News

Hurley Article on Appointment-Based Shelter Admissions Climbs the Charts

“The Evolving Role of Triage and Appointment-Based Admission to Improve Service, Care and Outcomes in Animal Shelters,” an article written by Koret Shelter Medicine Program Director Dr. Kate Hurley and published in the March 2022 edition of Frontiers in Veterinary Science, has been viewed 4,167 times as of today, putting it in the top third for popularity in Frontiers.

screenshot of Dr. Hurley's article in Frontiers in Veterinary Science

In the article, Dr. Hurley notes the disadvantages of the century-old practice of ad hoc animal shelter intake, and discusses how restrictions forced by the COVID pandemic buttressed existing evidence that a more thoughtful, scheduled approach to intake could benefit animals, shelters and communities.

Drawing on lessons from human health care services as well as research and recent experience, Dr. Hurley provides evidence that the implementation of triage and appointment-based services “better realizes the goals of shelters to serve the common good of animals and people in the most humane, equitable and effective possible way.”

Read the full article here.

California for All Animals Announces New Grant Opportunity

California State Director Allison Cardona announced today a request for proposals for a new round of grants to California animal welfare agencies. The Open Grants proposal period lasts from May 1 – June 30, 2022.

This round of funding is available to municipal shelters, private shelters with municipal contracts, and private shelters without municipal contracts that house animals in a brick and mortar facility and are open to the public a minimum of fifteen hours per week for adoptions and return to home.

Funding is also available to animal control agencies that provide field services and animal control functions are also eligible to apply, even if they do not perform sheltering services.

Grants ranging from $20,000 – $200,000 will be awarded over the next few months and focused on the following areas: Outcomes (Adoptions, Foster, Return to Home and Community), Field Services and Animal Control, Care of Animals in the Shelter, and Community Support.

Read more details about the grants and apply here.

The California for All Animals program was originally proposed by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2020 to help meet the state’s goal that no healthy or treatable animal be euthanized in a California shelter. It was funded by the legislature last year. Over 80 shelters have received more than $400,000 in grants since the official launch of the program in February. Read more about the history of the program here.

Join Team KSMP as a Facility Use and Design Veterinarian

Note: As of March 3, 2022, applications for this job are no longer being accepted.

Our person

We’re looking for a veterinarian who shares our mission of making change easier for the shelter leaders who are implementing new or expanded visions. You’d be joining the outreach team dedicated to doing that great work, which is often done virtually—through 1:1 video calls or courses in our online learning portal, Maddie’s® Million Pet Challenge Learniverse—but likely will include some amount of onsite work as well.  Within that team, we’re looking to expand our facility use, facility design and housing-related offerings, and we’re willing to train the right person if wellness and improved efficiency supported by great design make your heart pitter-patter. 

What your role would look and feel like

Each veterinarian on our current team has an area of interest that, all together, allows us to offer shelters comprehensive consultations. You’ll be on the Facility Design team and, as part of that team, you’ll also contribute to our larger shelter outreach team. You’ll be working closely with our resident facility design expert to round out the aspects of our consultations that address environment-supported wellness encompassing animal, staff and organizational needs. Sometimes your consultations will be in tandem with the larger team; sometimes a shelter may specifically be looking for facility design and housing support. We’re looking for someone who doesn’t mind working alone, in pairs, or as part of a 3–6-person team.

Is this opportunity speaking to YOU?

Do you love working in population health as a veterinarian? Have you experienced the benefits of a well-designed shelter and seen firsthand improved animal well-being with better housing? Were you part of a construction build-out or redesign at your shelter/clinic and recognized the project was hitting all your marks? Or have you always loved architecture and design but weren’t sure how it might intersect with your career as an animal caretaker? We’re open to all kinds of scenarios to find you, including getting creative about where you live and how you might travel with our team when necessary. Don’t be shy: we want to get to know you and hear how your passion for design might be the catalyst to transitioning into a new chapter in your career!

UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Launches $50M Program for Shelter Animals

Spreading the love to ALL on Valentine’s Day.

[The launch event is now available to view below]

California shelters and their communities are invited to join the California for All Animals online launch party on February 14. The kick-off event marks the beginning of a five-year project to improve the lives of at-risk animals in the state and provide much-needed resources to shelters that serve this vulnerable population.  

orange icon of paw inside circle from California for All Animals logo

This unique state-funded initiative was made possible in 2021 when California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed budget legislation that includes $45 million in one-time support for a statewide Animal Shelter Assistance Program, an augmentation to $5 million earmarked earlier that year.  

The initiative – administered by the Koret Shelter Medicine Program (KSMP) at the UC Davis Center for Companion Animal Health – will provide critical funding for shelters, perform onsite and virtual consultations, and offer expert-led training. The program represents a promise kept and emphasizes the governor’s commitment to help communities realize the state’s long-held policy that “no adoptable or treatable animal should be euthanized.” 

“I pledged that all California communities would have the resources they need to ensure that no healthy or treatable animal dies in a shelter and I have not forgotten, we have not forgotten, that promise,” said Newsom. “Both then and now it’s clear that we must take action to protect the most vulnerable among us.” 

KSMP California State Director Allison Cardona said she knows firsthand from her experience at the largest sheltering system in California that these funds are needed now more than ever. 

“Communities are struggling and shelters are too,” Cardona said. “These funds promise a brighter tomorrow. We’re excited to partner with shelters to find creative solutions within their communities to help keep pets in their homes whenever possible and provide the best care inside the shelter when it’s not.”  

The Valentine’s Day event will include information about joining the program, eligibility, and details about the first round of grants available beginning February 14th.

You can read more about the Animal Shelter Assistance Act. For a history of the governor’s original proposal, see Governor Newsom Proposes a $50M Investment to Help California’s Homeless Animals at Sheltermedicine.com. Visit California for All Animals to find out more about grants available now. 

To be kept up to date about developments, please sign up for the California for All Animals mailing list.

About UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program
In 2000 UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine launched the first shelter medicine program in the world. Since then, the Koret Shelter Medicine Program has moved beyond the basics — how to vaccinate, clean, feed, and handle animals — to guide the whole animal-shelter system. The program offers organizational evaluations, facility design consultations, and online training, all intended to provide practical, cost-effective solutions to improve animal welfare and adoptability.

Apply to Be Our Learning Coordinator

Do you have a passion for helping to create and build online learning communities? Do you love both the people in the animal welfare industry and the animals they are trying to help? Does the idea of being on a small but mighty team dedicated to online learning in this space sound exciting? We have created a brand-new position at the Koret Shelter Medicine Program (KSMP) at the University of California, Davis and we’re looking for someone who wants to help imagine, bring to life, and coordinate A+ learner experiences in the online space.

Black dog reaching from a laptop screen to place her paw in a person's hand

The UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program Learning Coordinator will have their hands on #allthethings in our online learning program and serve as the point person for learners in our brand-new virtual learning world – the Learniverse. From working with our Online Learning Director and Instructional Designer to plan and coordinate all things online learning, to helping our subject matter experts translate their knowledge into the online world, to helping learners engage with this new community and find their way through their coursework, you’ll play a pivotal role in our online learning Learniverse.

We’ll also put your scheduling, organization, group facilitation and engagement skills to work, allowing your superstar-behind-the-scenes abilities to shine and make the Learniverse a place everyone wants to explore and engage with.

If you have awesome communications skills, are a master of online learning best practices, love delving into adult learning theories, are a wizard when it comes to fostering online engagement, super-duper detailed, live for a well-streamlined process, know your way around the back end of an LMS, and love to scale the good in this world, we want to meet you.

Our team is small but impactful and your voice will always be heard. We offer great benefits and promote work-life balance. Your contributions will serve two powerhouse programs, both with big goals and global reach. Ultimate flexibility: This position has the option to be primarily remote with regular opportunities to meet with the team!

Click here to apply by January 24, 2022.

Apply to Be Our Online Learning Designer

Dog on a laptop computer.

Do you love designing and creating online learning experiences that thoroughly engage and excite busy professionals who are passionate about their work? Are you experienced at developing courses with adult users in mind that don’t feel like required training assigned by your HR department? If this is you, bring your UX experience over here and join our team of DVMs on a mission to change the animal welfare landscape! 

The world of animal welfare is exploding right now. Our community is driving a revolution that both supports and returns animals safely to their homes or, when needed, finds new homes faster than ever before. If you’re a member of this community or are passionate about this (our dream candidate would be), you know that information is being exchanged at a profound rate, but the platforms we use to share this information can sometimes leave us feeling anything but progressive and the general information overwhelm experienced by our audience is real.

The Koret Shelter Medicine Program and the Million Cat Challenge are on a mission to change that. We’re moving beyond listserves and webinars to create a learning universe that is designed just for us. Inside this new world, we will offer different types of learning adventures that meet each individual user’s needs and style, all supported by coaches, subject matter experts, and peers that share common goals, digging deep into the cohort learning model. 

About you: Ideally, you live in California, or are at least in the Pacific Standard Time zone. You are an experienced Instructional Designer with a passion for using your skills to further missions dedicated to making this world a better, more equitable place for us all (especially animals). You have that “world domination” twinkle in your eye, but you’re able to execute sophisticated and interactive online learning projects in phases that meet tight timelines. 

Why us? Our team is small; your voice will always be heard. We offer great benefits and work-life balance. Your contributions will serve two powerhouse programs, both with big goals and global reach. Ultimate flexibility: This position is remote with regular opportunities to meet with the team! 

Click here to apply by January 3, 2022!

Apply to Become Director of New California Program

Note: The deadline to apply for this position has passed. We’ll be expanding our team in the coming months, so keep an eye out for other opportunities to join the KSMP!

In a historic move, the governor of California tapped the Koret Shelter Medicine Program to lead a five-year, 50 million dollar initiative not only to recover from the pandemic but also to realize California’s goal of becoming a truly humane state that does not euthanize healthy or treatable animals. Originally proposed in 2019 and put on pause by the pandemic, the California legislature voted to make it official with the 2021 state budget.  

That’s where you come in! 

We’re hiring a California State Director to lead the kind of large-scale change initiatives that have a huge impact and squeeze every ounce of opportunity out of this statewide pilot. More animals pass through shelters in California than in any other state in the nation; we’re hoping the innovations that allow us to get it right here will serve as an example for the rest of the United States.

A little about the Koret Shelter Medicine Program 

The KSMP was established in 2001 as the first university-based shelter medicine program in the world. For the last twenty years, we have developed and spread a welfare-oriented, community-centered approach to animal sheltering and services.

Here’s some of what we’ve accomplished so far:

  • Our research has led to advancements in vaccine schedules and protocols that have protected millions of animals from life-threatening diseases. 
  • Our management model, Capacity for Care (C4C), has been peer-reviewed, published and proven to dramatically improve both the welfare and live outcomes of animals. C4C has enabled thousands of shelters to serve their community more efficiently and allowed staff to take pride and feel joy at work. 
  • Together with the University of Florida, we co-founded the world’s largest feline life-saving initiative, the Million Cat Challenge, and surpassed our goal of saving one million more cats a year early. Today, shelters enrolled in the Challenge have spared 3.5M cats and kittens from euthanasia. 
  • Many of those 3.5 million cats will have passed through a portal, a KSMP invention that retrofits feline housing and reduces stress and upper respiratory infections in hundreds of thousands of cats worldwide by providing the space they need to exhibit natural behaviors. 
  • Over six thousand animals have been sterilized by UC Davis fourth-year veterinary students completing a high volume spay and neuter rotation at our local animal shelter hosted by KSMP.

There is an impression that our team is larger than it really is; in fact, the program you will be leading is small and scrappy. Our commitment comes from our shared belief that inside animal shelters are hard-working and innovative professionals that know what their community needs to move forward; our job is to give them the tools and help them shape the path to the humane outcomes they desire. In exchange, we discover and help magnify the successes being achieved by shelters across the nation. This virtuous cycle has enabled us to scale our efforts year after year and build the infrastructure that has prepared us to grow our program substantially and support California through our next transformative chapter. 

 A brand-new position created for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Is it yours?

We’re looking for someone that loves building and scaling new programs. Someone intimately familiar with animal welfare and the sheltering culture is important for this role (extra bonus for the professional that already has an extensive network in California) but equally important is your experience managing teams, building engagement, will, and enthusiasm. We serve communities through animal shelters; communities are not made up of pets alone. The human-animal bond is central to everything we do. If you’re ready to invest your time and talent into something that makes a positive impact, something that magnifies the good, something measurable, something that will inarguably improve the lives of pets and the people that love them, look no further. 

What would I be doing, specifically? 

This position will provide strategic guidance to the team on unique challenges facing the sheltering community. A typical week leading this project would include building a statewide community among animal shelters; working closely with our deputy director to ensure different elements of this project are on track and planning our next grant opportunity; reviewing the progress of shelters we are working with and consulting with our other internal teams to see the full picture; and meeting with external partners to leverage every possible strategic investment in our goal. 

As a manager of 2-3 staff, providing feedback and developmental opportunities as needed to recognize and/or improve performance and capacity will also be an important part of this role. You’ll also be part of our team expansion, so you would be leading the process of recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding additional members of the California for All Animals initiative. Of course there would likely also be typical university administration tasks, human resource duties, budget management tasks, and some oversight of the grants processes.

A few of the EI/EQ qualities we think our new leader needs to succeed.

We are looking for someone flexible but steady. Every personality type under the sun shines through the members of our team and those we serve. We are constantly changing and innovating, and you have to enjoy (or at least be okay with) that sort of thing to thrive on this team.  

You must be passionate about the KSMP mission and helping communities of all shapes and sizes. The phrases “large-scale change,” “cohort building” and “community engagement” should turn your head in a conversation. If you’re not a disciplined self-starter, it would be nearly impossible to succeed in this role.

As mentioned, we have big goals and a small, growing into a medium-sized team. To achieve our aims, we operate with excellence in mind in all matters, with the confidence to discuss and present ideas without ego interfering. We don’t always get it right, but we are committed on a cellular level to continuous improvement. You’ll need to have the kind of grit that wires you that way, too.  

That doesn’t mean we’re a humorless bunch. Fun is important to us. We don’t goof off all day, but we fully encourage a light spirit that promotes healthy team culture, creativity, and imagination. In fact, it is an important part of our brand identity.

We are part of a vibrant and expanding community

The Koret Shelter Medicine Program (KSMP) is an education and research unit within the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis. The program supports the health and welfare of animals by applying the principles of shelter medicine to community animal management through shelters. Shelter Medicine defines a broad specialty that includes medicine, management, behavior, and the epidemiological study of community dynamics related to companion animal management. 

Is this position speaking to you? Do you live in California or would you be open to the possibility? We’d love to hear from you!

The deadline to apply for this position was October 20. 

Note: Davis is a great town, but you don’t have to move here as long as you reside in California. Please feel free to email sheltermedicine@ucdavis.edu if you have any questions.

California Budget Includes Money to Help Homeless Animals

UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program to Administer Grants and Outreach

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed budget legislation that includes $45 million in one-time support for a statewide Animal Shelter Assistance Program. The program will be administered by the Koret Shelter Medicine Program, at the University of California, Davis, Center for Companion Animal Health. The increase will be used to fund grants and outreach for the state’s animal shelters over a period of five years.

Dr. Delany examines a kitten at YCAS in 2016

The funding increase reflects the governor’s commitment to providing resources that can help communities realize the state’s long-held policy that “no adoptable or treatable animal should be euthanized.”

Newsom tapped the Koret Shelter Medicine Program to set up a grant process, create and distribute educational materials and perform in-person consultations to help achieve the goals of the policy. He cited the program’s reputation for leadership in the field of shelter medicine and long history of working with California shelters.

“This represents a promise fulfilled for animal shelters and communities, especially those that historically have been under-resourced. As the first academic shelter medicine program in the world, the Koret Shelter Medicine Program is well-positioned to provide the expertise required to earn the greatest return on this investment,” said Michael Kent, director of the Center for Companion Animal Health.

A $5 million allotment for a two-year pilot project was funded in April. The $45 million augmentation restores the funding and longer timeline of the governor’s original proposal of $50 million over five years that was made in January of 2020.

“We’re honored to be chosen to administer this pioneering program. This truly is a generational investment that has the potential to change the landscape for vulnerable animals and their families in California,” said Kate Hurley, founder and director of the Koret Shelter Medicine Program.

“The additional $45 million allocation not only shows agencies throughout the state just like mine that our sacrifice and dedication is recognized, but also provides crucial fiscal support for programs essential to helping our communities rebuild from this devastating time,” said Cassie Heffington, animal services manager at Tulare County Animal Services.

You can read more about the Animal Shelter Assistance Act. For a history of the governor’s original proposal, see Governor Newsom Proposes $50M Investment to Help California’s Homeless Animals and the California for All Dogs and Cats page at Sheltermedicine.com.

To be kept up-to-date about developments, please sign up for the California for All Dogs and Cats mailing list.

Shelter Medicine Programs Endorse NACA Recommendations

Download the joint statement (PDF)

University of Wisconsin-Madison Shelter Medicine Program, University of California-Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program, University of Florida Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program, Dr. Jeanette O’Quin of The Ohio State University, and the Association of Shelter Veterinarians wholeheartedly support and recommend animal control agencies and animal shelters follow the recommendations found in the recently released statements from the National Animal Care & Control Association (NACA) during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 carries the possibility of creating a significant animal welfare crisis in shelters experiencing reduced capacity for care due to staffing shortages, the need for social distancing, and reduced outcome opportunities via adoption, foster or rescue.

In an effort to mitigate the short and long-term effects of this pandemic, we encourage animal control agencies and shelters to implement the NACA recommendations beginning immediately.

NACA’s statements incorporate the following key recommendations:

  • Animal control agencies should take active measures to eliminate non-essential shelter intake.
  • Discontinue low priority/non-emergency activity (non-aggressive stray animal pick-up, nuisance complaints, etc.).
  • At this time, continue to respond to emergency and high priority calls (law enforcement assistance, injured or sick stray animals, bite and dangerous dog complaints, etc.).
  • To preserve critical medical supplies and minimize potential for human contact exposure, shelters and spay-neuter clinics should limit surgeries to emergency cases only.

Importantly, NACA notes that “shelters should continue providing live outcomes for sheltered cats and dogs. The lack of immediately available spay and neuter services should not be a reason for shelter euthanasia. Further, anticipated personnel and supply resource depletion in shelters dictate that essential services and lifesaving capacity be preserved by reducing the number of animals in custody as quickly as possible. This should be done by expediting the movement of animals to adoptive or foster homes and not extending the stay of animals in the shelter for spay or neuter surgery.”

Sincerely,

Sandra Newbury, DVM, DABVP (Shelter Medicine)
Director, Shelter Medicine Program
University of Wisconsin-Madison
School of Veterinary Medicine

Cynda Crawford, DVM, PhD
Director, Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program
University of Florida

College of Veterinary Medicine

Chumkee Aziz, DVM, DABVP (Shelter Medicine)
President
Association of Shelter Veterinarians

Kate F. Hurley, DVM, MPVM, DABVP (Shelter Medicine)
Koret Shelter Medicine Program
University of California, Davis

Jeanette O’Quin, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, DABVP (Shelter Medicine)
Assistant Professor of Veterinary Public Health and Shelter Medicine
The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Animal Services’ Role in COVID-19 Support

Note: This is a dynamic situation. Please go to our info sheet for the latest updates.

In preparation for an increase in COVID-19 cases and the hospitalization of people with severe disease, animal service agencies are collaborating with public health departments to support the animals of persons who require hospitalization. For people that do not have family or friends that can care for their pets during their hospitalization, animal service support may include temporary sheltering of their pets. For people who may need to self-isolate or are quarantined after exposure to an infected individual, animal service agencies are working to support the co-housing of people with their pets in their homes or in temporary emergency housing.

Co-housing people with their pets whenever possible has a three-fold impact. First, previous disasters demonstrated that pets are integral family members and people will place themselves at significant risk rather than be separated from their animals. Compliance with important recommendations, including disclosure of symptoms or exposure to an infected person, may be compromised if people believe they may be separated from their pets when isolated or quarantined.

Second, pets have a beneficial impact on human health, providing companionship and reducing anxiety. Isolation and quarantine are extremely stressful with uncertainty, fear, and anger that may be exacerbated by social isolation. Reducing stress by keeping families together, including a family’s pets, is important to maintaining the health of both the people and their animals.

Third, animal shelters could quickly become overwhelmed unless they limit their services to those who truly cannot care for their pets. Bringing in large numbers of animals would stretch capacity and resources to the point where adequate care could no longer be ensured. The possibility of a crisis in the human health care system because of a rapid influx of patients beyond the capacity to provide care is very real at this time. Avoiding a parallel crisis in animal welfare is essential to protect community health and is in the best interest of all the individuals, humans and animals, involved.

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association, WSAVA, has compiled information from global authorities on the current understanding of the role of companion animals and COVID-19. There is no current evidence that companion animals are a source of infection to people.

For more information visit WSAVA’s information page: 
https://wsava.org/news/highlighted-news/the-new-coronavirus-and-companion-animals-advice-for-wsava-members/.

Current recommendations from the CDC include washing hands before and after interacting with pets if ill. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html

Note: We thank our colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Shelter Medicine Program, who partner with us on our Resource Library, for sharing this post with us.