Five Misconceptions About Animal Shelters

Although animal shelters do a great service to our communities, they are often misunderstood. Here, an Oakville veterinarian clears up five of the most common misconceptions regarding animal shelters and the pets that are housed in them.

Shelters and Their Pets Are Usually Dirty

Nothing could be further from the truth. All shelters that are up to code have standards of cleanliness and sanitation. Furthermore, all pets that come into shelters—even if they arrive dirty and unkempt—are promptly cleaned up, given shots and medications, spayed and neutered if necessary, and have their nails clipped.

Shelter Pets Are Old

You might assume older pets that aren’t wanted anymore are the only ones found in animal shelters. This isn’t true. In fact, animals of all ages, from puppies and kittens to middle aged to elderly pets, can be found in an animal shelter. Talk to your Oakville veterinarian to discuss the benefits of young, middle-aged, or older pets for your family.

Shelter Pets Behave Badly

Some people think that an animal wouldn’t be in a shelter in the first place if they behaved correctly. This is a misconception. Many pets in animal shelters are perfectly well-behaved, and may have even been trained properly by their previous owner. Of course, there are always those pets that do have behavioral issues, but they can be found anywhere, not just in animal shelters.

Shelters Only Have Dogs and Cats

False! Many animal shelters have much more available than just dogs and cats. Some have small-mammal adoption programs, where you might find rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, or even rats! Some shelters also have birds, like parrots or songbirds. If you’re looking for an alternative pet to the traditional cat or dog, consider adopting from a shelter.

Shelter Staff Are Inexperienced

It’s a misconception that shelter volunteers are inexperienced non-pet owners off of the street. Oftentimes, the volunteers working at animal shelters are veterinary assistants, veterinary technicians, animal behaviorists, animal trainers, or even full-time veterinarians! They are the best people to go to with questions about the pets you’re considering.