Your Local Animal Shelter: A Safe Haven or a Dog Pound?
Homeless Animals are Everyone's Responsibility
An estimated one million companion animals will enter a Texas animal shelter this year. Texas law defines "animal shelter" as "a facility that keeps or legally impounds stray, homeless, abandoned, or unwanted animals."
Is your local shelter a compassionate care facility that provides rehabilitation and adoption for as many animals as possible? Or is it a tragic and dark place where few animals ever come out alive?
The difference lies largely in community support and involvement. Everyone who cares about animals should help their local shelter be a rescue and adoption center rather than a dog pound in the bleakest sense of the term.
THLN, a long-time advocate for humane standards and proper care of animals being housed in animal shelters, will continue to work for legislation to require shelters to provide good care and humane treatment for all shelter animals. State laws, however, are only the first step.
Ultimately, any shelter's success depends on caring and responsible people like you who offer their time and resources. Financial donations, pet food and a variety of supplies (often listed on shelter websites or in their newsletters) are always needed. Volunteerism can range from hands-on care and exercise for the animals to helping with fundraising events and public awareness campaigns.
If your city and county officials are not responsive to the need to provide adequate funding for animal care in your community, we suggest you visit HSUS' animalsheltering.org website and purchase a copy of "Animal Control Management: A Guide for Local Governments." This report serves as a guidebook for running an effective community animal care and control program.
By understanding your shelter's needs and working to be an effective advocate for it, you can make a huge difference in raising its quality of care and service. Helping your local shelter play a positive role in your community will result in more pet adoptions, fewer homeless and neglected animals, and a more compassionate community for people and animals alike.
THLN legislation regarding animal shelters includes: