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Animal Shelter Misconceptions

Over the years, several mistaken beliefs and false truths have sprung up about animal shelters. Here, a Temecula veterinarian sets the record straight about five common misconceptions.

Shelter Pets are Old

You may think that only older pets inhabit animal shelters, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Pets of all ages, from the youngest puppies and kittens to elderly animals, can be found in shelters. Whether you’re looking for a spry young pet or a seasoned veteran, consider adopting from a shelter.

Shelters and the Pets in Them Are Dirty

Any shelter that’s kept up to code is extremely clean and well-sanitized—they have to be by law! What’s more, all pets that come to shelters are promptly groomed, cleaned, and given shots and immunizations if needed.

Shelter Pets are Poorly Behaved

Some people think that only poor-behaved pets are put into shelters, because their previous owners can’t handle them any longer. This isn’t always true. Pets find their way to shelters for a variety of reasons, only one of which may be poor behavior. Many pets in shelters are very well-behaved and may even be already trained.

Shelter Staff are Inexperienced

You may think that because many shelter staff members are volunteers that they have no experience with animal care. This isn’t true. Many of the volunteers at your local shelter work full-time jobs as veterinary technicians, assistants, animal trainers, behaviorists, or groomers. Some may even be full-time veterinarians!

Shelters Only Have Dogs and Cats

We often make the mistake of thinking that shelters only house cats and dogs, but this isn’t always true either. Many shelters have small-mammal, avian, or reptile programs. If you’re in the market for a guinea pig, hamster, bird, lizard, or another unique type of pet, try checking with a shelter first.

Ask your Temecula veterinarian about shelters in your area. If you’re looking to adopt a pet, consider looking at a shelter before going to a pet store. You just might find the perfect new addition to your family!

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