Shelter Consultations
Helping Shelters be their Best

Through shelter consultation, our program’s veterinarians are available to help animal shelters meet their life-saving goals while providing the best possible care for the animals. Faculty, advanced trainees, and staff are here to help shelters be their best.

If your agency is interested in shelter health assessment services from Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program, please complete and submit the Request a Shelter Health Assessment form. A representative of Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program will contact you to discuss your request in more detail.

On-Site Assessment from Maddie’s ® Shelter Medicine Program

Dr. Julie Levy, program director and professor of Shelter Medicine, examines cat housing and enrichment during an assessment.
Dr. Julie Levy, program director and professor of Shelter Medicine, examines cat housing and enrichment during an assessment.

If a thorough assessment is what your agency needs, a full shelter health evaluation encompassing a wide range of sheltering topics can be performed through an on-site assessment. Whether responding to community criticism or working to become a model agency through best policies and practices, we have worked with shelters of all shapes and sizes. Whether a shelter is struggling with the basics or ready to take programs to the next level, we work to find ways to help shelter leadership meet their goals and improve shelter animal health and well being.

A shelter visit is the best tool to provide Shelter Medicine veterinarians the opportunity to understand the unique strengths and challenges of a particular shelter. The veterinarian-client-patient relationship stays true:

  • Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program is the veterinarian,
  • Shelter management is the client, and the
  • Shelter is the patient.

And just as a physical examination of a pet includes an evaluation of all body systems while considering the goals and abilities of the owner, a complete shelter health assessment includes a hands-on look at shelter operations with consideration for the shelter’s mission and specific assessment goals.

Consultation Topics

Our shelter consultation services examine shelter operations through the framework of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians’ Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters. While each consultation is tailored to the specific needs of the shelter, systems to be evaluated would potentially include:

  • Review of written protocols or shelter design plans
  • Statistical analysis and tracking
  • Population management
  • Isolation and segregation
  • Intake process
  • Parasite control
  • Vaccination
  • Veterinary services
    • On-site veterinary services vs. dependency on community clinics
    • Adequacy of hours/services
    • Standard surgical practices
    • Disease recognition and diagnosis
    • Treatment for common diseases
  • Nutrition/feeding
  • Euthanasia (process and procedure)
  • Kennel cleaning
  • Cleaning other areas (common areas, vehicles, dishes, etc.)
  • Cat and dog housing
  • Cat and dog enrichment/stress management
  • Behavior evaluation

Learn More or Request an Assessment

Fill out our shelter assessment form. 

To request urgent help for an infectious disease outbreak or learn more about shelter assessments, please contact us.

On-Site Assessment from the Million Cat Challenge Team 

Cat housing at an animal shelter.The Million Cat Challenge assessment team will provide expertise and make recommendations for more impactful life-saving and cost-effective public and animal safety services. Any recommendations made will be fiscally responsible, address enforcement efficiencies to provide for public and animal safety, productively decrease intake with alternatives to intake, decrease length of stay in the shelter and increase live outcome to end euthanasia as population control. Attention will be paid to the community cat program with the intent of identifying and eliminating barriers to live outcome.

Learn more and apply for a shelter assessment from the MCC Team.

Remote Shelter Assessments and Quick Questions

Although formal shelter health consultations are a powerful tool to change the outcome for shelter animals, not every shelter challenge requires an onsite visit to get effective advice for positive change.

To learn more about remote shelter assessments or for quick questions, please contact us.

Maddie’s Shelter Compass

Maddie’s® Shelter Compass is a free web-based tool that provides your animal shelter with a roadmap to save more lives. Simply enter some animal shelter data and answer a few questions, and within minutes you will have a custom life-saving plan tailored to your animal shelter.

Learn more and get started at