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There is an old saying “Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes”. This resonates so much with the strict shelter rules. Before you complain or get horrified by something you’ve seen, take your time to read this article and get a better understanding of some basic principles of the shelters. After all appearances can be deceiving. Even though something looks cruel or you may think the animals are not properly cared for, it might not be the case.

Find out why:


  • Dirty cages – often times the first thing a visitor’s see is the dirty animal cage. You might feel that the animals are not properly cared for, but that might be deceiving! No matter how hard the workers try, how often and well they clean the cages, some of them would be dirty at any given time. This is just how it works. If you have small kids, you’ll understand. The moment you clean a room and turn your back, the toys are spread on the floor, few books are out of their places and your kid/s are digging in a drawer to find where their favorite toy is. It is simply to put squeaky clean and animals in a sentence. One more thing – the cages look their worst in the early morning before the workers have the chance to clean them up after the night.
  • Sick animals – the second thing you might notice in a sick animal in the shelter. It simply might be the new kid in the block. The new animals arrive unvaccinated and some of them carry contagious diseases. Good shelters isolate these animals as soon as possible and starts a treatment of the disease.
  • Euthanasia – believe it or not, shelters have to euthanize animals on regular basis. This is extremely sad but is something that has to be done. Of course there are strict guideline and procedures to follow before an animal is euthanized. The most frequent cause for such a decision is an incurable disease that is or will be causing extreme pain for the animal.
  • No water in cage – animals usually tip over their water bowls. If those were to be constantly refilled, this would cause constantly wet floor. Sure, living on this wet floor would make the animal sick. This is the reason that the water is delivered on regular basis and bowls are not constantly refilled.
  • No food – if you’ve been to the zoo soon, you’ll remember that each animal has its feeding time (usually twice daily). Shelters are no different. They feed most of their animals using the same schedule. Young, sick and special needs animals are the only exceptions of this rule.

Now when you know the root causes of the main misinterpretations of shelter’s rules, does it make sense to you?

Be aware that you can help, too. Due to their limited budgets and space – shelters are looking for volunteers all the time. Show you love to your feline and canine friends – volunteer your time to help a shelter!