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Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program

Saving lives through science, leadership, and service.

Every Nose Counts: Using Metrics in Animal Shelters

Our very own program founder, Dr. Janet Scarlett, has co-authored a book specifically focused on helping animal shelters utilize their data. A description of the book can be found below. To order copies of this book, please go to


written by Dr. Janet M. Scarlett, Dr. Michael J. Greenberg, and Dr. Tiva Hoshizaki

For years, animal shelters have been hearing a similar message, "You need to use your data!" But which pieces of data should be monitored? How often? And to what degree of detail? Every Nose Counts: Using Metrics in Animal Shelters is a guide book that seeks to answer these questions, and many more. It all starts with a simple question: "What are your goals?" From here, we walk you through examples of metrics you can use to track progress toward your goals. Along the way, we offer insights to help you better display your data and breakdown the math behind the metrics to help give you a deeper and broader understanding of exactly what your numbers are telling you -- and what they're not! This guidebook is geared toward anyone working in or with an animal shelter or rescue group. Shelter directors, managers, staff, and veterinarians will all glean insights. From intake to outcomes and all points in between, we aim to offer a practical, accessible approach to using data. We hope that doing so will assist you in guiding the important decisions you make every day in your work serving animals and people in your community.