Tools for managing dog and cat populations

Once you or your community team has reviewed the fundamentals of developing an effective plan, engaging stakeholders and data collection, then you are ready to start reviewing some of the different tools that can used to promote humane care for dogs and cats.

Education
Children are at the heart of changing the way a community interacts with its animals in the long-term. IFAW’s free education program, Dogs, Cats and US, is designed for use in classrooms and meets educational standards of the countries in which it is taught.  

Sheltering
Shelters are often a community’s first proposed solution to dogs and cats that are un-owned, un-wanted or suffering. Before a community elects to use a shelter as a part of a solution to homeless pets, however, it is important they understand what a shelter can and cannot do to help animals in a community. Find out if a shelter is the right choice for your community!

Veterinary Care
While sterilization is a useful tool for population management, it needs to be sustained in the long-run. Choosing to work long-term with a local veterinary infrastructure can solve future problems. Focus should be placed on supporting the growth of local veterinarians and their skills, which can include sterilization, developing services through training, and finding ways to support associated costs.

Legislation and regulations
National laws and local regulations can help ensure that dog and cat population management is carried out humanely. Legal changes can be long and bureaucratic, but there are resources that can help in the process.