10 myths about animal shelters
October 4 is World Animal Day (WorldAnimalDay), in the Russian-speaking space also known as World Animal Protection Day. And with the protection of animals, the activities of shelters are directly related.
Surely, each of us has some idea of how dogs and cats live in shelters. Some of them, guided by these ideas, take a pet from the shelter (and sometimes this is a good experience, and sometimes not), while others swear that they will not approach the animal shelters for a cannon shot. What is true, and what is the myth of animal shelters?
Of course, the shelter of the shelter is different. There are about 150 shelters for homeless animals in Russia, there are no statistics on shelters in Belarus at all. And it’s not necessary to say that all shelters work according to the same rules. And yet there are myths that I would like to dispel.
Myth 1. Shelters receive financial assistance that volunteers “put in their pocket”
In most shelters, volunteers spend their own money (sometimes most of the salary) to provide wards with everything they need. And if a fundraising is announced, then those who donate money can receive a report on what the money was spent on - including the provision of documents (for example, checks from a veterinary clinic).
Myth 2. All animals in shelters are sick or completely disabled.
Volunteers often place requests for assistance to specific animals in need of expensive treatment, which the shelter is unable to provide. And this creates the appearance that the inhabitants of animal shelters are completely disabled. But it happens in different ways, and often the former domestic dogs and cats, sometimes thoroughbred, quite healthy, who simply turned out to be unnecessary to the previous owners and were thrown out into the shelter, get into the shelter.
In good animal shelters, volunteers try to look after dogs and cats, sterilize and vaccinate them, treat them from fleas and ticks, give anthelmintic, and in case of illness they turn to veterinarians.
Myth 3. All animals in the shelters are well-groomed and healthy and adapt without problems in the new house.
The myth that all the inhabitants of the shelters are disabled, we have already dispelled. However, it would be an exaggeration to say that all animals in the shelters are well-groomed and healthy. Hands are often not enough, and it is not always possible to give the necessary attention to all the wards. In any case, if you take an animal from the shelter, the first thing you should do is consult a veterinarian.
And even if the food needs and at least some kind of walking are satisfied, individual care for shelter dogs and cats is not available. So staying in a shelter is a great stress and a serious test for any animal. And for the pet to adapt in the new house, it will take time, often a lot of time. Those wishing to take a dog or cat from the shelter should take this into account.
Myth 4. A dog or a cat from a shelter is an opportunity to take a pet at a low cost.
Yes, animals from shelters do not cost as much as puppies or kittens from breeders. However, to say that keeping a dog or cat from a shelter will be cheaper - more often than not, it means to sin against the truth. You will have to spend a lot of time and make efforts to adapt the pet to life in a new house, and at first, it is possible to eliminate the consequences of destructive behavior, including property damage. Often you can’t do it yourself and you will have to pay for the services of a zoopsychologist or instructor.
Myth 5. A dog or a cat from a shelter will be grateful to you and therefore will not cause problems
Caught in the shelter animals are experiencing extreme stress, which cannot but affect their health and behavior. A new change of residence when they get into the family is another stress. So for the first time, a manifestation of problematic behavior is possible, which is unlikely to please the new owners. That is why dogs and cats are sometimes returned to the shelter (usually during the first month) by people who are in the grip of this myth and were not ready to show patience and make efforts to adapt the pet to a new family.
Myth 6. Everyone can come to the shelter at any time.
Round-the-clock access to shelters for all comers is nothing more than a myth. As a rule, volunteers take care of the animals in the shelters, who have the main job that allows them to do charity work, and the family. So the shelters are not always open for visits, and most often the time of the visit needs to be coordinated.
In addition, sometimes even the information about the location of the shelter has to be hidden, since there is a danger that inadequate people who could harm animals or steal inventory will come there.
Myth 7. In shelters are always welcome new wards
Sometimes people who find a dog or cat on the street and want to attach it, as well as trying to get rid of their pets, are outraged that the shelter volunteers refuse to accept new "guests", and even allow rudeness in communication.
However, it should be borne in mind that shelters are most often kept at the personal expense of volunteers and donations, which are not enough. In addition, the number of places in animal shelters is limited. And to attach dogs and cats is far from easy. And it is not surprising that volunteers are not at all happy with the new wards and, at best, will give you recommendations on how to attach a dog or cat.
Myth 8. Shelter volunteers are losers who hate people.
The shelters employ people of different ages, education and social status, a lot of active and purposeful people who cannot be called losers. However, volunteers very often encounter the dark side of human nature, for example, extremely cruel treatment of animals. It is not surprising that some of them are not of the best opinion about the representatives of humanity.
Myth 9. Anyone can take an animal from the shelter, and volunteers do not have the right to refuse
In good shelters, those wishing to take a dog or a cat are welcome, but this does not mean that the animals will be given to the first person they meet. Nevertheless, shelters are created with the aim of finding "good hands" for abandoned dogs. Volunteers are attached to their wards and are completely not interested in the animal that they love and cared for, gets into poor conditions. So do not be surprised if you are asked questions about the conditions in which a pet will live in a new house, and insist on monitoring its fate in the future.
Myth 10. In a shelter animals are good
Even in the best shelter, it is impossible to devote as much time and attention, love and care to each animal as necessary. Therefore, a shelter for any dog and cat is not the best place. Each dog and cat should have its own home and a loving owner. And the purpose of the shelters is to find these loving owners for each "tail."