Best Practices in Shelterluv for adopting unaltered animals

  • Updated

According to the NACA Statement on Releasing Unaltered Pets from Animal Shelters During the COVID-19 Pandemic, organizations have three options to adopt out unaltered pets, depending on local and state laws. Below you will find each option as well as the explanation of how you can create a workflow in Shelterluv for the option(s) you choose: 

  • Option 1: Adopt out pets unaltered and provide vouchers for future use to get the pet spayed or neutered. Staff and volunteers can provide follow-up after the COVID19 Pandemic to ensure pets get altered once surgeries can be performed.

In Shelterluv you can utilize the attribute and disclaimer features to accomplish this. The attribute will help you keep track of animals that are adopted as unaltered and the disclaimer will act as the voucher.

First, create an attribute called "Adopted Unaltered" (or something similar depending on your preference) and add this to unaltered animals right before processing their adoption. You'll also want to configure a disclaimer for the attribute so that when the attribute is assigned, a disclaimer is generated and applied to the animal. When the adoption is processed, the adopter would have to agree to the disclaimer - the disclaimer is an open text field so both the terms you set forth for adopting an unaltered animal and your voucher language can be configured here.

If you are capturing a digital signature for the adoption, the signature would apply to both the disclaimer and your normal adoption contract. The disclaimer along with other important documents can then be emailed and/or printed for the adopter when you complete the adoption. Take a look at this article here for more details: How do I add adoption disclaimers to certain animals?

You can report on animals with this attribute after adoption. Just create and save a custom entities animals report or a custom events intake/outcome report and include the attribute as a rule (How do I run custom reports?). Once the animal is altered, you can remove the "Adopted Unaltered" attribute from the adopted record and they will no longer show in your reports.

If you need to put the animal back into your custody after the adoption in order to schedule a surgery or manage the animal in some other way, you can Service Intake them back into custody using a service intake subtype set not to count towards your numbers so as not to skew your intake/outcome reports (you'll also want to use a corresponding service outcome subtype set not to count towards your numbers when you are ready to outcome the animal). Take a look at this article here for details: How can an animal be placed back in our custody after an adoption?

  • Option 2: Outcome pets as ‘foster-to-adopt.’ This means they live with their new family but aren’t officially ‘adopted’ until they can return for their spay/neuter appointment or provide documentation of sterilization by another provider

In Shelterluv you can utilize the foster, status, and hold features to accomplish this. You'll just need to foster your animals out to their future adoptive homes (Foster Overview (video)). It may be a good idea to create a new status specifically for these animals, possibly called "Foster to Adopt - Unaltered" (or something similar depending on your preference). You can also use the hold feature if a fee needs to be collected at the time of the foster outcome. Take a look at all of your options in this article here for further details: How can I handle foster-to-adopt / pre-adopt / trial adoptions? 

  • Option 3: If the organization does not have the resources to provide spay and neuter in the future, they should consider releasing animals unaltered with a list of low cost spay and neuter services in the community.

In this instance you could follow the steps outlined in the first option above and rather than include voucher language in the disclaimer, you can instead include a list of the resources for low cost spay and neuter services along with the terms you set forth for adopting an unaltered animal. This would ensure that the list can then be easily delivered with the adoption contract and other important documents at the time of adoption.


Please reach out to our support team at you would like additional help setting this up for any of the above options!