Putting Policies into Practice at the Shelter Level: Saving Lives through Accessible Education on Standards of Care in Animal Shelters

Kim Monteith and Ellen Campbell
British Columbia SPCA

When implementing standards, individuals often employ well-meaning but unsuitable methods, which can negatively impact key relationships between policymakers, employees, managers, and volunteers. This presentation, first, presents a pilot project, which used the ASPCA Shelter Care Checklists: Putting ASV Guidelines Into Action (2012), to help shelters self-identify their needs and understand the importance behind the standards. Second, this presentation provides specific examples on how to ensure successful implementation by taking checklist results and applying them to shelter and volunteer training through the process of knowledge mobilization: a universally accepted method of education that establishes tangible connections between research and policies such as the Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters (2010).

Key Learnings:
1. Provide a Canadian case study that used the ASPCA Shelter Care Checklists
2. Introduce key policy implementation techniques, including knowledge mobilization
3. Exemplify how shelters can use these tools to go from audit to full implementation


Kim Monteith
Kim Monteith has worked in BC SPCA animal shelters since 1999. Developing, implementing, and supporting shelter and community programs, Kim helps improve welfare for both animals and people in BC. In her spare time Kim has spent the last 15 years helping homeless guardians care for their pets in Vancouver and across Canada through outreach, managing the BC SPCA weekly Pet Food bank and a free monthly volunteer-run veterinary clinic.

Ellen Campbell
Ellen Campbell is a graduate student with the University of British Columbia, Okanagan. She is currently working with the BC SPCA as one of their first graduate practicum students as part of a larger review of the relationship between policy and practice in the organization. Her Master’s in Interdisciplinary Studies (in progress), for which she has been awarded the Joseph Armand Bombardier Award, analyzes her work with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s onshore campaigns in an effort to improve and navigate nonprofit organizations’ relationships with (1) communities who have historically depended on nonhuman animals, such as the endangered leatherback turtle, as a food source, and (2) local activists within these communities, who feel alienated by larger nonprofits.