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How to Choose the Right Animal Shelter

Choose the Right Animal Shelter

Out of Town Blog
How to Choose the Right Animal Shelter

Animal shelters are a lot of work and a huge responsibility. They know that they must place pets into responsible, loving homes.

But what if you need clarification on which type of pet is right for you? Should you go to a shelter or a rescue? The answer to that depends on your preferences.

Choose the Right Animal Shelter

Look for a Reputable Organization

Every year, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and other animals enter animal shelters waiting for responsible homes. Many of these animals are lost, discarded, or surrendered by their owners due to behavior or health issues. Others are seized from cruelty cases. Some are lucky enough to be adopted, but too many more are not.

No shelter genuinely caring for animals should turn away an unadoptable or sick animal. Unfortunately, this means euthanasia to free up space for other homeless and unwanted animals.

Look for a shelter with on-staff veterinarians and behavioral support like the Humane Society of New York. This is important, as well as a low-cost spay/neuter program and community outreach programs (like free obedience classes).

Look for a Good Location

A shelter should be located in a place that will serve its community. Ideally, it should be centralized and close enough to residential areas to prevent noise issues and allow for easy access.

The right location will also help with funding and operations. It will be easier for shelters to collect donations and adoption submissions if they are near homes and businesses.

Many shelters lack sufficient space for the animals they take in, leading to high euthanasia rates. This can be due to overcrowded kennels or even dangerous “no-kill” policies prioritizing appearances rather than the lives of animals in their care. Shelters should consult with architects specializing in animal sheltering to ensure their facility meets all the necessary needs.

Right Animal Shelter
Right Animal Shelter

Look for a Friendly Staff

It’s easy to fall in love with the cute animal eyes that peer out from the kennels, but remember that choosing a pet is a big decision and shouldn’t be rushed. Shelter staff can help you narrow your choices by asking questions and providing information about the animals’ medical history, socialization, and behavior.

Some shelters also allow you to place a hold on a specific pet, which gives you time to mull over your decision without having the animal rushed out of a kennel by another prospective family. This…

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