Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  Plastic Kennels

    Posted 01-29-2019 11:17 AM

    The shelter I currently work at is 7 years old and uses single plastic kennels (4.2ft2) for cat housing. We also use removable plastic perches that are heavy and awkward to clean. The plastic, both in the kennel and the perches, is full of scratch marks which I feel is difficult to clean and disinfect. I've been pushing for replacement portalized stainless steel kennel with built-in perches to making cleaning easier (ie more likely to be done effectively) and improve the welfare of our cats. A while ago I purchased a product called "glo germ," a white powder which fluoresces brightly under a black light, to use for staff training on the importance of fomites and hand washing. When working on the demonstration, we inadvertently discovered that the powder is excellent at highlighting all the scratches - please see attached photos. My questions are - if you currently use plastic kennels, do you feel that it's difficult to clean/disinfect them? Do you have problems with disease? If you had plastic kennels previously, why did you replace them and did you see a difference in the amount of disease you saw?


  • 2.  RE: Plastic Kennels

    Posted 01-30-2019 05:47 PM

    Jessica you are totally correct! Those plastic kennels should be replaced immediately (or as quickly as possible). Stainless steel cages are definitely the recommended housing units. As you mentioned, the cages must also be portalized in order to provide adequate square footage for each cat. I would refer your leadership team/decision makers to the ASV Guidelines and their definition for humane housing and sanitation. There is a really good Check List on how to put ASV Guidelines into practice. It lists must, should, ideal, and unacceptable practices. You'll find everything you need right there.

    Under must for housing it states: ¨All animal areas have non-porous surfaces that can be easily disinfected and are durable enough to withstand repeated cleanings – especially important in areas where puppies, kittens and animals who are infectious or newly admitted are housed. Under unacceptable it states ¨Cages or crates intended for short-term temporary confinement or travel are used as primary enclosures.

    If it's not in your budget to purchase new cages, you can always look around for vet clinics, grooming or boarding facilities that are upgrading their cages. Stainless steel lasts forever and you can purchase the portals for $70 through ShorLine. You can even do a quick fundraiser and have your community sponsor a portal to raise the funds.

    I hope this helps!


  • 3.  RE: Plastic Kennels

    Posted 01-30-2019 10:55 PM

    Hello,  I am just quickly stating.  Cameron has all the facts right and true.  You need to go to your Supervisors and let them know this.  It is for the health and well being of the cats.  



  • 4.  RE: Plastic Kennels

    Posted 02-01-2019 12:41 PM

    Thank you for your input! I have spoken with my supervisor at length about the problem, and have submitted a written request with supporting documentation (include ASV guidelines!) for consideration. We have a "shelter advisory board" made up of 3 local vets, who recommend sanding the kennels every 6-12 months instead of replacing. They've also recommended purchasing a commercial dishwasher to runs the perches through (we have no space or budget for it). It's also been proposed to replace the kennel doors with ones that can be removed so that they can be placed through the dishwasher after each use. This all to me seems like very expensive and time-consuming band-aids, when we could instead spend the money replacing with stainless steel as we are able to.

    I would love to hear from anyone who currently uses plastic kennels, or who used to use plastic kennels but upgraded to stainless. Thank you!


  • 5.  RE: Plastic Kennels

    Posted 02-03-2019 12:15 PM

    Jessica, I'm not sure what shelter you are at, but have you heard about the pro bono assessments that Million Cat Challenge is offering? Sometimes having 'outside experts' come in and speak with your board and leadership team is the key to getting them to move in the right direction (even when it is repeating what you've been saying all along).

    You are also welcome to call or email me anytime if you want to discuss further. or 904.422.4773.


  • 6.  RE: Plastic Kennels

    Posted 02-04-2019 03:22 PM

    I'm at the Jefferson City Animal Shelter in Jefferson City, MO. We are a municipal shelter under the city police department. There is no board of directors. Thanks for the info!


  • 7.  RE: Plastic Kennels

    Posted 04-24-2019 12:58 AM

    I get rid of all the plastics because it caused breathing problem to my pet.
    I bought a new pet bed from Nest Bedding Coupon Code and placed it right next to my bed.