Appreciating Your Animal Shelter

Nov 9, 2013

Just hoping someone will take me home with them!
Credit Dave Parker

Someone must have a special heart to work at an animal shelter.  The work is hard, sometimes heart-breaking, but adoptions and reunions make it all worthwhile.  So make some time to let a shelter worker know you appreciate all their efforts and their dedication for the pets and people of their community!


Every year, thousands of animals in this country end up homeless, with no owners to care for them, and no place to go except to an animal shelter. But before you start to think that ending up in an animal shelter is the worst thing that could happen to a pet, consider the alternatives.

With no home and no owner, animals can go hungry. They become frightened, and without proper food and nutrition, their health is affected. With a lack of proper care they can become susceptible to illnesses and disease. They may be hit by passing vehicles when they try to cross a busy road, or become prey for larger animals.

When you imagine a lonely, hungry, frightened and hurting animal with no home and no owner, knowing there’s a shelter that can be at least a temporary refuge is a comforting thought.

One of the great things animal shelters do is serve as a central place where owners can go to look for their lost pets. And one of the joys of working at an shelter is witnessing the happy reunion of an animal and its human.

Another great thing shelters do - they provide members of the community the opportunity to adopt wonderful pets into new forever homes. Many shelters offer related services to adopters, including training classes, and most-important, neutering and spaying of all animals that leave the shelter. That ensures that the adopted pets will not add to the ongoing problem of pet overpopulation.

Of course, that’s the ultimate burden of animal shelters – too many pets and not enough homes. The most difficult part of working at a shelter is knowing that the majority of animals who come there will not make it out alive.

This is National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week, a good time to stop by your local shelter to let the dedicated workers there know how much you appreciate their work in your community. While you’re there, make a donation of time, money or supplies. You might even want to give one of the residents a second chance by adopting a new companion from among the animals waiting and hoping for a new home and a loving owner, when you’re speaking of pets.