A dog shelter or pound is an establishment where abandoned, unwanted, stray or surrendered pets mainly cats and dogs are housed until they are claimed by their rightful owners. The word ‘pound’ actually has its roots in the early animal markets of rural communities, where strays or abandoned livestock would pen or securely corralled until their owners claimed them. These early shelters for stray or lost canines were rudimentary in comparison with today’s dog shelters, which offer a wide variety of amenities that can last a lifetime for the pet. They provide all necessary accommodations including:
* Housekeeping. A dog shelter will often house stray, adoptable dogs in kennels or smaller living areas until they are ready to be adopted. The facility will have its own staff who will check on the pets periodically to make sure they are healthy and that they are living in good health conditions. They may also perform a physical examination and perform vaccinations on the pets. Stray or adoptable dogs are usually quarantined for a certain length of time so that if they escape, they can be recaptured.
* Boarding. Dogs are not given up for adoption just because they are old or sick. There are many reasons why pets may get abandoned by their owners, such as loss of a companion, divorce, death of a family member or being displaced due to natural or human-caused disaster. When in need of a temporary home, shelters and rescues may come up with doggie boarding arrangements for pets who need a temporary home until a more permanent placement can be arranged. A number of rescue dogs have been known to go on to enjoy long, happy lives at one of these facilities. In some cases, the animals have become faithful friends to their new owners and the dogs have even gone on to pass down their dog shelter experience to other owners.
* Medical attention. Most shelters and rescues provide medical treatment and screening for any potential pets; however, it is important to know what medical problems some dogs may have before adopting them. Some dogs may have hip dysplasia or congenital defects that affect their ability to stand or walk.
* Spaying or neutering. Most shelters encourage adoptions from those who plan on breeding their pets. These dogs benefit greatly from the added time they receive after going through the veterinarians’ care, and many times they end up producing children who carry on the tradition by breeding to produce more dogs for adoption.
Dog shelter and rescue dogs are an amazing asset in many different ways. They help relieve the emotional stress of someone who has lost a loved one. They provide companionship for someone who doesn’t have a lot of time or money to commit to a dog. And most importantly, they are loving and give unconditional love. Adoption is something everyone should consider for themselves or for a loved one.