A Job in an Animal Shelter

August 28, 2013

Have you considered working or even volunteering at an animal shelter? You can expect it to be one of the most trying and toughest jobs you will ever fall in love with. In many areas you will find an abundance of lost or abandoned animals. Not every story will end happily either. Still, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing your part to make the lives of some of these animals better.

Your day might begin your day by cleaning out kennels, giving some animals baths, or making sure all of the four-legged tenants have food and water. Imagine how much care that one or two household pets require and multiply that by dozens of animals. Of course, while you are performing these tasks, expect to be greeted by lots of happy and expectant faces because most of these furry guys know that you care about them.

On some days, your heart may be uplifted because one of your favorites gets adopted by a nice family. Even though this particular cat or dog greeted you every morning, you might be forgotten quickly as he joyfully romps off with his new family. Fluffy or Fido might not remember you long, but you will surely always remember him.

Also be prepared for some grief as some ill animals have to be euthanized. This is just part of the reality of many animal shelters because they do not have the money or manpower to take care of pets that need a lot of care and will probably never be adopted. It is important for you to think about how you will handle that event before it happens.

Working for pay or volunteering at an animal shelter is tough work, but it is also very rewarding. If you really care about animals, it may be the best job that you ever had.

Animal control officer is a title that may conjure up images of an ‘evil’ dog catcher that is out to swoop up and euthanize poor little Fido. Some might feel that this job is for the uneducated or otherwise unskilled. Many people assume that catching dogs is the only role that they have. These are a few of many misconceptions about what it means to be an animal control officer today.

Animals can mistakenly wander from their homes and into the streets. To ensure their safety, an officer will typically take them to the pound in hopes that the owner can be found. By picking these stray animals up, they are protecting them from the dangers of society and protecting society from the dangers of a stray animal. They cannot always catch the animals that they’re pursuing, however; they are only human and some animals can be extremely elusive.

An American colloquialism for an unfavorable politician that he or she “couldn’t be elected dogcatcher.” The term ‘dogcatcher’ is sometimes used as shorthand for low-level political office. In actuality, dogcatchers are typically appointed by an executive authority. Officers undergo a lot of training in order to qualify for dealing with all sorts of different animals and to properly identify as well as treat animal injuries and diseases.

In cases of animal cruelty, an animal control officer becomes an advocate for the abused animal and will often place charges upon the abuser. Animal control officers are usually law enforcement when on duty, which means they have power similar to the local police. Some animal cruelty investigators are specially trained police officers. They are trained in law as well as in courtroom presentations and testimony. Ethics, professionalism, crisis response, and officer safety round off the extensive list of needed training for these important roles in society.

The animal control officer will often work closely with police departments, parks and recreation departments, and health departments by confining animals, investigating animal abuse cases, and looking into reports of animal attacks on humans. They also work to spread awareness about proper pet care, promoting vaccinations, identification tags, and neutering/spaying one’s pets.

Needless to say, animal control officers are far from monstrous dognappers. Officers often say that it was the love and concern for animals that got them interested in the career. They have a deep appreciation for animals and a wish to protect them as well as society.

Animal shelters work hard every day to find dogs and cats forever homes. There are certain dog breeds with a bad reputation, and are considered high risk. Animal adoptions always come with fees, and some shelters have considered raising the adoption fees for high risk breeds. Is that a good idea? Here are the pros and cons of raising adoption rates for high risk dog breeds.

Some high risk breeds like Pit bulls, Rottweiler’s, and Doberman Pinschers are all breeds of dogs that are used and abused by their heartless owners. Some train them as guard dogs, while others train them for dog fights. A lot of dogs in these breeds can thrive in a loving home, and are also known for having a sweet temperament to their owners. A higher adoption fee may deter some bad people from taking and ruining these dogs. It can also serve as a deterrent for families unaware of the liabilities attached to these breeds.

There are over 78 million owned dogs in the United States, and only 20 percent of them are adopted from shelters. If shelters are serious about increasing animal adoptions, they shouldn’t discriminate by breed. While breeds of dogs like Pit bulls have a negative reputation, they are more docile than other seemingly harmless breeds of dogs, like Chihuahuas. Every dog no matter their reputation deserves the chance to be adopted into a loving home. Having higher adoption fees will make them even less desirable than before.

Animal adoptions are of the utmost importance for any shelter. That is why raising adoption fees for high risk breeds seem against their best interests. It will discourage adoptions for certain breeds, and lower adoption rates as a whole. However, educating potential owners of the liabilities involved with high risk breeds is important too. While educating future owners of high risk breeds is important, having a dog’s best interest at heart should be the utmost importance, because that is the shelters’ goal in the first place.

No Kill Animal Shelters

August 26, 2013

No-kill shelters are those that strive to place all healthy animals into homes.  With the number of healthy animals being euthanized increasing, the no-kill shelters are trying to stem the destruction by implementing a number of different programs. Many of these involve the support entire community and, in return, the entire community benefits.

Spay and neuter.  An animal that does not reproduce will not be adding to the unwanted population.  By implementing spay and a neuter program, an animal shelter helps communities control the overall population of pets.  These programs are usually no-, or low-cost to give everyone the opportunity to have their animal seen.

Adoption.  No-kill shelters frequently have visiting areas that allow those seeking to adopt an animal a chance to interact with the potential pet as well as extended hours to give working families more options for times to visit.  These animal shelters advertise to get pets adopted, often having an “adoption day” in local pet stores.  Additionally, many shelters offer training classes, veterinary care and advice about behavioral problems in adopted animals.  These continuing support opportunities may encourage more first-time pet owners to adopt an animal.

Community involvement.  No-kill shelters generally try to partner with local veterinary and other local businesses to encourage adoption of shelter animals.  They also take advantage of volunteers who may help maintain the facility and assist in socializing animals.  Volunteer foster homes take in pets to provide personalized care and help keep the animals well socialized before they are adopted.

Feral cat populations.  Many shelters, in conjunction with local veterinarians, have programs to spay and neuter feral cats before either returning them to their environment, or finding them homes as barn cats.  Feral kittens, if captured young, may be socialized to become family pets.  By controlling the feral cat population, an animal shelter also helps protect the birds and other wildlife in the area.

Getting Insurance for your Animal Rescue

Animal rescue organizations have a number of special concerns when it comes to ensuring the health and welfare of the animals that they care for.  Foremost among these are the costs of addressing injuries and illnesses, not to mention the need for preventative care and bite protection.  These things are all vital for the safety and well-being of small puppies that have been displaced or are otherwise in need of good homes.  Fortunately, you can secure animal insurance for your rescue organization that is offered by a knowledgeable and experienced provider.  A good insurer will have a comprehensive understanding of the unique challenges that exist in these environments, including those that lie beyond mere financial considerations.

Why You Should Get Liability Insurance

Purchasing animal insurance is vital for a number of reasons.  This coverage makes essential forms of care more accessible.  Rescued pets have a much greater chance of surviving severe injuries and illnesses, given the dramatic rise in innovative medical procedures and treatments.  Whether the goal is to promote increased survival rates or to ensure that animals are desirable candidates for adoption, access to care is nothing short of essential.

In terms of hosting fundraising events for your animal shelter, animal insurance is legally necessary.  Dog bite insurance is vital for avoiding a lot of expensive legal liability issues and for preserving the reputation of your organization.  The best companies will give you a rapid turnaround on insurance certificates and will even make sure that you have bound a plan that features the required limits and which affords you and your canine friends with optimal protection.

Searching For The Right Provider

When it comes to owning and operating an animal rescue shelter, the primary insurance concerns revolve around how to buy the right type of cover.  Those insurance companies that specialize in the provision of coverage for private parties rarely possess an in-depth understanding of the specific needs of animal welfare groups.  Coverage for these entities is guaranteed to be quite different from that of breeders or private homes with pets.  With little experience in shopping for this coverage, it is necessary for these groups to work with companies that will carefully explain the available coverage terms and features while ensuring that all bases are effectively covered.

August 26th is National Dog Day. This would be an excellent day for dog owners to celebrate their beloved pets, and for other families to consider adopting. That means shelters everywhere have the opportunity to find forever homes for the many dogs that inhabit them. These shelters have a golden opportunity to increase their adoption rates, but some may not know where to begin. Here are some ideas to make national dog day a success for any shelter.

1. Promote Online.
Nearly everyone is connected to the internet these days, and many of these people frequent social media sites. Causes that promote animals are nearly universally popular, and will receive many likes on Facebook, and followers on Twitter. Once your shelter has received a fair share of followers, it is due time to highlight some exceptional dogs that you have at the shelter. Some may be smart, or cute, but make sure to highlight their qualities. This will raise people’s interest in adopting these animals. When national dog day grows closer, make sure to remind people a week or two before the big day so they retain interest.

2. Highlight The Greatness Of Dogs.
Dogs are great animals, and that is why they have a day dedicated to them. Talking about their finer qualities is a good way to get people on board with adoption. Dogs can make great companions. They can be both loyal and obedient. Highlighting some positive factors of dogs is sure to sway some people into giving some of your shelter dogs a forever home.

3. Outline The Benefits Of Dog Ownership.
Owning a dog is a great way to lower blood pressure, and keep in shape. It’s also an excellent way to teach children responsibility. For single guys, it can be an ice breaker when talking to women. There are many great reasons to own a dog, and the reasons are different from person to person. Pointing out the positive qualities of dog ownership is a good selling point, and will be sure to find you dogs a forever home.

National dog day exists because dogs are fantastic. They are loving, loyal, and a member of the family. Some families do not know the joy of dog ownership, and sadly, there are many dogs without a loving family. This trend can be bucked with some clever marketing. There is no better time to adopt a dog than national dog day.


With rising populations in the pet communities, it is nearly impossible that these animals will all have good homes.  When a pet becomes lost, or homeless and abandoned, animal shelters and animal sanctuaries both look to different ways of solving this issue.

Animal shelters are facilities that take in stray pets.  Their goal in doing this is to keep pets off the street.  Homeless pets are looked at as a public health concern.  For this reason, an animal shelter will take in these pets and attempt to find them a good home.  Animals that are taken in will be given a temperament test to determine which ones would be good for adoption.  The ones who are deemed not good candidates for adoptions are put to sleep.  The ones who are deemed good for adoption will attempt to find a new home.  They are given a certain amount of time to find a new home.  Once this time limit is exceeded, the animal will be put to sleep.  With rising numbers of animals in need of homes, and shelter populations continuously rising, some of these animals will only be given mere days to find a new home.

Animal sanctuaries are similar to an animal shelter in the sense that they will take these stray animals off of the street.  However, an animal sanctuary will not attempt to find these pets new homes.  Adoptions do still occur; they are just not the primary goal.  Instead, they will be taken to a facility to be cared for and protected while living out their lives in full, until dying of natural causes.  Animal sanctuaries are non-profit organizations that put the lives and well being of these animal inhabitants above all else.  With the animals well being and lives being the primary concern, animal sanctuaries hope to raise awareness to the general public and change the way people treat these animals.

Many people debate about whether an animal shelter is humane.  Animal sanctuaries provide an alternative to this unrelenting issue.  Animal populations are rising for whatever causes, many will find themselves without good home.  The major difference is the regard to which these animals are treated.  Shelters will find homes for those whom they can, but to do so they also have to make room for new additions.  Animal sanctuaries will simply give all these animals the life and care that they are entitled to.

National Dog Day History

August 19, 2013

The dog days of summer have a bad reputation, but not when you’re celebrating National Dog Day! Animal rights activist Colleen Paige established this holiday in 2004 to recognize the search and rescue dogs at Ground Zero and the service dogs who contribute to the lives of thousands. Today, the holiday celebrates your pooch, the special connection you have with him, the value of dogs in all of our lives, and the importance of humane treatment for dogs and all animals.

In 2013, National Dog Day will be held on August 26. You can celebrate with friends or one-on-one with your pup – many of the suggested activities for the holiday are simple things you can do to improve your dog’s quality of life. Even something as simple as a complete brushing or a new toy are ways to recognize your pet. If your dog likes to socialize, invite a few of his friends over for a backyard party!

National Dog Day also has a strong activism component, and is a great day to volunteer at your local animal shelter, write your congressman a letter about area puppy mills. This day encourages, as always, prospective dog owners to adopt from shelters rather than buying from pet stores. You can read more about rescuing dogs by meeting Sailor, the holiday’s current mascot, who now lives with a loving family.

The holiday’s organizers accept donations online, which go toward improving the future for dogs all over the country. Mark your calendar with a pawprint for this special afternoon, and set aside some time for your best friend!

Pet owners and animal lovers often want to learn more about volunteering at an animal shelter, but don’t know where to start.  Knowing how to find organizations in need will help you find the perfect volunteering opportunity for the holidays.

Before you find the right place to volunteer, it’s important to know what type of volunteer opportunity you’re looking for.  Shelter needs can range from office work to fostering pets; know how you want to contribute is important.  Shelters may have different types of volunteer openings at different times, if your desired opportunity isn’t available initially, ask what type of opportunities are available. You may find that your skills can help in other roles.

Other things to consider when looking for the right opportunity for volunteering at an animal shelter include location and hours of operation.  The shelter you choose should work into your current lifestyle.

Opportunities for volunteer work at an animal shelter may be found at your local human society, animal rescue and local animal shelters.  Larger organizations may have volunteer opportunities listed on their websites.  The fastest way to learn what volunteer opportunities are currently available is to pick up the phone and call.  Additionally, your pet store, veterinarian and groomer may also know of smaller, lesser known organizations that are in need of volunteers.

When volunteering at an animal shelter, it’s important to find someplace that fits your needs and skills.  Doing so will ensure your volunteer experience is beneficial to both you and the animals you’re working to help.


If you have just a few free hours a month, you can help a lot by volunteering at an animal shelter. Most shelters do not have the funds to do all they want or need to do, and volunteers are an important part of their operations.
For cat lovers, there may be an offsite location that needs you. With so many pet supply stores and grooming facilities partnering with shelters to help locate homes, there are many places that have room for a few cats ready for their new homes. These felines need daily care for food, fresh water and clean up. If you have an hour one morning per week, this could be for you.
There are a lot of ways volunteering to help out dogs. Some shelters have a morning walk program that allows some of the dogs to get out, socialize and work on their manners and leash-training, while exercising with human volunteers. Or, you may just come in and take specified dogs out for some one-on-one human time for play or grooming.
If you have great people skills, than helping with offsite adoptions could be your calling. Many shelters take puppies, dogs, kittens and cats to malls, farmer’s markets, and other events to help them find homes.
Maybe, you have a little room in your home and heart for fostering. This has become a large extension of shelters. It allows those evaluated to be good dogs for adoption to move out of the shelter and into a home where they can receive family time, some basic training and be further evaluated. These dogs often go to offsite adoptions, although you do not always have to be there as long as arrangements are made for the dog to get there.
And, yet another way to help is through volunteering to work in the office. There is a lot of paperwork and someone has to be at the desk during regular working hours. Sometimes there is just not enough staff to handle it all. If you like the computer, you could also help with the shelter website and list pets on various adoption sites.
There is little doubt that most facilities need volunteers to keep them running. You can be of great help to so many furry critters in need by volunteering at an animal shelter in your area.