Who Owns the Animal Shelter?

Animal shelters house approximately over 7 million stray and abused animals every year, and very few of them find permanent and loving homes. Adopting an animal who needs a home is a life-changing experience. But before you adopt a dog or cat, you should pay attention to which type of shelter you got them from. Understanding your options will help make bringing your fluffy friend home much easier.

Municipal Shelters

We often associate the word “pound” to evil men roaming the streets with large nets in hand looking for dogs to lock up in a cell. However, in reality, most municipal shelters run by the local government hire compassionate professionals that work long hours to help control the overcrowding problem by taking abandoned animals off the streets.

Taxpayer-funded shelters

Municipal shelters, like Manhattan Animal Care Center and Chicago Animal Care Control, are part of the animal control division of a city or county. They are the first stop for stray or abandoned animals that are found within their jurisdiction. These types of shelter are often funded by taxes or the budgets their localities allocate from taxpayer money.

Increased Number of Animals in Shelters

In areas where there are a lot of stray and abandoned animals with only few homes, animal shelters may usually be forced to euthanize their animals. Thus, adopting an animal from municipal shelter can be life-saving for those animals. Take for instance, the Denver Animal Shelter who received more than 6,000 dogs and cats in 2014. Although the shelter was able to find homes for more than 2,000 of them, they were forced to euthanize about 600 animals.

Who Owns the Animal Shelter?
Adoption Considerations

In general, municipal shelters have a hold period for their animals to give original owners a chance to claim them before they put them up for adoption. When adopting a pet from a municipal shelter, expect a small adoption fee which reimburses the shelter from the costs of food, sheltering, and necessary medical care.

If they’re not spayed or neutered, they are usually sterilized within a specific amount of time after adoption to prevent unwanted litters.

Animals in municipal shelters will undergo behavioral and health assessment before adoption. However, note that kennel cough, a treatable condition, is usually common for dogs in municipal shelters. Weeks after adoption, new owners should visit their vet and treat their new companions to affordable pet grooming to help her blossom into a healthier pet.

Search for a Municipal Shelter

The easiest way to find a municipal shelter is to search through your local government’s website. If there’s no information available at the website, contact the animal control for help. Some areas may be too small that they don’t have animal control divisions. Thus, in such case, the local sheriff’s office may be able to provide you the information you need.

Private Shelters

Private shelters are another type of facility that takes in stray animals and seeks out potential owners.

Municipal Partnership

Several private shelters work in partnership with the locality’s animal control division to give sheltering services for stray animals in place of a municipal shelter. An example of this is Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter which was established in 2012. They have contracted the city of Alameda in California and have since become the primary shelter of the city.

Independent Animal Shelters

Most private shelters operate as independent facilities. They receive animals from guardians who can no longer take care of them or even from other shelters that don’t have enough space for stray animals. There are boards that monitor these private shelters that implement bylaws which govern how animals are adopted and how long should the animals kept, among others.

Animal Shelters that are Dependent on Fundraising

These private animal shelters are funded in various ways. Most of them are nonprofit organizations that rely mostly on donations through fundraising dinners, merchandize sales, individual memberships, donation drives, and more. They may also be funded through grants from other organizations like American Humane Association’s Second Chance Fund that covers the cost of medical treatment for animals that were neglected and abused.

Various Services

Some private animal shelters are funded to provide a wide variety of services to their communities other than offering shelter. Take for instance, the Heartland Humane Society in Western Oregon. They visit local schools to educate students about being responsible companions to animals. They also have a pet food bank for low-income families with pets, and offers behavior counseling.

In most instances, private shelters have more resources compared to municipal shelters. That is why they make sure that those animals suffering from certain conditions are given proper treatment. Some operate spay and neuter facilities where they perform surgeries, as well as vaccinations, to animals that get into their shelters. Although these services may reduce the initial costs of veterinarian services for your new furry friend, be prepared because you may pay higher adaptation fee to help the shelter offset their expenses.

Finding a Private Shelter

Private animal shelters may operate using a variety of names. Thus, doing an online search for local shelters may generate a lengthy list. To help narrow it down, you should try asking a credible veterinarian for suggestions and recommendations. There are also websites online that helps users find a reputable shelter for animals, including both municipal and private facilities. Aside from that, you can also enter the type of animal and breed you are looking for and find the nearest shelter that houses such type. If you are not sure whether a shelter is run by your municipality or privately, you can go to their website and check. Their websites would usually explain how it is run or you can simply call the facility.

Regardless of whether you choose to adopt a dog from a municipal or private animal shelter, you are actually saving an animal’s life. Encourage your family and friends who are planning to get a dog to visit these shelters instead and adopt a homeless animal. You will surely reap many benefits by doing so.

The Importance of Animal Shelter in the Community

Animal shelters play an important role in providing animals with an opportunity to have a loving home. They are a link between homeless animals and the people who want to adopt and own a pet. Shelters also have an important role at determining whether the animals live or die.

What is the purpose of an animal shelter?

The primary purpose of animal shelters is to provide a safe and caring environment for abused and abandoned animals until they get adopted into a new home. A number of these animals have been rescued from cruel circumstances. They were once neglected, physically abused, or abandoned by their owners.

Without animal shelters, they are likely to be left to suffer and die. Pets that get missing often end up in animal shelters as well. That is why those who have lost their pets are encouraged to visit an animal shelter in their area for them to be reunited with their pets. These temporary homes give animals a second shot at finding a stable and loving family to take care of them.

The Importance of Animal Shelter in the Community

What is the goal of an animal shelter?

The main goal of an animal shelter is to place neglected and abandoned animals in a home that would give them the appropriate care that they need. Adopting a cat or dog can be lengthy process. That is because shelters want to make sure that they have placed the animals into the right homes.

Before an animal goes up for adoption, he will undergo a series of health and behavioral tests. When they fail these tests, they will be further assessed as necessary. As soon as they passed, they ready to be adopted by a loving owner. Most animal shelters would require potential owners to fill out and submit application forms. This application will then be evaluated. Once approved, the shelter will then recommend an animal they believe would be a right much for you and your family.

The Importance of Animal Shelter in the Community

What is the role of animal shelters in population control?

Most animal shelters spay or neuter animals before they put them up for adoption. The cost of these services is included in the potential owner’s adoption fee. Several shelters, on the other hand, offer affordable spay/neuter programs to the general public as well.

Sterilizing adopted animals ensure that they will not add to the animal overpopulation throughout the country. Note that millions of animals are euthanized every year due to the lack of adoptive homes. There are just too many animals being sent to the shelter that it makes it hard to find homes for them all.

The Importance of Animal Shelter in the Community

How do animal shelters educate the public?

Many animal shelters offer educational programs to the general public. These programs seek to raise awareness about animal cruelty and to teach the public on how to become a responsible and loving owner. They hold public and classroom events to point out the importance of showing kindness and respect to all creatures. Several shelters also educate children about having compassion and respect for animals. Educating children at a young age about being humane to all living things will mold them to become responsible adults in the future.

What does the animal shelter do to prevent animal cruelty?

Animal cruelty prevention reduces the pain and suffering of helpless animals. However, animal shelters can’t do this alone. They depend on the public for donations, supplies, and cruelty reports. Anyone can help prevent animal cruelty by reporting it to the authorities, volunteering, or making donations to the local shelter. You can also help by teaching your children how to be kind to animals. If you own a pet, be a responsible owner by taking him to the groomer and vet, as well as providing him his basic needs.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Animal Shelters

Animal shelters play a vital role in implementing state and local animal control policies. They help in giving animals a second shot at being cared for by a loving owner who treats them properly with regular vet visits, exercise, food & shelter, as well as proper pet grooming at home. Most of them accept stray dogs, as well as those that are voluntarily relinquished by their owners. Despite the many benefits they offer to the community, they are criticized by some people.

What are the advantages of an animal shelter?

Adoption Process

Animal shelters offer incentives to any potential owner to make the adoption of their animals easier. While fees from one shelter to another differ, the cost of adopting an animal from the shelter is at a much lower cost compared to housing and feeding the animals. Funded by the state and local government, adoption fees are at a particularly low price. Because of the high number of animals accepted, chances are, potential owners would find a pet that would suit their preferences.

Animal Control

Animal shelters in your area provide a place to house stray animals that wander around the neighborhood unguarded. This prevents animal attacks from happening, while providing the basic needs of animals. To help reduce the number of strays, animal shelters have strict regulations on spaying and neutering the pets for potential owners.

Socialization and Temperament

Most animals that are in animal shelters are already adults. In general, adopting them would come with little surprises in terms of behavior and temperament compared to puppies or kittens. Many animal shelters perform behavioral tests on the animals first before putting them up for adoption.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Animal Shelters

What are the disadvantages of an animal shelter?

Administration and Staffing

Local shelters are often independent organizations. Thus, their policies vary depending on their location. Aside from that, they are also staffed by volunteers. While they generally have the best interests of the animals in mind, the need for shelter workers outnumbers those that are willing to volunteer.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Animal Shelters

Animals euthanize millions of cats and dogs every year. The decision to euthanize them is at the discretion of the shelter. Often, it depends on the temperament and health of the animal, as well as their space and resources. However, not all shelters euthanize animals.


There are about 150 animal shelters that operate throughout the country. And these shelters often take in approximately 6 to 8 million dogs and cats every year. In some instances, overcrowding results from taking in too many strays which leads to stressed animals and the spread of diseases.

How to Donate Goods to an Animal Shelter

Animal shelters help abused or abandoned animals. They usually depend on public donations to stay open so they could continue helping animals. Donating anything, from pet food to portable pet grooming supplies, is an excellent way of helping them with caring for the many homeless animals in your area. Here are the steps on how you can donate supplies to your local shelter.

How to Donate Goods to an Animal Shelter
  1. Contact the animal shelter in your area to find out what supplies they need. They may have surplus of cat supplies, but shortage of dog food. The needs of every animal shelter will change very often so you better check on them first before donating. Ask if they use a certain brand of food or supplies. There may be some animals that have health conditions where they need to eat certain types of food.
  2. Decide on how much you can spend on pet food (if you’re donating food to the animal shelter) or supplies. In fact, if you have a surplus of pet supplies at home, you can donate them to the shelter. As much as possible, try to include regular donations into your budget.
  3. Choose the pet food or supplies that you would like to donate. While there may be no limits as to what supplies you’ll give, choosing the right pet food is vital. Bear in mind that although pet food may seem like a great value for your money, it often lacks the nutrients that pets need in order to survive. You may be getting more food by buying cheap food brands, but you will get quality if you stick to premium brands. Their difference is very vital. Note that animals in the shelters are often recovering from abuse or starvation. Thus, they are in need of good food to eat.
  4. Bring your donations to the animal shelter. Make sure that you go there when they are actually open. If you bring pet food when the shelter is closed and you decide to leave it outside, it may attract wild animals that can introduce diseases to the animals in the shelter.
  5. For tax purposes, consider getting proof of your donation. Have the shelter write out the brand, weight of each bag, and the quantity on each piece of paper. Make sure you attach the receipt from the store to the proof of donation.
  6. Consider taking your time with the animals in the shelter. Most shelters need volunteers to feed the animals or walk the dogs. By doing so, you can enjoy the benefits of your pet donation.

How to Check if the Animal Shelter has Your Lost Pet

Animal shelters, popularly referred to as “pounds”, take in unwanted and abandoned pets that are roaming around the city and residential areas. If your pet is missing and you thing that the pound has picked up your furry friend, then you need to undergo the basic process of notifying the shelter and have them check for your pet.

Get in Touch with the Animal Shelter

The most straightforward approach generally works best when it comes to contacting animal shelters.

  • List down all the shelters in your area and get their contact numbers and addresses. There are some animal shelters that you can’t find online. So better ask your veterinarian about the animal shelters around the area; chances are they know each, if not most, of their locations.
  • Write down the description of your pet. That includes the color, markings, age, and any traits that could distinguish him from a crowd. If possible, show a good picture of your pet and print out multiple copies. Give a copy of the picture to every animal shelter that’s on your list.
  • Contact the animal shelter and give them the description of your lost pet. If you provide more detailed information about your pet, it will be easier for them to recognize based on your description.
  • Visit each animal shelter and look for your pet. Note that some areas, particularly large towns and cities, have more than one animal shelter. Make sure to check each of these organizations. The shelter staffs have lots of animals to take care of, and they may not immediately recognize your pets based on your description. If you want to be sure, you need to look for your pet yourself.
  • File a lost pet report. This paperwork will make sure that the employees at the shelter will identify your pet in case it gets brought in after your visit.
  • Check with the shelter every day. Some shelters may hold stray animals for a very short period of time.

Reclaim your Pet

If you want to reclaim your pet, expect that they would ask you to provide proof of ownership. You can do this by presenting veterinary records, photographs, and licenses issued by your town or city. Don’t hesitate to call and ask the local shelter what you need to bring with you when you reclaim your pet. Once you reclaimed your pet, give him treats and a pet wash as you welcome him back to your home.

How to Check if the Animal Shelter has Your Lost Pet

Note that some shelters may charge you a fee for the cost of boarding the pet. If your pet is held due to certain legal issues like neglect or animal attacks, you may not be able to reclaim the animal.

Categorizing Animal Shelters

For some pet owners, they cannot fathom how others could surrender their furry friends to a shelter. What they don’t know is that most of the time, owners that surrender their pets are left with no choice. Outside of their present circumstances, they would never have thought that they would resort to surrendering their pets to a shelter.

Some people would do it for financial reasons, such as losing a job or home. While other people, they’d do it because someone in the family has suddenly developed serious allergies. And when it comes to the owner’s health (sometimes even death), the pets end up being surrendered.

Regardless of the reasons why you need to surrender your pet, or whether you think you’ll ever have to, knowing the difference between a “no kill”, “low kill”, and “kill” shelter will be of importance.

While the difference between these types of shelter may be very obvious, it is a very complex matter. The decision to euthanize an animal should never be taken lightly. As a matter of fact, the word “kill” is often criticized by many concerned animal organizations. When you take into consideration that this is one of the only industries where the primary caregiver are also asked to euthanize their charges that were considered to be unadoptable, it makes the circumstances even crueler. Therefore, instead of using words like “kill” versus “low kill” or “no kill”, most shelters would identify themselves in terms of their policies in admission, which would often give you an idea about their euthanasia policies.

Open Admission Animal Shelters

Animal shelters that categorize themselves as “open admission” are oftentimes known as a “kill shelter”. This type of shelter accepts all kinds of animals. You don’t have to book an appointment before you surrender your pets to them. They have no limitations in age, as well as behavioral requirements and health standards for surrendering your animal. As a result, these shelters are often forced to euthanize because they would want to protect the health and safety of the entire shelter population in general.

Ringworm, for instance, is actually treatable infection. It affects pets even those who stay indoors. However, in a shelter environment, these parasites can spread like wildfire. Not only will it affect the otherwise healthy, adorable cats and dogs, but it will also affect the staff and volunteers of the shelter, as well as their potential adoptive owners.

Since “open admission” shelters accept all animals regardless of their age and breed, they are often forced to euthanize animals based on the length of their stay in order to have enough space available for other homeless animals. Sometimes, they often give out a “death row” list in an attempt to get people to adopt the animals before their time in the shelter is up.

Limited Admission Animal Shelters

Limited admission animal shelters are also known as “low kill” shelters. Unlike the open admission shelter, they do not euthanize animals for their length of stay or for extra cage space. Limited admission animal shelters require you to schedule an appointment before you surrender your pet. Doing so helps them ensure that there is enough cage space available for them to accept your pet. You would have to call their office a few weeks or (even) a month in advance to make sure that they have space. In fact, there are instances when they’d put you in a wait-list for cage spaces.

Limited admission animal shelters only euthanize those that suffer from sever medical conditions or those with behavioral problems. As a result, these shelters will often require you to submit an intake profile of your pet before you can surrender them. The intake profile will give them a better idea as to the true personality of your animal at home versus how they would behave in the shelter. Note that shelters can be very stressful environments for your pets. Thus, putting your cats or dogs in them may cause them to be aggressive or fearful. Intake profiles would determine whether your pet would pass or fail on a behavioral assessment.

Although it is important that you provide as much detailed information as possible, it is also very important for to be honest. If your dog has to be muzzled when you take them to the vet or at the pet grooming services, you need to tell the staffs and volunteers at the shelter. This is a common problem, and one that is actually pretty much manageable. This is also important to prevent the shelter vets from being bitten.

Categorizing Animal Shelters

No Kill Animal Shelters

No kill animal shelters are also known as “limited admission” shelters. That is because they won’t be accepting surrendered animals if you haven’t schedule any appointment yet. Your pet will also undergo a very thorough screening process. In addition, these shelters will not accept animals that are more than a certain age, or animals that suffer from medical conditions or behavioral problems. These types of shelters are quite picky because they are looking for animals that are actually adoptable. That’s either because they do not have the resources to treat medical conditions or handle behavioral cases, or because they do not have the resources to euthanize an animal. As a result, there are times when these shelters often transfer animals that they discovered to have medical or behavioral conditions to a shelter that actually has the capabilities of treating them.

It is very important for you to note that the definitions of “No Kill”, “Low Kill”, and “Kill” shelters can vary greatly. Sometimes, the status of the organization will have to be determined based on the percentage of adoptions done in the facility. It is also essential to keep in mind that if you were ever to consider surrendering your pet to a shelter, you should take the time to find out whether they have pet euthanasia policies and if they will notify you in the event that your pet is deemed unadoptable. Most shelters will give you a chance to make other arrangements for your pets.

Adopt a Pet Today and Reap the Benefits

Animal shelters house abandoned pets that are looking for loving families. However, thousands of them end up being euthanized rather than adopted. Unfortunately, the animals from the shelter are often thought of as “other people’s problem”. However, a rescued dog or cat is the best alternative to buying a pet from a breeder. Adopting a pet from an animal shelter can be very rewarding and the benefits are numerous and priceless.

You’ll be able to save a life.

A shelter pet is one in 2.7 million. That’s the number of cats and dogs that you can adopt nationwide. As mentioned above, most of them get euthanized simply because too many pets come into the shelter, but only too few people adopt them.

Adopt a Pet Today and Reap the Benefits

The number of euthanized animals can be significantly reduced if there are more people adopting shelter pets instead of buying them from others. When you adopt, you save a life and you also free up a shelter space for another animal that needs it.

You’ll get healthier pets from Animal Shelters.

If you are purchasing young puppies or kittens from a breeder, chances are, they haven’t gotten them thoroughly checked out by the veterinarian before they go to a new family and home. Among the best things of getting a pet from shelter is that the animals are vaccinated, watched over, and treated properly.

You’ll surely get a great pet.

Animal rescue groups and shelters are filled with happy and healthy pets waiting for someone to take them home. Most of them end up there because their owners have problems like moving to another country or divorcing; and not because their pets are uncontrollable.

Adopting a pet from animal shelters is less costly.

The adoption price of each pet already includes the cost of spaying/neuter, first vaccinations, as well as micro-chipping. That means that you have scored a great deal! A deal that will likely be grateful to you for the many years to come.

Adopt a Pet Today and Reap the Benefits

You won’t have to guess about their size and temperament anymore.

If you’ve adopted an older and more mature animal, you won’t have to guess as to how they would look like or whether they’d fit in your car or lifestyle. You can easily choose a personality or activity level that could fit your own.

You’ll score major bragging rights.

There’s nothing like posting a selfie of a hero that you are. Post a photo of you and the adorable pet you just adopted and let the love and likes roll in!

You’ll help put an end to puppy mills.

You’re too practical to buy a dog from a pet shop or online seller. Hence, you buy directly from a puppy mill. Puppy mills are breeding facilities that give more importance to profits than dog welfare. Animals from puppy mills are housed in very poor conditions with no proper medical care and pet bath. They often get sick and they behave poorly as well. The mothers of the puppies are kept in cages to be bred over and over again for many years. They don’t experience human companionship and have little chances of ever joining a loving home. After they’re no longer profitable, these breeding dogs are simply discarded – killed, sold or abandoned.

Most puppies you see in pet stores and online shops actually come from puppy mills. They are sold to unsuspecting consumers. The only way to truly stop puppy mills from operating is to stop supporting them. By adopting pets from animal shelters, you can be certain that you aren’t giving them a dime.

Animal shelter pets are already housetrained.

Most of the pets you find in an animal shelter and rescue facilities are actually already housetrained. That means, you’re not only saving a life; but you’re saving your house decors as well!

While all pets are good for your health, adopting a pet can help boost your self-esteem.

According to studies, pets can prolong your life. It can also help reduce depression, anxiety, stress, and many other illnesses. In addition, by stroking them, it can help reduce your blood pressure and stress levels. They can increase the levels of your dopamine and serotonin; thereby, making you feels calm and relaxed. Walking your pet is also a great way for you to exercise; doing so will so give anxious and depressed people a reason to leave the house.

Animals will not only give you unconditional love, but they are said to give you a sense of wellbeing. Therefore, caring for a companion animal can give you a sense of fulfillment and purpose. It can also reduce your feelings of loneliness and isolation in all age groups. But when you own a pet by adoption, you can also feel proud of yourself about being able to rescue an animal in need.

Adopted animals can benefit children.

Children are generally taught valuable life skills like pet ownership. It teaches them the importance of maintaining responsibilities. Adopting a pet will also promote empathy by making them think about how to give a homeless animal a loving home. Aside from that, it also helps ease a child’s separation anxiety. Pets can give your children a sense of security. They will feel safe in knowing that there will always be someone there for them. Aside from that, pets can be a very loving companion and playmate.

You owe it to the environment.

You know that recycling papers and plastics is important so that they won’t end up in landfills. And you also know that recycled materials can actually be made into all sorts of things. A “recycled” pet from an animal shelter can make something even better. He can make you happy!

Adopt a Pet Today and Reap the Benefits

You’ll be able to change the whole world of a homeless animal.

What could be better than giving a homeless animal another shot at the good life? You can spoil them with regular pet grooming services and delicious meals. Be a life-changer!

If you are considering of adopting dogs today, choose the one that will fit right in your family.