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.