Is the pound a good place for dogs? Tips and Tricks

Reasons to adopt a dog from the pound

1. You save a dog’s life.

Saving a dog’s life is enough of a reason for some of us to choose the adoption route. I’ve saved four foster animals directly from the pound, and this is a rewarding experience for an animal lover.

2. Space opens up for another dog.

If you adopt a dog from a pound, more resources instantly become available for the existing or incoming dogs. You also lessen the burden for surrounding shelters and rescues because there is one less dog for them to find space for.

3. The adoption process at a pound is typically easy.

To adopt a dog from a pound, you typically pay a reasonable fee ($75 or less), fill out a basic form and take the dog home that day.

You may need to bring a form of identification, and you may need to provide proof that your landlord allows pets. Overall, the process is generally painless compared to the strict adoption policies of shelters and rescue groups.

4. There is a variety of dogs available.

Lots of different dogs end up in the pound – small dogs, purebred dogs, puppies, calm and obedient dogs, black dogs. Some are mixed breeds. Many are labeled as “pitbulls.” Some are middle aged. Overall, pound dogs are normal dogs.

5. The dog will most likely be up to date on shots.

The dog may also be spayed/neutered.

Forty-nine states permit the use of some pound animals in research. Eleven states do not allow pounds within their jurisdiction to make animals available to research facilities, but permit animals from out-of-state pounds to be purchased through USDA-licensed dealers. In Massachusetts, all use of pound animals is prohibited.

A pound is a facility established by local ordinance in which stray, abandoned, lost, or donated animals are held—impounded—for some period, so that owners can claim lost pets or new homes can be found for the animals. A shelter is a privately established facility for such animals. In pounds and most shelters, over 90 percent of the unclaimed animals must eventually be killed. In the United States, more than 10 million dogs and cats from pounds and shelters are killed each year. The annual cost of control of stray dogs and cats in the United States is over $500 million, which includes the costs of euthanasia and disposal of these 10 million animals. Approximately 138,000 dogs and 50,000 cats are obtained from pounds and shelters each year for use in research and testing (Foundation for Biomedical Research, 1987), and most of these are used in acute, nonsurvival research under full anesthesia.

NIH policy is that decisions as to the kinds and sources of animals appropriate for research be made by individual scientists and institutions (National Institutes of Health, 1987). For scientists whose research is already based on random-source animals, continued access to such animals allows them to build on extant data. It should be noted that some commercial dealers also provide randomly bred animals, but at a greater cost than that of animals from pounds.

Dogs and cats obtained from pounds and shelters are described as random-source animals—the term used for any animal not bred specifically for research. Random-source animals are obtained from pounds and shelters or from USDA-licensed dealers that obtain them from pounds, shelters, farms, and other such sources. In 1983, approximately 182,000 dogs were used in research and testing in the United States, including pound and other random-source animals, as well as those bred specifically for research use (Office of Technology Assessment, 1986).

To avoid the concern about long-term experiments using pound animals, some individuals and humane organizations would restrict the research use of pound dogs and cats that are already scheduled for euthanasia to acute nonsurvival experiments under full anesthesia. In acute nonsurvival experiments, animals do not regain consciousness after the experiment. In chronic experiments, animals do regain consciousness. Indeed, in such experiments, not only their survival but their full recovery might be an essential part of the experiment.

Pounds and shelters are not happy places for dogs to stay in for a long time, though. So everyone tries to find an unwanted dog a new home as quickly as possible.

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When choosing a dog for your family, make sure you get a dog that will suit your family so that you won’t find yourself with a dog that is causing you and your neighbours a lot of trouble. Dogs that are too noisy or big or active for their families are sometimes the ones that end up unwanted.

Those rules are in place because of resources – that means how many people and how much money and how many kennels the shelter or pound can use to look after unwanted animals. If they only have a few kennels or a few people to look after the animals or a little bit of money to pay for food and for someone to care for the animals, then they can only have a few animals at a time.

If the dog needs a little extra training or a quieter home, or the pound is getting full, the people that run the pound or shelter might agree to give the dog to a rescue organisation that will put the dog in a foster home.

Dog Training & Care : How to Pick a Dog From the Pound

“Rescue Me” is a recurring column by Samantha Randall, editor-in-chief at Top Dog Tips. She’ll provide personal anecdotes and perspective about her life as a pet lover with a passion for cat and dog rescue. Today, she takes a look at the life of a dog immediately after it arrives at its new temporary home.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, more than 3 million dogs enter animal shelters each year in the U.S. This staggering number becomes even more shocking when we know that around a fifth of all shelter dogs get euthanized.

Fortunately, the number of adopted dogs is growing each year, and the number of euthanized dogs is getting lower as a direct consequence. But there are many other things that go on in the shelter after a dog arrives there and before it gets out of it, one way or another.