An Animal Shelter is a Safe Place for Lost or Homeless Pets
Animal shelters are places where lost or homeless pets can find their way back to loving homes. The main priority for an animal shelter is to control the local animal population and to remove pets from abusive owners; they are also called upon to assist with overly aggressive or wild animals that are disrupting the community.
Types of Animal Shelters
Animal shelters tend to be either privately owned not-for-profits or municipally funded. Privately owned shelters are often smaller facilities and have staff and volunteers that are able to help socialize or rehabilitate the pets in their care. Municipal facilities have the dual focus of animal control along with animal care. They are often understaffed and overpopulated and may need to resort to euthanasia to keep from being overrun with animals.
Other types of animal shelters include no-kill and open-door animal shelters. So-called no kill animal shelters are those that only use euthanasia as an absolute last resort for sick, suffering or overly aggressive animals. Open-door animal shelters accept any and all pets, but while they don't require a fee, they will often ask for a donation.
Some local animal shelters are not-for-profit agencies that are contracted by municipalities to control the animal population. They are active in pet rescue efforts, helping to remove animals from abusive environments and finding either an animal sanctuary or a new adoptive parent to care for the animal. Dog rescue, cat rescue and even horse rescue is often possible because animal shelters offer a safe place to care for these animals while they wait for a new adoptive home to be found.
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Animal advocates believe in animal rights and work to promote them so that animals are treated in a humane way. Animal shelters are often among the strongest champions of animal rights and work to preserve them at all times. They aim to improve the quality of life for pets by informing the public about why pets need to be spayed or neutered, as well as performing these procedures at a reduced rate for pet owners.
Adopting from an Animal Shelter
Adopting a pet from an animal shelter is a great way to add a pet to your family. You are likely saving the life of the animal you adopt. Not only do shelters have mature animals, they often have kittens or puppies that are available for adoption as well. Pets are usually spayed or neutered and dewormed in advance, with the fees for these services embedded in the cost of pet adoption. Even with these fees, adoption is often cheaper than purchasing pets from pet stores or breeders, and it comes with the added benefit of knowing you've rescued an animal that was truly in need of a loving home.