If your animal organization is serious about saving lives, preventing suffering, and treating animals with their physical and emotional well-being in mind, here are five resources you can’t do without:

1. The Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) Guidelines to Standards of Care in Animal Shelters
Available as a free download, this is the bible of shelter standards. It covers every aspect of animal care, from admission on, and provides a blueprint for shelter operations. If you only use one of these resources, make this the one.

2. Shelter Medicine for Veterinarians and Staff
Written so veterinarians and lay staff of animal shelters would get the information they need to keep animals healthy and happy while they wait for adoption. A landmark book in its second edition.

3. Animal Behavior for Shelter Veterinarians and Staff
Hot off the presses in July 2015,  a spectacular list of shelter and behavior experts came together to do for animal behavior what the Shelter Medicine book did for physical health.

4. ASV Guidelines for High Volume, High Quality Spay/Neuter
Another free download from the ASV, this one is aimed at demonstrating, once and for all, that running a spay/neuter clinic doesn’t mean a lower standard of medicine, but appropriately tailoring veterinary best practices for the population being cared for. If you operate a spay/neuter clinic, you need this. Originally published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA).

5. Maddie’s® Infection Control Manual for Animal Shelters
Need a primer on protecting shelter pets from infection while they’re in your care? This manual from the Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program, was developed to enhance knowledge about infection control measures in the shelter environment, and to aid veterinary professionals in the development and implementation of infection control protocols.