Animal Shelter Myths and Misconceptions

Probably because of the nature of their work, animal rescue facilities sometimes get a bad rap. Don’t believe everything you hear! Below, your Happy Valley, OR veterinarian sets the record straight on a few prevalent myths.

Shelter Pets Are Old

Think that all shelter pets are old, unwanted animals? Think again, because this couldn’t be further from the truth. Pets of every age—puppies and kittens, middle-aged animals, and senior critters alike—can be found in a shelter. If you’re looking for a specific age of pet, you’ll undoubtedly be able to find it at a rescue facility; visit local shelters in your area to start the search.

Shelters and Their Pets Are Dirty

This isn’t true. Precisely because shelters house a large number of animals together, the standard of sanitation and cleanliness must be kept extremely high in order to prevent the spread of disease and infection. What’s more, shelter pets themselves aren’t dirty. Even if they arrive at the facility with some grime, they’re bathed, clipped, given nail trims, administered vaccines if necessary, and even spayed or neutered in some instances.

Shelter Pets Don’t Behave Well

Some make the mistake of thinking that an animal wouldn’t wind up in a shelter at all if they behaved well. This is a fundamental misunderstanding—the vast majority of shelter pets don’t find themselves there because of poor behavior. Issues like unrestricted breeding and abandonment are much more common reasons that a pet comes to a shelter. Most pets in shelters are perfectly well-behaved!

Shelters Only Have Mutts

Some prospective pet owners don’t even bother looking in shelters because they have their hearts set on a particular breed. Don’t fall into this trap! The truth is, shelters are just as likely to house purebred animals as they are to have mixed-breeds. Before going to a breeder or a pet store, consider saving a life; visit shelters in your area to adopt your next animal companion.

Shelters Only Have Dogs and Cats

Of course, it’s misleading to suggest that shelters only have dogs and cats for adoption. Many shelters run pocket pet, bird, reptile, or even exotic animal adoption programs! If you’re in the market for a unique pet, tour your local shelters. You just may find the critter you’re looking for.

Does your pet need professional veterinary care? Set up an appointment with your Happy Valley, OR veterinarian’s office for help.

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