Module 6: The Case of the Overwhelmed Shelter

Staffing Capacity

The ASV Guidelines state that staff work hours MUST be sufficient to ensure that the basic needs of animals in the shelter are met each day. The Humane Society of the United States and the National Animal Control Association recommend 15 minutes for basic care of each animal per day. Basic care is feeding (6 minutes) and cleaning (9 minutes). Capacity for care requires an adequate number of staff to provide this basic care within a defined period of time in their work day (STAFFING CAPACITY).

The typical number of hours desired for completion of feeding and cleaning all animals in a shelter is 3 hours in the morning. This provides a clean shelter for most of the day and time for staff to perform other duties to support animal health and welfare (intake processing, laundry, enrichment, play groups, adoptions, medications, rounds, etc).

The staffing capacity calculation includes the following steps:

1. Number of animals in the shelter X 15 min/animal = total minutes

2. Total minutes/60 = total hours

3. Total hours / 3 hours = # staff needed for completion of basic care within 3 hours


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