterilize shelter animals, owned pets and community cats.


Population Management - Dr. Erin Doyle
Shelters must practice active population management, which is the process of intentionally and efficiently planning services for each animal in the shelter's care. Individual animals are managed in consideration of the shelter's ability to care for that animal and their entire population in a manner consistent with the guidelines outlined in the Guidelines.

Public Health - Dr. Lena DeTar
Public health promotes and protects people and the communities where they live, largely through One Health. The care that shelters provide to animals also impacts humans and the environment. Both within their facilities and in the larger community they serve, shelters must take precautions to protect the health and safety of animals, people and the environment.

- Dr. Brian DiGangi

Maintaining a sanitary environment is an integral part of supporting health and welfare along with minimizing the risk of infectious disease. Whether or not infectious disease occurs is dependent on the interaction of several factors: the animal, the pathogen, the environment and how each of these factors are managed.