Adopting pets from animal shelters has become more popular over the last few years as people have become more aware of them. Unfortunately, shelters still face many problems with finding homes for their animals.

1)    Euthanization. No one likes the thought of euthanasia, but the reality is that it still happens at many shelters.  Urban and rural areas especially still have this problem.  Although many shelters are “no-kill,” not all shelters have adopted this policy yet.

2)    Overcrowding is a common problem. Spread of disease can cause complications with the overall health of the in a shelter. Overcrowding can also cause increased animal aggression, stress and depression.

3)    Not Enough Variety. Many shelters don’t have the variety of pets to choose from for potential adopters. A majority of animals available for adoption are adolescent dogs with high energy levels. Unfortunately, many people are not looking for this type of dog because they can pose problems in household. A home in the city or suburbia just isn’t an ideal match.  This leaves a large population of dogs “unadoptable” to many adopters.

4)    Adopting Puppies and Kittens. So many people looking to bring in a furry family member want a puppy or kitten.  The reality is that many of the animals available for adoption are not puppies and kittens, but older animals who have been abandoned or turned over to shelters because their owners could no longer care for them.

5)    Post Adoption Problems.  
Some problems arise soon after a pet is adopted into a home and the new owner decides it isn’t optimal. The shelter will often take the animal back and continue looking for the right home. Animal shelters work hard to accommodate; some shelters even offer services that include advice, training sessions and house visits from shelter staff.

6)    Not enough money. Many shelters function with mostly volunteer workers and donations. This always poses a funding problem.  Shelters need to provide not only food and shelter, but vaccinations and other medical care.

Ideally, potential adopters need to consider these issues when bringing in a furry family member. Animal shelters  face overcrowding, budget constraints and lack of workers, and depend on pet adoption to keep their doors open. It’s a revolving door: animals need to be adopted so more can be taken in and cared for. Without shelters, stray animals would have nowhere to go but into the wild. 

Remember—the most important aspect of adopting a shelter pet is that you’re saving an animal’s life!


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