Position Statement

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Shelter space requirements

American Humane does not have guidelines for the number of square feet per animal that facilities should provide. It is difficult to determine, as the length of time animals are sheltered directly impacts their space requirements. Animals kept in short-term facilities do not require as much space as those kept in long-term or sanctuary care facilities. The amount of space needed for different species (e.g., dogs, cats, rabbits) also impacts the number of square feet a facility needs. Animals in isolation or in treatment areas may not need as much space as animals in adoption areas. All these factors make it difficult to determine a “one size fits all” recommendation.

It is important to learn whether your state has laws pertaining to this issue. Check with your state’s Department of Agriculture or your State Veterinarian.

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