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.