Many cats and dogs have happy, steady homes, but they are also a great many that exist in the wild. Those animals are not neutered, so they breed and create more cats and dogs that must then live in the same conditions. Various strategies have been tried to address this ongoing issue and animal shelters tend to be the most widely employed solution.
Animal shelters provide temporary care for stray dogs and cats. Pet overpopulation can result in a number of problems for city and town residents, not to mention detrimental health for the animals, which are often on the verge of starvation. How these organizations are run varies from state-to-state as per that area’s laws.
Shelters cannot solve the problem of overpopulation on their own. However, they are highly useful when it comes to reducing the spread of diseases, such as rabies, among the animal populations, and finding homes for these cats and dogs.
In addition to handling strays, shelters also take in animals that have been surrendered by their owners. This can be due to behavioral or health issues that the owner cannot cope with, or the fact that the people are moving to a new home that will not allow them to bring their animal along.
The animals are offered to the public for adoption, and people who select a dog or cat then pay an adoption fee. Animal shelters are run on a not-for-profit basis, so this money goes towards paying staff salaries and the associated costs that come with running such an organization.
A good animal shelter is clean, run by patient and helpful employees who understand the issues dogs and cats can face, and take steps to reduce the amount of stress the animals experience while in their care. Many people find wonderful pets through these organizations, but the sheer number of strays means that some never leave and must be euthanized.
You can do your part by adopting pets from these organizations, rather than buying your cat or dog from a breeder or pet store. Animal shelters treat their animals for diseases and other health issues, as well as neutering them before adoption. These costs are typically included in the fee.