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AVMA Relocation of Dogs & Cats For Adoption: Best Practices

rescued dog at adoption day

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Rescued greyhound at an adoption event.       Rescues and shelters routinely transport adoptable pets, to foster homes, to shelters where the animal might have a better chance of finding a new home, and to the new homes themselves. But the transport of animals also poses risks. Trips must be carefully planned to ensure the animals’ welfare during transport, prevent the spread of disease, and protect animal and human health and safety.

       In September 2014, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA) issued a new publication, Relocation of Dogs & Cats for Adoption Best Practices. The guidelines are designed to cover normal transports (as opposed to emergency and disaster relocations), and apply to shelter-to-shelter relocations, grassroots efforts and commercial operations.

       The 12-page guide includes:

  • Reasons for Relocating Adoptable Pets
  • Methods of Relocation
  • Selection of Dogs and Cats for Relocation
  • Responsibilities of Participating Individuals and Organizations
  • Responsibilities at the Point of Origin
  • Responsibilities During Road Transport
  • Responsibilibies of the Transporter
  • Responsibilities at the Destination
  • Enclosure Space During Transport
  • Enclosure Design
  • Special Precautions for Young Animals
  • Special Precautions for Brachycephalic (Short-Nosed) Breeds of Dogs
  • Special Considerations for Cats
  • Special Precautions for the Transport of “Special Needs” Dogs and Cats
  • References and Additional Resources

 pawprint bullet point   Download AVMA Relocation of Dogs & Cats for Adoption Best Practices (pdf)   pawprint bullet point


Loaded vans in front of the temporary housing tents at Dane Co. HS prepare to transport some of the 200 dogs to shelters across WI.

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Photos Copyright © 2012, Pat Crean, Flying Spots Photography. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

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