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  • Species-appropriate enrichment must be provided. 

  • Sufficient resources (e.g., food, water, bedding, litter boxes, resting places, and toys) must be provided to prevent competition or resource guarding and ensure access by all animals. 



  • Animals must not be housed in the same enclosure simply because they arrived on the same day or because individual kennel space is insufficient. 

  • Unrelated or unfamiliar animals must not be combined in groups or pairs until after a health and behaviour evaluation is performed. 

  • If group housing is utilized short-term for intact animals, they must be separated by sex. 

  • Animals that are not socialized to other animals, as well as those that actively bully other animals, must not be grouped with other animals. 

  • Animals that have engaged in fighting with one another must not be grouped together. 

  • Caution must be used when attempting to include any animal with a history of fighting in a group. 

  • When placing single orphaned animals with an alternate mother, with or without a litter, risks and benefits to health and behaviour for all animals must be weighed. 

  • Even for littermates, all requirements for group housing must be met. 

  • Options for individual housing must be available for animals when group housing is not appropriate. 

  • Single, enriched housing must be provided for animals that are fearful or aggressive toward other animals, are stressed by the presence of other animals, require individual monitoring, or are ill and require treatment that cannot be provided in group housing.




  • Animals must not be randomly housed in groups. 

  • Animals that fight must not be grouped together. 


ASV (Association of Shelter Veterinarians) Shelter Guidelines: Group Housing Association of Shelter Veterinarians. Presented by Brenda Griffin, DVM, MS, DACVIM.


University of Wisconsin-Madison Shelter Medicine Program:  Facility Design, Shelter Animal Housing and Shelter Population Management.

UC Davis Koret Shelter Management Program: Resource Library: Facility Design and Animal Housing

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