The first full week of November is celebrated as National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week! Animal shelters are valuable parts of communities that provide education and shelter for millions of animals each year in the U.S. In honor of National Shelter Appreciate Week, let’s look at key benefits of shelters, the numbers of animals impacted by them, the three different kinds of shelters and animal shelters in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Benefits of Shelters

Shelters offer many wonderful benefits to their communities. Animal shelters work to humanely address the issues of animal health and treatment. Many centers offer spaying and neutering services which reduce the high rate of dog and cat reproduction. This also reduces the number of strays and dangerous animals in our cities and towns.

Animal shelters work with the community to match homeless animals with loving families. Many locations often provide free shots and vaccinations for pets which makes the adoption process easier and more attractive. They also prioritize educating the public about how to better care for pets, handle immunizations, disease control, and animal safety.

The Numbers

According to Human Society Central Texas, 7.6 million companion animals (3.9 million dogs and 3.4 million cats) enter an animal shelter in the United States each year. Every year, around 2.7 million animals are adopted, however 2.7 million cats and dogs are euthanized or killed each year (1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats). Animal shelters provide an essential place for animals in need of homes and rescue, while also providing a humane location to handle dangerous animals.

Three types of animal shelters

Open Admission or High-Kill Shelters: These shelters welcome any and all animals despite their size, age, health, and behavior. The pro of these locations is they are the most common and connect the most amount of animals to families. The cons of these shelters are they are often overcrowded and poorly run which leads to many animals having to be euthanized or put down because of health issues and bad behavior often caused by the difficult living environments.

Limited Admission Shelter or Low-Kill Shelters: These shelters differ from open admission shelters because most centers require an appointment or interview when dropping off the animal where they can learn about the personality of the dog outside of a shelter environment. They may have a waiting list until an available cage/space is opened and they will not euthanize an animal based on the length of their stay or available cage space. However, animals may get euthanized for very bad behavior or severe health issues.

Very Limited Admission or No-Kill Shelters: No-kill shelters differ because they do not euthanize any of the animals they house. They usually require screening and interviews before taking in an animal and they will be more selective about pets based off their health and age. They want animals that can ideally be adopted quickly which means most of these animals go to permanent families upon adoption, but it also means more animals are turned away than any of the other shelters.

*Shelters can be run by the city or county governments, non-profit agencies overseen by a board of directors, or private non-profit agencies with a government contract to provide animal control services.

Are animal shelters (pounds) and animal rescues the same thing?

No, animal shelters are places where stray, lost, surrendered, or abandoned animals (mostly dogs and cats) are kept and rehabilitated to hopefully get adopted. While animal rescues are often private organizations that accept mostly pet or companion animals from abusive homes or homeless situations.

Animal Shelters in Cheyenne, Wyoming

In Cheyenne, Wyoming there is one animal shelter – Cheyenne Animal Shelter and one animal rescue – Black Dog Animal Rescue. To learn more about their services, how to adopt, foster, volunteer, or give to these centers please visit their websites.