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Bonded Pairs in the Shelter: Resources and Training for Staff

  • 1.  Bonded Pairs in the Shelter: Resources and Training for Staff

    Posted 03-27-2024 05:10 PM

    Does anyone have SOP's or resources they use in regards to bonded pairs in the shelter environment. At my shelter, I generally avoid labeling animals that come in together as bonded pairs unless they have

    1.  been together in the same home for a considerable amount of years and/or

    2.  I see a behavioral decline in the shelter when they are separated (or have notes from the owner on them doing poorly when separated).

    However, I am constantly running into well intentioned staff wanting to label every single pair of animals that come in together as "bonded" when they really just lived together for a couple of years. I am wanting to put together some resources on this to provide them with info on how this can greatly affect chances of adoption for those animals, how bonded pairs actually behave, and how it's hard to test for that in the shelter. Mainly just some type of info so they don't think I'm a heartless monster every time I tell them to stop labeling 1 year old cats as bonded. I would love to see animals stay together and get adopted out together, but often that is just unrealistic in the current shelter environment.

    Does anyone have more info on this or examples of how your organizations handle animals that come in together? 


    Sarah Reida
    Behavior Department Manager
    Kansas Humane Society