Time flies. A month ago, I was in Japan for a series of lectures on sanitation in animal shelters. I started writing this blog between two talks, and must admit I almost forgot about it. But here I am finally, polishing it and of course, publishing it !
The Sectorization Concept
When I lecture on this topic, I always mention a very important concept in animal shelters and rescues : sectorization. Shelters are indeed highly predisposed to canine & feline infectious diseases. The best way to prevent those from spreading ? Physical barriers. You need sectors. And here we are, back to my vectorization concept.
I believe that there are three sectors that are essential in an animal shelter or a rescue : the adoption, the intake and the isolation. And to make your sectorization efficient, between those different sectors you will need, again, physicial barriers.
Does physical barrier only mean concrete ?
During one of the Q&A session, I was asked the following : traditional homes in Japan have rooms that are separated with paper walls. Those are definitely not the concrete walls we are used to see separating shelters’ different sectors. In this situation, how can we then sectorize efficiently ?
My Answer : paper walls might not represent the optimal solution to fully separate two sectors. But at the end of the day, I would still consider them as physical barriers. They are still better than nothing.
Different rooms still mean different sectors
The shelter world is very often about improvisation and doing the best we can with what we have. When you don’t have a dedicated facility, you try to get the best of what you have. As long as you have a room, this one can be turned into a sector. Even if surrounded by paper walls.
As long as you have rooms, you can have sectors. You can sectorize.
My recommendation here : take precautions while moving from one sector to another like wearing booties and/or cover-alls, as well as proper hand-washing. That is definitely another story (and we might probably touch on it very soon) but the point is : when it comes to sectorization in shelters, give it some thoughts.
I’m sure you will see that you can do it.