“I’ve always had a huge dream of opening an animal shelter.”
Shanice Williams, Actress
Advantages & Disadvantages of Animal Shelters
Animal shelters are quite common in many countries all over the world.
These shelters aim to provide a new home for pets who had been abandoned by their former owner.
Although there are many advantages to the concept of animal shelters, it also implies some problems.
In this article, the pros and cons of animal shelters are examined in detail.
Advantages of Animal Shelters
- Animals will find someone who cares about them
- Many animals may find a new home over time
- Population control for animals
- Fewer straying dogs
- You can be sure that your pet will have no worms
- May help to stabilize the population of endangered species
- Can help to rescue animal which had been treated quite poorly
- Can help to save abandoned animals
- Working in animal shelters can be quite interesting
- Excursions to those shelters may increase the overall awareness of people
Animals will find someone who cares about them
One important advantage of animal shelters is that the staff in animal shelters can take good care of those animals.
Quite often, their former owners did not want to care about those animals anymore or just underestimated the costs that are related to having a pet.
When they were young, those pets looked quite cute but as they got older, they became more of a burden to their owner.
This process is quite common in our nowadays society and an increasing number of pets end up in animal shelters since pet owners do not inform themselves properly before getting a pet.
In such a case, animal shelters can help to give those pets a new home once they become unwanted burdens to the former owner.
Many animals may find a new home over time
Sooner or later, many animals that end up in animal shelters will also find a new owner who wants to take care of them and who will also treat them quite well most of the time.
In fact, instead of buying a puppy from a conventional breeder, may people want to do good and attend animal shelters instead.
Hence, animal shelters can also serve as platforms in order to find a new owner for pets as soon as possible.
Population control for animals
Another key benefit of animal shelters is that through those shelters, the uncontrolled increase in population of wild dogs and other animals can be avoided.
Without those shelters, pet owners would often just release their pet into the wild and if too many pet owners did so, chances are that the population of those wild animals would increase significantly.
In turn, chances are that the local ecosystems would get out of control, with unclear long-term consequences for whole regions.
Fewer straying dogs
Straying dogs are another big problem that can be due to the absence of animal shelters.
In case there are no animal shelters, people would often just bring their dogs to nearby forests or other remote areas and leave them there.
However, those dogs will come back to the city sooner or later in order to search for food.
Thus, this can significantly increase the straying dog issue and in order to reduce this problem, it is crucial that enough animal shelters are available.
You can be sure that your pet will have no worms
If you get a pet from an animal shelter, you can also be sure that your pet will have no worms or other pests most of the time.
In many cases, shelters do all of the necessary tests in order to assure that pets will be healthy and free of unpleasant company.
Hence, don’t be afraid to get an animal from a shelter since you can be pretty sure that it will have no bugs or worms.
May help to stabilize the population of endangered species
In rare cases, people also give animals to shelters which are already endangered or even at risk to become extinct in the near future.
In such a case, those animals can be given away to zoos which can take efforts to increase the population of those animals.
Hence, animal shelters may also be able to mitigate the endangered species problem to a certain extent.
Can help to rescue animal which had been treated quite poorly
Some owners also treat their pets quite poorly.
In fact, animals sometimes even have a much better life in animal shelters compared to the life they previously had with the former owner.
Of course, this is only true if the animal shelter and the employed staff really cares about the animals and don’t neglect them.
Can help to save abandoned animals
Animal shelters often also get calls from people who found pets in the middle of forests or in other remote regions.
Those pets would not survive too long in the wild and therefore, it is also crucial to rescue those animals since without animal shelters, they would die pretty soon.
Working in animal shelters can be quite interesting
If you currently have plenty of leisure time and search for ways to spend this time, you may also want to consider working some time at an animal shelter.
Not only will you be able to make some money, but you will also learn a lot about animal rescue and how demanding it really is to manage those shelters, especially if they are overcrowded and lack proper funding.
Consequently, your overall knowledge regarding pets will improve and you will also learn only to get an animal if you are sure that you can take proper care of it.
Excursions to those shelters may increase the overall awareness of people
Animal shelters are also a great destination for school excursions.
Many people in our nowadays society are also no longer aware that getting a pet also implies some work and children should learn from a young age what happens if they get a pet without thinking twice about it.
By making those excursions, children will learn quite a lot and will weigh all the pros and cons of having a pet before making the decision to buy one once they turn into grownups.
Disadvantages of Animal Shelters
- Animal shelters can be expensive
- Can alter the behavior of pets
- Animals are often treated quite poorly
- Bigger incentive for owners to give pets away
- Proper regulations are often missing
- Animal shelters often rely on volunteers
- Euthanizing is quite common in shelters
- Animal shelters are often overcrowded
- Animals may get neglected
- Can be considered to be unnatural
Animal shelters can be expensive
Apart from the several advantages of animal shelters, there are also some problems related to those institutions.
One disadvantage of animal shelters is that they can be quite expensive.
Quite often, those shelters are financed by donations or also by plenty of taxpayers’ money.
However, in many cases, those shelters often also lack proper funding and cannot buy enough food or provide sufficient space for their animals.
Hence, financing those shelters is a big problem and if animal shelters do not get enough funding, they will not be able to accept all animals which urgently need shelter to survive.
Can alter the behavior of pets
Giving your pet to animal shelters can also lead to a change in the overall behavior of your pet.
Quite often, pets feel quite sad when their former owners give them away to animal shelters.
Some of those animals also develop a serious fear of abandonment and may alter their overall behavior in a rather unpleasant manner.
Some animals in shelters also become quite aggressive over time, especially if they are not kept in an appropriate manner.
Animals are often treated quite poorly
Another downside of animal shelters is that pets are often treated quite poorly.
This can be done intentionally in case staff members just don’t like animals.
It can also be due to the fact that there will simply not be enough money available for those shelters and the overall conditions in those shelters may be quite poor.
Bigger incentive for owners to give pets away
Animal shelters may also give pet owners a flawed incentive to give their pets away.
Even though some owners may not really want to keep their animals anymore, some of them will still keep them since they feel obliged to do so and don’t want to abandon them.
However, if pet shelters are in place, it will be quite convenient and simple to give away your pet and chances are that more people will decide to give away their pets in case animal shelters will take them.
Proper regulations are often missing
In many countries all over the world, the regulations regarding the treatment of animals in shelters are rather lax or even missing at all.
Hence, there will often not be sufficient control regarding whether pets are kept under appropriate conditions or not.
This gives shelters a great level of freedom regarding how to treat those pets, which may turn into unpleasant outcomes for the respective animals.
Animal shelters often rely on volunteers
Quite often, those shelters also don’t have enough funds to employ qualified staff.
They often rather have to rely on volunteers.
Even though those volunteers may be quite motivated, they may still lack some important knowledge regarding the proper treatment of certain animals, which may lead to serious problems in the long run.
Euthanizing is quite common in shelters
If animals get old or even in case the shelter needs more space for incoming animals, chances are that some shelter animals may get euthanized.
Even if it was not really necessary, some animals may lose their lives due to the high level of discretion related to this practice in many countries of our planet.
Animal shelters are often overcrowded
Another problem of animal shelters is that they are often also quite crowded.
Especially in big cities, many people get a pet but don’t want to deal with it after just a few months anymore.
This leads to overcrowded animal shelters and you can imagine that the overall quality of treatment of pets significantly suffers if those shelters become too crowded.
Animals may get neglected
Pets that have been given away to shelters are often also neglected.
Quite often, staff members simply don’t have sufficient time to take care of the individual needs and preferences of every single animal and due to staff shortages, chances are that many animals may suffer from serious neglect, which may turn into serious mental issues in the long run.
Can be considered to be unnatural
Animal shelters also do not offer natural living conditions to animals at all.
Most often, animals are caged and do not have too much space to move and to exercise.
This unnatural treatment of pets can lead to serious behavioral problems for shelter animals over time.
Top 10 Animal Shelters Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Animal Shelters Pros
|Animal Shelters Cons
|Animals can find new owners
|Some animal shelters are quite crowded
|Animals may regain trust in people
|Animal shelters can be expensive to operate
|Can help with population control
|Often dependent on donations
|Lower number of straying dogs
|Shelters can alter the behavior of pets
|Staff at shelters can check animals for diseases
|Some pets may suffer from mental conditions
|May help to protect endangered species
|Poor living conditions for animals in shelters
|Animals may get better overall living conditions
|Often operated by volunteers
|Shelters help to save abandoned animals
|Pets may get neglected in animal shelters
|Working in animal shelters can be interesting
|Opponents claim that shelters are unnatural
|Excursions to shelters can raise awareness
|Regulations are often missing
Do We Need Animal Shelters?
Animal shelters can be important in order to provide pets who had been given away or abandoned by their previous owners with a new home.
However, apart from the many advantages of animal shelters, there are also serious issues related to them.
In order to mitigate those problems, it would be important that governments set proper regulations for animal shelters so that animals will be treated much better on average.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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