What happens if no one adopts a dog? The Ultimate Guide

Do Shelters Kill Dogs? What About No-Kill Shelters?

Some shelters have no-kill policies, which means they don’t euthanize dogs for anything other than medical reasons. While this is obviously more desirable than high-kill shelters, it doesn’t do as much to solve the issue as you might think.

The problem is space. No-kill shelters fill up just as quickly as high-kill ones — often even faster, as they can only get rid of dogs by adopting them out.

So, what happens when a no-kill shelter runs out of room? While it’s true that they won’t euthanize any dogs, they will stop accepting new animals. The ones they refuse are often shipped to kill shelters. However, some no-kill shelters try to find other no-kill facilities that have room before sending a dog to a traditional shelter.

This has led to fierce debate between many animal rights advocates, some of whom claim that until all shelters are no-kill, none of them should be. That’s because many people prefer to adopt from no-kill shelters, leaving the dogs in traditional shelters to die.

What Happens When a Dog Is Euthanized?

When a dog’s time is up, they’re led out of their kennel into the euthanization chamber. Once there, euthanization techs inject a dose of lethal chemicals into their leg. It takes a few moments for the chemicals to take effect, and then the dog is gone.

What Kind of Odds Does a Dog Face at a Shelter?

Any dog at a shelter faces long odds of getting adopted. According to the ASPCA, 6.5 million pets enter shelters every year — and only 3.2 million leave.

They don’t all face the same odds, either. Puppies have the best chance of leaving, while senior dogs have a much bleaker outlook.

Also, breed matters — Chihuahuas and Pit Bull-type dogs have the hardest time getting adopted (even though shelters often miscategorize breeds). Color can also play a factor, as black pets are 50% less likely to get adopted.

Animals with any visible injuries or illnesses are unlikely to find a home as well. Most prospective owners simply aren’t willing to take a chance on a dog that could run up a fortune in vet bills.

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