Association of Shelter Veterinarians announces updated Guidelines for Standards of Care


The documents will give the most comprehensive guides for the shelter veterinary community



The Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) released the second edition of its Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters. Originally created in 2010, these guidelines serve as a resource for the housing, husbandry, medical, and behavior care of animals that live in shelters. The guidelines provide evidence-based support for professionals caring for animals in fosters, sanctuaries, shelters, rescues, and other population settings.

“Since our founding, we’ve maintained the same dedication to establishing and advancing consistent care in animal shelters,” said Tom Van Winkle, executive director of ASV, in an organizational release.1 “With the advancement of research and changes in shelter medicine, we knew it was time to update the guidelines to provide the best possible resource to shelters and veterinarians everywhere.”

According to the release,1 an extensive review process was conducted to update the guidelines to now include expanded research and information in shelter veterinary medicine. Beginning in 2019, ASV surveyed shelter professionals to get a better look at the diversity and breadth of tasks these professionals encounter daily. A task force of 19 shelter veterinarians was selected based on matter expertise, summarized current knowledge, and literature to create the updated version of guidelines and recommendations.

The latest edition of the guidelines will move away from its ethical framework of the Five Freedoms to the Five Domains. This switch will provide a broader approach to achieving and continuing positive welfare while expanding on 2 new sections, additional references, and expended resources.

“The Guidelines are an extremely important part of the work we do,” said Lena DeTar, DVM, DABVP, DACVPM, interim director of Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell University, ASV vice president, and one of the editors of The Guidelines revision.1 “With these updates and the recent launch of the Journal of Shelter Medicine & Community Animal Health (JSMCAH), we’re continuing to expand the resources we provide to veterinarians and shelters, especially the evidence-based research that impacts the welfare of animals in shelters and communities.”

To learn more information, visit the ASV website.


Association of Shelter Veterinarians launches updated Guidelines for Standards of Care. News release. Association of Shelter Veterinarians. January 10, 2023. Accessed January 11, 2023.

Related Videos
Senior Bernese Mountain dog
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.