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3. Three Stages of Transforming Your Shelter

There are many policies and programs your shelter can consider implementing to save more cats’ lives. But you don’t have to do it all at once. We’ve broken up our recommendations for feline-friendly shelter practices into three stages.

These three stages provide an overview of some of the fundamental steps shelters can take to bring about change for cats in their community, but this is not meant to be a comprehensive, one-size-fits-all toolkit that will work for all shelters. Alley Cat Allies appreciates that all shelters have different capacities, and we are sharing examples of what has worked well for some shelters.

In the first stage, you can adopt relatively easy-to-implement, low-cost practices that can make a significant impact on your shelter’s save rates. After you’ve made some or all of those changes, you can move on to stage two where you’ll increase your shelter’s lifesaving capacity by making additional changes that are somewhat more resource-intensive. In stage three, we’ve provided additional programs and practices that are ideal but that require more staff time, money, and commitment than the previous stages. You may find that the order of these steps won’t work in your shelter and that you can instead adopt a few practices from each stage right away. That’s fine, of course! Even if you can only adopt one of these practices right now, that one practice might end up saving hundreds—or thousands—of cats’ lives.

Stage One: Take Simple Steps to Save More Cats

Stage Two: Make Additional Changes to Help Even More Cats

Stage Three: Become a Model Shelter for Cats