Animal Shelter Misconceptions and Myth Corrections

Animal shelters are very beneficial not just to the animals they save but also the communities they serve. However, there are many ideas about them that the public holds which are incorrect. These myths cause the statistics for animals that are euthanized by shelters to be erroneously reported. The myths can cause euthanasia for animals because people avoid adopting shelter or rescue animals. This article will be setting the record straight about the operations, services, and the contributions a pet shelter actually provides.


Myth 1 – Animal shelters are all directly managed by large corporate organizations (e.g., ASPCA, HSUS).

The majority of rescue organizations and shelters run on grants and donations from within the local community. County rescues are government facilities and do not receive private donations but do often welcome and rely on volunteers. Most Animal Protection Leagues are not associated with the ASPCA or Humane Society of the United States.


Myth 2 – Only old animals are available in animal shelters.

It’s possible to find pets of all ages in shelters. There are always puppies and kittens along with middle-aged and older dogs available. Winter always means there are fewer kittens and puppies in shelters.  Most shelters do not have an age discrimination policy. In late spring, there are many young animals available. So timing an adoption to occur when animals have unfortunately been permitted to roam free when unsprayed or unneutered causes shelters to have to try to adopt out entire litters or kitties and puppies.


Myth 3 – Shelter personnel are not professional and aren’t knowledgeable.

Shelter worker expertise is the greatest asset to an animal shelter. Many of the people who volunteer at animal shelters are animal specialists. You can find vet techs, animal behaviorists, animal nutritionists and veterinarians at a shelter making sure the animals are healthy and socialized. The people who work at an animal shelter spend a lot of time with the animals and know their personality and preferences. They can provide wonderful information about your pet’s favorite place to be scratched as well as what their personality is like. You should always ask the shelter personnel what your adoptive pet has been eating.  A great number of shelters receive food donations from pet food manufacturers. It may be best to keep your new pet on the same food until you can consult a veterinarian to avoid upset stomachs or a new pet getting ill adjusting to a new food.


Myth 4 – Shelters don’t have any purebreds up for adoption.

25% of all pets found in shelters around the U.S. are purebred dogs and cats. There are also many breed specific rescue organizations. If you want a greyhound, it is easy to find a greyhound, just like you can seek a certain type of cat my contacting one of the widespread and respected breed rescue organizations.  If you are seeking a type of pet, you can also find rescue organizations that specialize in toy and miniature breeds or even large breeds.


Myth 5 – Animal shelters only have dogs and cats.

Many rescues have more than cats and dogs. Small mammals can be adopted so rabbits, guinea pigs and pocket pets like hamsters and gerbils can be adopted shelters. There are even rescue organizations and shelters that specialize in finding new forever homes for parrots and even rescues and shelters for reptiles. If you are looking for a pet and want to provide a home to one, it most likely that the exact type of pet you want is out there looking for a home with you.


Myth 6 – Shelter pets are dirty, unkempt and not properly cared for.

If you’ve been living on the streets and scrounging for food for weeks or longer and not had access to a bathtub or a person to give you a nice bath, you would not look better than raggedy yourself. Once a pet is brought to the shelter, they are given a bath, flea and tick treatment, given vaccinations and are often even spayed and neutered. Once in the shelter, you’ll have a clean and healthy pet. Some shelters have volunteers that do regular animal grooming such as brushing, clipping nails and bathing the animals at shelters.  Animals also naturally have a smell. A shelter cannot smell like the interior of a spa as it’s a place full of dogs and cats and will naturally smell like dogs and cats.


Myth 7 – Shelter pets will have behavioral problems or are somehow flawed, defective or imperfect.

Animal shelters across the US report the misconceptions that many people hold that pets that wind up in a shelter are defective problem dogs or cats. There is usually nothing wrong with the pets in a shelter at all. A lot of them were much-loved family pets. There are some animals that have behavioral issues and dogs that have training failures, but that was because the humans before the shelter failed the animal. Generally, however, most pets that are in a shelter are trained already in general, and the truly untrainable dog is actually quite rare when it does happen, likewise with aggressive animals. Aggressive animals are listed as such, and it is usually because the animal has trust issues.  The “perfect pet” is a myth, even if you pay $700 for one from a breeder. Even that new puppy that’s never seen a shelter will need to be vetted and trained.


Myth 8 – Adoption fees are too high and not worth it for a rescue.

You need to consider what they have already done for the animals present there. They have obtained the animal, have spent the money to house, feed, vet, vaccinate and treat the pet for illnesses it had when it came into the shelter. The shelter has already made a $500 minimum investment into your adopted pet. Most rescues also give heartworm testing, flea and tick prevention treatments and Rabies, Bordatella and Distempers vaccines that cost another $500 alone.  Therefore paying $250 or less based on the shelter is a fantastic deal. You can almost never find a healthy cat or dog from a pet store or breeder at that price that’s already been so well-cared for, socialized, and undergone proper medical care before it comes home.


Myth 9 – You can’t get to know a shelter animal before adopting them.

Most rescues will allow home visits or do home visits to ensure the home and pet are a good match and there are visiting rooms at shelters where adoptive pet parents can sit and play and interact with the candidate cuties before moving forward in the process. Most adopting parents are more prepared to proceed with bringing the pet home than a shelter is.


Myth 10 – Animal shelters are depressing.

This depends on perspective. The confused or overly excited face in that cage has suffered incredible hardship lacking caregivers, friends and no one to love them. They have gone hungry and now have enough to eat. These animals are being saved and given a second chance. The rows upon rows of cages may seem a sad and depressing place, but for the animals in those cages, they can only see the glass as being half-full, and they have the opportunity to find a loving family.


Hope this article answered your questions or concerns about Animal Shelters. If you would like more articles, tips and tools about all kinds of pets, visit our website 2 Paws Up Inc Pet Sitting and Dog Walking in Snellville, Centerville, Lilburn, Grayson, Loganville, and parts of Tucker, Norcross, Stone Mountain, and Lawrenceville. https://2pawsupinc.com,



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.