Shelter Operations Protocol

No Dogs Left Behind implements strict protocols for medically treating our survivors. Our standards are second to none and our survival rate is over 90 percent. Below is a condensed version our medical procedures and quarantine practices. 

5-Tier Quarantine System

No Dogs Left Behind quarantine operates on a 5-tier system. Based on the severity of illness, dogs are placed on the tier we feel best matches their medical needs. As dogs improve or deteriorate, we adjust their position in the system. This allows our staff to fully monitor and manage the health of each survivor with precision and care.

Dogs with infectious disease are separated by placing tarps or wooden barriers between pens. This decreases the likelihood of airborne contagions and physical contact between dogs.

Being an open-air shelter, we often have concerns of airborne disease spreading quickly yet to our advantage we are also able to keep clean air circulating which is essential for overall health and safety standards.

Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) and Canine Parvovirus (CPV)

Canine distemper virus (CDV) and canine parvovirus (CPV) are highly contagious viral diseases. Preventing and minimizing the risk of these diseases is high priority the punctuation.

The stages of CDV and CPV increase in correspondence to the level of quarantine. For example, CDV5 was acute versus CDV2, which was an observation. CDV and CPV are never kept in the same location in quarantine to prevent disease transmission.

Recovering CPV and CDV dogs are always kept separate from a healthy population until 3 weeks of full recovery or in some instances when they were ready for transport.

The primary protocol in the 5-tier quarantine system is to scientifically determine and clinically treat the illnesses of the dogs.

This combined approach involves conducting blood work to determine a scientific diagnosis coupled with clinically treating the symptoms that are present. This well-rounded approach to treatment provides care from both angles and provides our dogs a better chance at survival.

Medical Boards

When effectively treating large quantities of infected dogs’ attention to detail is a must. The use of medical boards allows the No Dogs Left Behind Staff to record and rotate which dogs need treatment, medicine or vaccination boosters on a given day or rotation. This guided approach promotes accuracy ensuring our dogs get the best care.

Medical Books

Each dog has its own medical book and they are updated frequently. Medical books are used to record treatments for disease, vaccinations, surgeries, date of sterilization and contains the microchip number used to identify the dog.

Jeffrey’s Pink Ribbon Protocol

No Dogs Left Behind has an over 90 percent survival rate with each emergency response. Often dogs in East Asia are not vaccinated prior to our rescuing them so disease is running rampant.

The Pink ribbon protocol was designed at the Safe House in Henan when limited manpower was available.

Relying on veterinary interns, a pink ribbon was tied around the necks of dogs showing signs of infectious disease. Their symptoms were documented on charts outside their pens so Jeffrey could monitor their symptoms and condition. Depending on the severity the dogs were place in the corresponding quarantine tiers.

This practice is still used today.

Medically Critical Dogs

Dogs in need of advanced medical care receive 7 days of vitamin B complex, B12 and C, and a high protein meal. Per the No Dogs Left Behind medical treatment protocols dogs will periodically receive organic goat milk powder. This additional protein also acts as a probiotic when used in the powder form.

Dogs suffering severe dehydration are syringe fed water and occasionally IV bags are used to restore fluids and nutrients.

Dogs suffering skin disease are treated with flea and tick medicines or evaluated for other mites and parasites. Medications are given and applied when needed. All infected dogs are bathed and often subject to a multi-tier treatment protocol for skin restoration.

Hygiene and Cleaning

Majority of the pens were so clean that the interns, Jeffrey, staff and volunteers could use walk within and stay in the pens without shoes.
Equipment Hygiene protocol description

Always use two buckets.

  •  One bucket with the 12:1 disinfectant bleach solution
  • Second bucket was the mop you squeezed out.
Disinfectant Mats

There were disinfectant mats outside every pen so feet were clean outbound and inbound. Every door had outbound and inbound disinfectant mats.


Every pen had its own spray bottle as volunteers and staff had to sanitize their hands before and after going into pens.[1]


Every sink had its own sanitizer. All cleaning had to be done in the sink and not on the floor


Pens of Barney, Baby and mothers and puppies had a policy of shoes off and that the floor had to be clean enough to take shoes off because these dogs were the most susceptible to diseases.

See full Hygiene Protocol here.

Dog Identification and Management

Each dog at NDLB is micro chipped for identification purposes and the chip number is recorded on their individual medical book. With some dogs looking similar, the lack of collars and a language barrier the microchip system is a consistent way to ensure the identification of each dog in our care.

Loud Noises at the Shelter

Loud noises at the shelter require immediate attention as it can induce fear and anxiety among the dogs. Often fear can lead to aggression and fighting among the dogs in the pens. It can also lead to dogs trying to escape. This fight or flight response is connected to the abuse our dogs have suffered while in captivity or in slaughterhouses.

Walking and Handling


Dogs are rarely collared around the neck at the shelter. The use of slip leads is commonplace when walking dogs to and from the pens to the parks.


When handling dogs for treatment NDLB uses strict protocols to ensure the dog remains safe and no one is accidentally bitten. One person will often secure the front of the dog while the other handler treats the needed area. These extra measures promote safety and security for all. Often the use of a calming spray from Genius Pet Pack is used to calm dogs down if they are tense.


When scanning the dogs with the microchip scanner it’s important not to startle them. The best way to scan is slowly and calmly moving from the side of the head down the back of the neck. Often our dogs have suffered abuse and trauma and we want to be cautious not to trigger fear aggression.


Jeffrey learned grooming techniques during an intensive training class taught by the Yang Yang hospital groomer.

All grooming tools are required to be disinfected after usage.

Process for shampooing the face:

  • Hold around the eyes
  • Massage under cheeks and nose using thumbs and avoid getting water and shampoo in ears and eyes.
  • Gently press ears back so water does not get in.
  • Some dogs require baths on the floor near the drain as the use of the metal bathtub is too frightening.
  • Dogs with skin disease are given medicated baths weekly or bi-weekly depending upon the severity of the skin condition.

Water And Ice


Filtered waters were essential because the tap water was not clean to drink and had bacteria in it. In addition, filtered water provided another way to eliminate a potential cause of disease.

Water tests–  Jeffrey would randomly ask staff when filling water bowls, “Can I drink that?”

If they refused, he knew that they did not use filtered water or cleaned appropriately


Dogs in cages were given ice water to cool down their temperatures as the weather was hot and the Safe Houses did not have any air conditioners. This would help them cool down internally as they could not be cooled down externally on a continual basis.

Dogs with severe fevers were packed in ice over their stomach and on their back on trays (bottom of cage trays), sprayed with Genius First Aid Spray until temperatures decreased or they become more alert. Trays that were used for dogs that were in cages were hosed and sprayed down and had to be cleaned and disinfected in the sink


All of the food we feed at No Dogs Left Behind is vegan dog food. All food is required to be kept in a secure lockdown area to prevent rats or vermin of any kind. All food is tested for freshness by smell and date test. As Jeffrey is a vegan he will sometimes taste test only the vegan dog food to verify that it is fresh.

Severely ill dogs will eat 4-5 times a day as CPV and CDV make them high protein and calorie deficient, with many dogs twitching ceaselessly.

Dogs are allowed to be fed until all pens are cleaned so that feces are not mixed with food.

Every day Jeffrey and the volunteers prepare a special diet of vegan dog food depending on the needs of the dog. This recipe is chosen because most of the dogs are highly protein and calorie deficient due to CDV and CPV.

On average 5-10 dogs per pen. Feeding trays used if in dogs do not start fights. One cleaner in pen next door to block the dogs and serve as a distraction through human interaction. Food is in bowls and placed down, and then bowls are replenished until full and they leave food in the bowl.

Food for severely infected dogs and anemic dogs will have recipes switched every other day or every few days to ensure that the dogs receive a mix of nutrients.