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Don’t Believe These Animal-Shelter Myths
September 1, 2015

Perhaps because of the nature of their work, animal shelters are often misunderstood. So are the pets in them! Here, your Portland, OR veterinarian sets the record straight about five common shelter myths.

Shelter Pets Are Old

It’s a misconception that old, unwanted pets are all that’s found in animal shelters. This isn’t true. The age of pets in shelters ranges from newborns to puppies and kittens to elderly animals. No matter what age pet you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find it in a shelter—consider adopting a pet who needs a loving home before purchasing one at a pet store.

Shelter Pets Are Poorly Behaved

Many make the mistake of assuming that if a pet were well-behaved, they wouldn’t end up in a shelter. The truth is that pets come to shelters for many reasons, and poor behavior isn’t a common one. In reality, plenty of the pets in shelters have already lived with humans before and are very well-mannered. Many may even be trained to follow commands!

Shelters and the Pets in Them Are Dirty

If a shelter is up to code, it won’t be dirty. In fact, shelters must be kept clean and sanitary to help prevent the spread of disease and infection. The pets who reside in shelters are also clean, and are usually given baths, nail clips, and hair trims. They may even be spayed or neutered if necessary upon arriving at the facility.

Shelter Dogs Are Only Mixed Breeds

Some people believe that shelters only carry mixed-breed dogs, and no purebred animals. The truth is, shelters are just as likely to have purebreds as they are to have mutts. Do you have your heart set on a particular breed of dog? Be sure to check your local animal shelters first, because your ideal pet may be waiting for you there.

Shelter Pets Aren’t Healthy

Think shelter pets are mangy, unhealthy animals who will require a lot of healthcare and expense once they’re adopted? Think again, because this couldn’t be further from the truth. Pets wind up in shelters because they’re unwanted or can’t be cared for, not because they’re unhealthy. In fact, many pets receive vaccinations that they need upon arriving at the shelter.

Ask your Portland, OR veterinarian about animal shelters in your area. Once you’ve adopted your new family member, make an appointment at the office for an initial check-up.

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