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ISSUE NO. 01 DECEMBER 2021Adoption EducationWritten by: Keagan Mattison Animal shelters usually introduce their protégés on their websites or social media sites.Databases with different filters such as species, size, age, gender, family suitable, suitable for seniors and much more make the initial selection easier. Photos and detailed descriptions of dogs, cats and other pets do the rest to make the choice easier. Animal lovers can take their time to look for a suitable pet. If you are still unsure about choosing your animal friend, you can usually contact the staff of the animal shelter. They are there to help everyone who wants to adopt an animal with their experience, expertise and comprehensive advice to help make the right decision.
Shelters work hard to combat myths, because they have a real impact on the animals in their care. Some of the most widely held misconceptions are about the age and health of the dogs, cats and other animals in shelters. The result is that many animal lovers don’t even consider shelters when looking for a pet. Here we list – and debunk – the five most popular myths about shelters. Myth 1: The animals are sickIn fact, well-managed shelters believe good animal health is extremely important, so they make sure they give their pets excellent medical care. The animals are generally neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, dewormed and treated for fleas and ticks. By the time they’re given up for adoption, they should have a clean bill of health. The sick animals in a shelter are those that can no longer be helped medically – for example, those with cancer.Myth 2: None of the animals are socialisedIn fact, shelters put a lot of effort into training and socialising their animals. This increases their chances of being adopted and makes the move to a new family happen more smoothly. Myth 3: All the animals are oldIn fact, it’s not age that causes an animal to be placed in a shelter, it’s a set of particular circumstances. For example, there might have been a change in the former owner’s financial situation, or the former owner might have passed away, or maybe there was simply an unplanned litter. Myth 4: Shelter animals usually have behavioural problemsIn fact, most animals aren’t placed in a shelter because they are behaving abnormally, but because of a change of circumstances. Only a few dogs and cats show negative behaviours. This is usually because they have been rescued from situations in which they were badly looked after. Myth 5: There are no pure-bred animalsIn fact, pure-bred animals are often placed in shelters, because their former owner’s circumstances have changed. It is estimated that 25% of pets in shelters are pure-bred. Recently, many litters of pure-bred dogs have been placed in animal shelters as a result of the illegal puppy trade. Support shelters, havens and places of safety − for animals under human influence, which reveal suffering, rescue animals in need and protects them.
Transparency: The shelter should hold special events (open/adoption days) that give people who are interested an opportunity to see first-hand what goes on there.
Qualifications: The staff should have the necessary expertise and – where relevant – certificates.
Size of rooms: all rooms should have enough height, width and depth for the animals they are intended for.
Euthanasia: A good shelter will primarily follow a “no kill” policy and will only resort to euthanasia in the most extreme circumstances.
Providing information: The staff will always be ready to provide detailed information about the care needs of a particular species.
Education: Dogs will be taught basic commands by trained staff; animals with behavioural problems will be re-socialised by experts.
Follow-up checks: The shelter’s adoption contract will require follow-up visits to ensure that an adopted pet is being well looked after.
Allocating animals: the staff will carefully enquire into the circumstances and knowledge of a person who wants to adopt, and then advise which animal (if any) would be most suitable.
Veterinary care: The shelter should work closely with a vet and/or veterinary clinic.
Exercise area: for dogs, so that they can fulfil their need to run around.
Look for for the right pet in the right places. Seek individuals who can overcome boundaries with creative solutions and strive for the impossible.