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Occasionally, you will see the shelter staff and volunteers camp out front, hoping to change your mind on dumping your pet. Some probably in tears.

Do people who drop their pets off at shelter really know what they are doing? If they knew just what happens to dogs after their owners walk out the door, shelter might be a lot more empty.

If you can no longer keep your pet and want to find him a good home, dumping him at a shelter is NOT your best option.

Shelter takes in way more dogs than they adopt out

Only a one-third of of shelter take-in managed to be rehomed. The crowds of incoming castaways can get so thick, members of the public frequently leave their dogs roaming on our fence outside. There just aren’t enough people to process so many animals.

A shelter is only as good as its volunteers are plentiful. Shelter has gained notoriety for its acute shortage of volunteers. No one to take the animals out of their kennels to give them a little exercise or sit in a play yard for 20 minutes. There are some that never even get to feel the green grass.

A shelter dog is a scared dog – which makes him even less adoptable

For a dog, the shelter is an immediate sensory overload. A dizzying diversity of scents, sounds and strangers.

A scared dog won’t behave like himself. He may not get along with other dogs. He may cower. Or resist human touch. It all rings up a less-than-stellar first impression with animal control staff – people who only want to see a dog find his way out of there, but haven’t the time to wait. If the dog has any sort of behavioral problems where it doesn’t react well to a shelter environment, the dog has very little chance of survival.

No one ever asks how much is that black local dog in the window

Some dogs are just born under a bad sign. Or breed. Or color. Or anything that may mark them as imperfect to a potential adopter.

Any sort of bully dog has very little chance of being adopted.

Our local mongrels are the most overbred dogs in Kuching. They also are the hardest dogs to find homes for, with only one in 5s managed in finding their way out of the shelter.

Color can be another strike against a shelter dog. Black dogs are 50 percent less likely to be adopted.

And age? It’s not a dog’s best friend. A dog’s likelihood of leaving a shelter drops precipitously with each passing month. If anyone has the best chance of making it out of the shelter alive, it’s puppies.

Seniors, not so much.

Know someone planning to drop off their pet at a shelter?

You might want to share this with them. Although it’s easy to vilify someone who surrenders a former companion to a shelter, we know it’s not so black and white. There are a host of reasons why people do it. Frequently, it’s the harsh reality of an economic situation. Or an unexpected health issue.

What you can do

As grim as the reality of shelters is, there is hope. You’ll see it in tails wagging, even at the busiest. And you’ll see it in the army of animal lovers and organizations who dive into shelters, looking to give even the oldest, saddest, least desired dogs a second chance.

If the steady stream of unwanted dogs into shelters makes you angry and sad, you can help the people working to slow it.

And, of course, there’s you. Have you visited a shelter lately?

Just about every animal shelter in the world is looking for a few good hands. In fact, as we’ve so painfully seen, the quality of a shelter dog’s life is directly proportional to the number of volunteers at a shelter. So reach out!

Take one home. And, for an overall joyful feeling that washes over both dog and human nicely, never underestimate the transformative power of foster care.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/SarawakSPCA/photos/a.176524749431.1..



 

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SPCA Sarawak

The Sarawak Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals believes that animals, as living creatures, have value beyond economic measurement, and are entitled to legal, moral and ethical consideration and protection. The Sarawak SPCA's mission is to act as an advocate on behalf of animals and as an enforcer of their rights; to provide for the well-being of the animals of the State of Sarawak who are abandoned, injured, subjected to unfair or cruel treatment, or otherwise in need; to cultivate in the people of our community an awareness of the animals whose world we share; to promote a bond of mutual assistance between people and animals; and to instill respect for and appreciation of all living things.

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