4 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
Molly suggested that I write this post after she saw an upsetting Facebook post. Someone she is following made a post talking badly about a shelter. Specifically, they complained about how a local shelter hasn’t upgraded the dog kennels despite improving other areas of the building. Molly isn’t one to start social media arguments, so she decided to let me explain her perspective on here.
We never like to talk badly about shelters and rescues. Of course, no organization is perfect, but that doesn’t mean we should consistently point out their flaws. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t talk badly about animal shelters.
They Have Good Intentions
Shelters and rescues don’t make much profit, if any. They exist for the sole reason of helping homeless animals. So, even if they don’t seem like the best organization, most (if not all) of the people working and volunteering there care deeply about animals. This is even true for kill shelters because they don’t want to be killing the animals in their care. So, before you complain about a shelter to other people, remember that they’re not in it for the money. They truly want to make a difference for animals, even if their execution isn’t the best.
Shelter Kennels Are Better Than The Alternative
Almost every shelter I’ve seen doesn’t look comfortable. Most dogs have a cement floor and a single bed in their space. I certainly wouldn’t want to stay at a shelter for even a day, so I’m grateful that I was adopted. But most dogs don’t stay at shelters for long. And even though the kennels look depressing and uncomfortable, they’re much better than the alternative.
If shelters didn’t exist, especially no-kill ones, a lot more dogs would end up dead, abused, or on the streets. Staying in a kennel for a few weeks is much better than them having nowhere to go and no food to eat. Plus, keeping kennels clean is no easy task, so that’s why the floor isn’t soft for them. If you feel bad for dogs at shelters, please try fostering so you can help them be more comfortable while they wait for adoption.
Bad Publicity Could Push People Away From Adopting
If you talk badly about a shelter, it’s easy for humans to get the wrong idea. The more bad things people hear about shelters and rescues, the less likely they’ll be to adopt. Being critical of one organization could sway someone’s opinion enough to make them go to a breeder instead. That would add more dogs into this world, making even more dogs end up in shelters. So, please think about the potential effects of your opinions before posting them publicly.
Running a Shelter Is A Lot of Work
Shelters and rescues make mistakes, so it’s easy to judge them. But what many people forget is that running an organization like that is a lot of work. Even just volunteering can be stressful at times. Anyone who’s working or volunteering at these places are not looking for money or any other kind of personal gain. They just want to help dogs. So, criticizing a shelter takes away from all the hard work that these wonderful people are doing.
I know Molly’s heart breaks a little every time someone talks badly about the rescue she fosters for. So, don’t be mean toward organizations without knowing all the facts. There’s usually a good reason for the decisions they make.
Donations Can Make Shelters Better
Talking badly about a shelter could make someone less likely to donate to them as well. But a lack of donations is usually the reason shelters and rescues don’t run as well as they could. Don’t let your one negative experience prevent those animals from getting the funds and supplies they need. If you’re concerned about how the shelter will be using money donations, then donate supplies instead. Organizations are always grateful to get items like food, blankets, and leashes.
I know shelters and rescues aren’t perfect. There are times when we’ve been frustrated with their decisions too. But it’s important to not let their flaws overshadow all the amazing things they do. These places do so many more life-changing things than bad things. So, next time you think to talk badly about a shelter, rescue, or similar organization, I hope you think about these things. Being critical won’t help anything, but being positive could save some dogs’ lives.
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