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Principles of Animal Sheltering and Support Services
APBI 214
Section: n/a
Instructor: Dr. Alexandra (Sasha) Protopopova
Office: MCML 193
Office Hours: contact via email
Class Schedule: M, W, F:10-11AM
Classroom: TBD
Important Course Pages

Course Syllabus

Course Description

Students will learn the history and philosophy of animal shelters and humane societies, with a focus on emerging issues and a One Health/ One Welfare perspective. The course will cover diverse topics in animal sheltering and companion animal support services such as strategies for supporting people and their animals in the community, managing a shelter, establishing community partnerships, public safety considerations, disaster and crisis response, among many others. The course is an ideal starting point for students interested in the interconnectedness of the wellbeing of people and companion animals as well as for students interested in working with animal welfare organizations

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course, the student will be able to:

1.     Develop an appreciation of the complex ways in which animal shelters support the interactions between people and animals as evidenced by class participation in discussion and in-class weekly activities;

2.     Effectively integrate ideas from multiple sources and compose and submit online weekly reflections on complex topics within the field of animal sheltering and support services;

3.     Compose a term review paper on a topic of your choosing within the broad topic of animal sheltering.

Course Format

1. Weekly reflections (best 5 out of 7, 5 marks each) - 25 points; 25%

2. Bi-weekly term paper assignments (best 4 out of 5, 10 marks each)- 40 points; 40%

3. Final term paper- 15 points; 15%

3. Final presentation- 10 points; 10%

4. Participation in class- 10 points; 10%

Course Schedule

Lecture Topic Homework (webinars/ reading)
History and philosophy
1 Introduction to the course
2 Animal shelter tours (online)
3 History and philosophy of animal sheltering
4 Capacity for Care Karsten, C. L., Wagner, D. C., Kass, P. H., & Hurley, K. F. (2017). An observational study of the relationship between Capacity for Care as an animal shelter management model and cat health, adoption and death in three animal shelters. The Veterinary Journal, 227, 15-22.
5 Software and data
6 Flow-through planning
One Welfare: Keeping animals out of the shelter
7 Lost and found
Lord, L. K., Ingwersen, W., Gray, J. L., & Wintz, D. J. (2009). Characterization of animals with microchips entering animal shelters. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 235(2), 160-167.
8 Self-rehoming
9 Keeping families together
10 Foster programs Gunter, L. M., Feuerbacher, E. N., Gilchrist, R. J., & Wynne, C. D. (2019). Evaluating the effects of a temporary fostering program on shelter dog welfare. PeerJ, 7, e6620.
11 Rescue and community partnerships Simmons, K. E., & Hoffman, C. L. (2016). Dogs on the move: Factors impacting animal shelter and rescue organizations’ decisions to accept dogs from distant locations. Animals, 6(2), 11.
Current practices: Animal intake and management
12 Animal intake


13 Medical procedures Steneroden, K. K., Hill, A. E., & Salman, M. D. (2011). A needs-assessment and demographic survey of infection-control and disease awareness in western US animal shelters. Preventive veterinary medicine, 98(1), 52-57.
14 Infectious disease Li, Y., Gordon, E., Idle, A., Altan, E., Seguin, M. A., Estrada, M., ... & Delwart, E. (2020). Virome of a feline outbreak of diarrhea and vomiting includes bocaviruses and a novel chapparvovirus. Viruses, 12(5), 506.
15 Population vs. individual health
16 Cat and dog housing
17 Small mammal housing
18 In-kennel/ cage enrichment Lindig, A. M., McGreevy, P. D., & Crean, A. J. (2020). Musical Dogs: A Review of the Influence of Auditory Enrichment on Canine Health and Behavior. Animals, 10(1), 127.
19 Social enrichment and training Willen, R. M., Schiml, P. A., & Hennessy, M. B. (2019). Enrichment centered on human interaction moderates fear-induced aggression and increases positive expectancy in fearful shelter dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 217, 57-62.
20 Dog play groups
21 Behavior assessments Patronek, G. J., & Bradley, J. (2016). No better than flipping a coin: Reconsidering canine behavior evaluations in animal shelters. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 15, 66-77.
22 Occupational health of staff Andrukonis, A., & Protopopova, A. (2020). Occupational Health of Animal Shelter Employees by Live Release Rate, Shelter Type, and Euthanasia-Related Decision. Anthrozoös, 33(1), 119-131.
23 Volunteer management
One Welfare: Adopter support
24 Marketing animals Protopopova, A., & Gunter, L. M. (2017). Adoption and relinquishment interventions at the animal shelter: A review. Anim. Welf, 26, 35-48.
25 Breed labels and EDI Hoffman, C. L., Harrison, N., Wolff, L., & Westgarth, C. (2014). Is that dog a pit bull? A cross-country comparison of perceptions of shelter workers regarding breed identification. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 17(4), 322-339.
26 Barrier free adoption and EDI
27 Telehelp and adopter support
One Health/ One Welfare: Field services and community support
28 Field services
Milot, L., & Dyer, J. L. (2014). Social Vulnerability Assessment of Dog Intake Location Data As a Planning Tool for Community Health Program Development: A Case Study in Athens-Clarke County, GA, 2014-2016. GA, 2016, 2019-35.
29 Public health Lee, C. T., Slavinski, S., Schiff, C., Merlino, M., Daskalakis, D., Liu, D., ... & Layton, M. (2017). Outbreak of influenza A (H7N2) among cats in an animal shelter with cat-to-human transmission—New York City, 2016. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 65(11), 1927-1929.
30 Community cats and rabbits
31 Animal hoarding Reinisch, A. I. (2008). Understanding the human aspects of animal hoarding. The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 49(12), 1211.
32 Disaster relief
33 Wildlife issues
34 Humane education Baker, T., Rock, M., Brook, R., van der Meer, F., & Kutz, S. (2020). Indigenous community perspectives on dogs in Northern Canada after 10 years of veterinary services indicates improved animal and human welfare. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 181, 105061.

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