Related Tools & Tips:
Segregate Animal Populations
Placing animals into smaller groups in separate housing areas of the shelter based on species, health, age and other factors helps maintain optimum animal health during a shelter stay.
Here are five actions you can take to create appropriate housing areas for cats and dogs in your care:
1. Designate at least four housing areas for each species: Healthy Hold, Adoption, Isolation, Quarantine
Healthy Hold: Houses stray and surrendered healthy animals until they are able to be moved to adoption floor.
Adoption: Houses healthy animals available for adoption.
Isolation: Houses animals who are clinically ill (symptomatic) and infected with a communicable disease. In an isolation space, the use of barriers and solid walls can lessen the transmission of disease.
Quarantine: Create multiple quarantine areas for animals considered potentially dangerous:
- Animals being observed for rabies
- Animals exposed to infectious disease but not yet clinical during an outbreak situation
- Separate young animals (5 months and younger) from adults
- Provide separate housing for feral cats and aggressive dogs
- Set up multiple isolation areas to separate sick animals by type of illness (for example a separate ringworm ward from URI ward)
2. Create written standard operating procedures for each area
- Which animals are housed in each area and which should not be
- Maximum number of animals allowed in each area
- Who is responsible for feeding, cleaning, and monitoring animals in each area
- Who to contact if an issue arises in a specific area
3. Using your SOPs, train staff and volunteers in correct use of each housing area
4. Label each housing area, including maximum capacity
5. Train all staff, especially animal care staff, to recognize early signs of infectious disease so animals with potential infectious issues are quickly moving to the appropriate isolation location
Training Tool for Staff
Use this presentation as a training tool to explain to your staff the what, why, and how of segregating populations.
ASV Shelter Guidelines
For more information about segregating animal populations, and for creating housing areas in your shelter, see the following topics in Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters:
- Facility Design and Environment
- Population Management
- Monitoring and Daily Rounds
- Response to Disease or Illness
- Medical Treatment of Shelter Animals
- In-Shelter Care
- Group Housing