Shelter Consultation Mentorship FAQs

Need to know a bit more?

If you still have a few questions before making a decision, these are our most frequently asked questions.

What is included?

  • All training is provided at no cost.

What is not included?

  • Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements and expenses. Information about where the consultation team is staying and travel times will be provided to the mentees several months in advance. It is often possible to share vehicles for local travel and hotel rooms with other participants if desired.

Who should take the Foundational Course?

  • Anyone interested in learning more about how to assess operations in their own shelter or in other shelters is welcome to enroll in the course.

Who should apply to the Advanced Course?

  • The Advanced Course is available by application to working professionals on a space-available basis. Most mentees have been shelter medicine interns, residents, veterinarians, veterinary students, shelter leaders and managers, representatives from national organizations, and others who are working toward leadership positions in animal welfare.

When and where are the shelter consultations for the Advanced Course held?

  • The schedule and location of each consultation varies according to the needs and location of the shelters. Our shelter consultations have spanned from Hawaii to Puerto Rico. Mentees accepted to participate in the Advanced Course will be notified several months in advance when consultations are available to join.

Who leads the Advanced Course?

  • Sara Pizano and Cameron Moore are the primary leaders of the Shelter Consultation Mentorships. Dr. Julie Levy, Dr. Cynda Crawford, and others may participate depending on the key topics of interest.

What is the Fear Free Shelters Program?

  • The Fear Free Shelter Program is an online self-study course with a goal to improve the experiences of animals by educating shelter, rescue, and animal welfare employees and volunteers about the animals’ emotional needs. The program will empower you to apply key strategies and techniques designed to reduce the negative emotional states that are commonly experienced by shelter and rescue animals—including fear, anxiety, stress (FAS), and frustration—and increase their enrichment opportunities. This program is suitable for every individual involved in the care and oversight of shelter and rescue animals. Completion of the Fear Free Shelters program will earn 5 credits of RACE-approved continuing education.
    How much time should I plan for the Foundational self-study course?

How much time should I plan for the Foundational self-study course?

  • The two modules in the online self-study course can be completed in 2.5 hours. The online Fear Free Shelter Program can be completed in approximately 10 hours. In addition, there are approximately 200 pages of assigned reading to complete. It is possible to complete all of the course requirements in about 15 hours. This course is 100 percent self-paced, and the work can be done at any time, from any device. You do not have to be in class at specific times.
    How much time should I plan for the Advanced Course?

How much time should I plan for the Advanced Course?

  • The Advanced Course requires several hours of research and conference calls in the weeks prior to the shelter visit. The shelter visit itself is usually five days long with additional travel time. Several hours of follow-up conference calls and report review are scheduled in the weeks following the consultation visit. Some mentees return to the shelter to assist with implementation of the report recommendations.

Are CEUs available?

  • In jurisdictions that recognize RACE approval, the online self-study course has been approved for 2.5 hours of continuing education credit, and the Fear Free Shelter Program has been approved for 5 hours. This class has been pre-approved for 2.5 Certified Animal Welfare Administrator continuing education credits by The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement. Veterinarians attending the advanced course are eligible for 6 contact hours for each day of onsite consultation for Veterinary Continuing Education Credit through the University of Florida. Veterinarians participating from other states should contact their licensing board for guidance.