There’s a lot of false information about animal shelters out there. Some people think that these shelters are places where animals go to be put down. Do animal shelters kill animals? Others think that all animals in shelters are sick or aggressive. The truth is, animal shelters are neither of those things. Animal shelters are places where lost, abandoned, or homeless animals can go to find a new home.
A Brief History of Animal Shelters
The concept of the animal shelter is a relatively new one. The first known animal shelter was established in England in 1824 by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). The SPCA was founded with the goal of stopping the maltreatment of workhorses. In 1874, the SPCA established the first animal shelter in the United States.
The mission of animal shelters has changed a lot since 1874. In the early days, animal shelters were primarily focused on controlling the population of stray animals. This was done through a process called “pound seizure.” Pound seizure was a practice whereby local governments would contract with animal shelters to take in all stray animals, regardless of whether or not they had homes. These animals would then be auctioned off or sold to laboratories for experimentation. Thankfully, pound seizure is no longer practiced in most developed countries.
What Do Animal Shelters Do?
These days, the mission of animal shelters is twofold: to find homes for homeless animals and to control the population of stray animals through spaying and neutering programs. Animal shelters accomplish these goals through a variety of means, including adoption events, community outreach programs, and working with local law enforcement agencies to catch and return strays to their rightful owners.
Do Animal Shelters Kill Animals?
No, animal shelters do not kill animals. In fact, most animal shelters have policies and procedures in place to ensure that all healthy and adoptable animals in their care are placed into new homes. For example, many animal shelters will not put down an animal unless it is suffering from a terminal illness or has been deemed medically unadoptable by a licensed veterinarian.
That said, there are some situations in which euthanasia may be necessary. For example, if an animal shelter becomes overcrowded, it may be forced to euthanize some of its residents in order to make room for new arrivals. Additionally, some shelters may elect to euthanize animals with aggressive behaviors that cannot be rehabilitated. However, these situations are relatively rare, and most animal shelters go to great lengths to avoid them.
How Can I Help My Local Animal Shelter?
There are a number of ways you can help your local animal shelter. The best way to help is to adopt an animal from the shelter. This will not only give a homeless animal a loving home, but it will also free up space in the shelter so that they can take in more animals.
Conclusion: Animal shelters are places where lost, abandoned, or homeless animals can go to find a new home. They are not places where animals go to die. Most animal shelters have policies and procedures in place to ensure that all healthy and adoptable animals in their care are placed into new homes. In some cases, euthanasia may be necessary, but this is relatively rare.