Let’s take a moment to say “thank you” for all the amazing ways animal shelters and rescue organizations make the world a better place.

By Victoria Lynn Arnold
November 03, 2020
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Credit: Halfpoint / Adobe Stock

When it comes to animal shelters and rescue organizations, these heroes are at the top of our list of favorite humans. These folks take in the animals who are abandoned and abused. They work hard to care for these precious pets, and to find them good homes. They even help to reunite lost cats and dogs with their original owners. And they’ve helped many of us (Daily Paws staff included!) find our paw-fect pet match.

These organizations help pets find their forever families, and we’re so grateful for all the wonderful work they do to help get pets adopted into loving, happy homes. In honor of National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week, we’re saying “thank you” to the staff, volunteers, and veterinarians who are dedicated to giving our furry friends a second chance with this list of reasons why they’re awesome.

1. Animal Shelters and Rescues Care for the Lost

The wonderful people in these organizations take in every kind of cat and dog—abandoned, abused, and even the ill or injured. They give shelter, food, and medical attention to these scared animals, and try to make them feel loved, cared about, and at home while they wait for their family to find them.

2. They Rescue Animals from Puppy Mills

Some places like puppy mills will breed dogs at excessive rates, and in unhealthy conditions. Animal shelters and rescues are on a mission to shut down such places, and take in animals who have been treated poorly.

3. Animal Shelters and Rescues Promote Spaying and Neutering

These organizations have about 3.3 million dogs who enter their facilities every year, and only about half get adopted. They know that one of the best ways to prevent that number from increasing is by spaying and neutering these dogs and cats. To help encourage new pet parents who adopt, the cats and dogs are either spayed or neutered before the animal is available to adopt, or the procedure is included in the low adoption cost.

4. Some Organizations Even Help Animals in the Wild

Many rescue organizations also work to help animals who are not meant for life as a domesticated pet. Programs like trap-neuter-return (TNR) help to lower the stray cat population while continuing to let these outdoor cats run free and enjoy the lives they’re accustomed to! 

5. Animal Shelters and Rescues Have Pet Adoption Counselors

These counselors facilitate the adoption of cats, dogs, and other animals at the shelter who need homes. They get to know the personalities of the pets, and of the potential pet parents. And then try to make the best match possible. 

6. Some Shelters and Rescues Even Offer Veterinary Care

Veterinary bills can be expensive! But some vet clinics at animal shelters may offer veterinary services at lower costs because they understand that not all pet parents can afford the expense of private-practice vet bills. They may only provide specific services, but it can help keep pet parents from breaking the bank on preventative services like vaccines or spay and neuter procedures. 

7. Their Volunteers Provide Playtime and Positive Human Interaction

Many of the animals who end up at a shelter have been abandoned or abused. And all they ever wanted was to be loved. The volunteers at animal shelters and rescues provide just that! You can instantly see the excitement and joy that an animal receives when a human gives them love and undivided attention through walks, playtime, and even basic training sessions

8. They Do All the Dirty Work, Without Any of the Glory

The dedicated workers at these shelters and rescues devote their lives to caring for cats, dogs, and animals of all kinds. They take in the ones who were cast aside. They feed these animals, bathe them, give them medical attention and care, and clean up after them. 

Their entire goal is to rescue animals in need and help them find their new fur-ever home. So the next time you think about getting a cat or dog, consider adopting from your local rescue or shelter! If you’re not ready for a new pet just yet, you can also let these wonderful rescue workers know how much you appreciate the work they do by making a donation or volunteering your time.