After you’ve visited the handbook to learn more about Program Structure and Operations, come back here for a deeper dive!

Visit the Training Handbook

Interested in seeing example documents from organizations with pet programs? Be sure to check out the Document Library.


One of the most common questions we hear when housing pets at human services organizations is, "Who should care for the pets?"

The options for the daily care of pets can be broken down into 3 options:
Pet Parent

This is not only a great option for your budget, but it also provides some consistency for the pet parent, helps maintain the human-animal bond, and can help both in the healing process. It’s also an ideal option when housing pets in-room.

Staff Member

While this option may cost a little more, this can be a good option for your program’s peace of mind and, when needed, can relieve some stress for the pet parent and allow them to focus on other things. This option works well when not housing pets in room.

Animal Welfare Partner

This can be the most expensive option but it does provide some additional support in terms of training and behavior and really gives the human shelter peace of mind. This option also works well when not housing pets in room.

PRO TIP: Even if the pet parent will provide the daily care for their pet, we recommend you find at least one “Champion” on your staff who will make sure pets are cared for and that pet parents have what they need to care properly for their pets – access to supplies, veterinary care, etc.


“Give  yourself the time and resources to structure your program like you would structure any other program addition to your service array.”

“Be very clear on pet intake guidelines – it isn’t as difficult as some would think and the benefits are huge. When people (and pets) are in trauma, they need each other to help heal.”