8 Common Misconceptions About Animal Shelters

Animal shelters are a blessing to our communities as they take in millions of pets under their wings every year. Looking after homeless, lost, and abandoned animals is no less than a feat. And animal shelters take it upon themselves to ensure the safety of these forsaken animals.

Research shows that every year, approximately 6.5 million animals enter shelters across the world. Unfortunately, the number of animals in the shelter keeps increasing; so in order to make room for the new additions, old ones are euthanized.

Despite being a massive asset to every society, rescue shelters are often misunderstood. It is likely that you may have heard some nasty things about animal shelters. And it is also possible that you have believed these misconceptions, despite how suspicious and untrue they may sound. Whatever the case is, it is crucial to get the facts straight. In this blog post, we clear up some of the most common myths about animal shelters. Let’s get started.

1.     Shelters are Depressing Places

While it is common to see a sad look on the faces of rescue animals, shelters are not entirely gloomy places. Animals are left at a shelter for a number of reasons – they have a severe medical condition, their owner can’t keep them anymore, or they have behavioral issues, and so on and so forth. That being said, shelters can be a source of joy for many animals.

A shelter is where these animals are provided with the utmost care, love, and kindness by employees and volunteers. Most of these animals have not experienced positive emotions before in their lives. In a way, they get a new lease on life and are sprinkled with affection and devotion. In shelters, cast-off animals also get to bond with other animals. And that’s not all. They are fed with good food and are trained and groomed by professionals. If you think that a visit to a shelter will cast a dark cloud over your optimistic mood, you are quite wrong.

2.     Rescue Places are Unhygienic, and So Are the Animals

Please note that most shelters are non-profit organizations, so they depend on the efforts and hard work of volunteers to keep the service up and running. Wherever there are groups of animals in a particular area, a mess is bound to happen. That being said, shelters that have hygiene as their top priority ensure that the shelter remains clean at all times, despite having limited resources. They get regular volunteers to look after the place and keep the place looking immaculate.

While cats may not need grooming from their caretakers, dogs do. Dogs can begin to appear untidy, which is why shelters have people that can properly bathe and groom the sheltered animals. Some local shelters may lack building or animal maintenance; if you know of one, then it is probably because they don’t have enough volunteers. You can go ahead and volunteer yourself to clean the place up. In doing so, you will definitely make a huge difference to not just the animals, but the people there as well!

3.     Animal Shelters Only Have Cats and Dogs for Adoption

This is one of those myths that are just completely wrong. Many local shelters have small mammals up for adoption such as guinea pigs, rabbits, or gerbils. Some of them even have parrots and other birds!

4.     Rescue Animals Are at a Greater Risk of Falling Sick

When an animal is brought to a shelter, it undergoes a series of tests. It is immediately treated for any medical condition it may have. Once a rescue animal is treated, only then it is put on the adoption list.

5.     Adoption Fees are Expensive

This is a little subjective, but usually, adopted animals are less expensive than purchased animals. Even if you find adoption fees steep, you must remember everything that the animal shelter has done for the animal’s well being.

They gave the animal a roof over their head, fed them, bathed them, medicated them, and spayed/neutered/vaccinated them properly. They have already invested a lot in these animals. Hence, you shouldn’t think twice giving them a reward in the form of an extra fee. It’s definitely worth it.

6.     You Can’t Find Purebreds at a Shelter

Although mixed breeds make terrific family pets, some families are specifically interested in getting a particular type of breed. They assume that the only way to have a purebred is by purchasing it from a breeder. While this is true, and you’re guaranteed to get a purebred from a proper breeder, it is not the only source.

According to a Found Animals report, 25% of pets in U.S. shelters are purebreds. They are always in demand, which is why they don’t stick around for that long in a rescue home. There are also several breed-specific rescue centers. These organizations house all types of breeds, aiming to find a new temporary home for sheltered purebred animals.

7.     Shelter Employees and Volunteers are Unprofessional

Shelters only hire individuals that have past experience with animals and prefer to promote animal welfare. Even if interested volunteers or employees don’t have the required experience, they need to be an animal lover. That’s because rescue workers are asked to work for long, extra hours for minimal pay. One can only do this tedious job if they genuinely like spending time with animals.

The staff may not know everything about animals; however, they are a devoted lot that does their best to provide comfort and relief to rescue animals.

8.     There Is Something Wrong with Animals in Shelter

Not all animals in a shelter suffer from an illness, or have a behavioral problem, or are abusive. Some of them are perfectly normal. The reason they are in a shelter is not because of themselves but because of their previous owner. It is possible that their owners may have lacked enough money or time to keep a pet and hence, gave up on it.

Because of these common myths and prejudices, many people do not consider adopting an animal from a rescue shelter. We hope you share this post with people you know, so they learn that shelters can be a great place to adopt pets from!

by Bobby J Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™

Facts About Animal Homelessness:

  1. Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born will find a permanent home.
  2. The main reasons animals are in shelters: owners give them up, or animal control finds them on the street.
  3. Each year, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. Act as a publicist for your local shelter so pets can find homes. Sign up for Shelter Pet PR.
  4. Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  5. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2% of cats and only 15 to 20% of dogs are returned to their owners.
  6. 25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.
  7. About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
  8. It’s impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States. Estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.
  9. Only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. Overpopulation, due to owners letting their pets accidentally or intentionally reproduce, sees millions of these “excess” animals killed annually.
  10. Many strays are lost pets that were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
  11. According to The Humane Society, there are about 3,500 brick-and-mortar animal shelters in the US and 10,000 rescue groups and animal sanctuaries in North America.

Here are a some adoptions for consideration:  puccicafe.com/adoptions