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Welfare, Pounds & Shelters
Animal welfare organisations have a role in the community that include canvassing support for welfare change through local, state and federal government, education, inspectorate services, shelter and pound management and influencing public opinion regarding animal welfare.
Animal welfare shelters have a major role in receiving surrendered animals from all community sources and assessing the suitability of the animals for rehousing ; to find an appropriate home that meets both the needs of the animals and the new owner.
Relationship between animal welfare and animal management
In 1992 it was reported that the funding of most shelters generally prohibits anything but reactive management "mopping up today's problems only to face the same ones tomorrow" - and the same can be said now. In 1992, some challenging questions were asked internally in at least one animal welfare organisation, and it would be reasonable to think that these questions also stand today. [Animal Shelter Management, Animal Control and Animal Welfare]
- Not enough people have questioned the management of shelters.
- A welfare shelter is a very complex environment.
- Animal control is arguably more complex than commonly recognised.
- The pressure on the shelter is inversely proportional to the priority given to animal management by local government.
- The pressure on animal control is related to human population and socioeconomic trends.
- Animal welfare and animal management are directly related, i.e. animal welfare benefits from adequate animal management.
Animal shelters, animal welfare and animal management are interdependent and simple solutions are unlikely to solve what is a complex problem [Unwanted pets].
Understanding the drivers of animals entering shelters
Detailed surveys of individual shelters are necessary to understand the primary drivers for cats and dogs entering shelters. [Tracking cat admissions to Melbourne shelters and Shelter Shakeup-the outcome]. Several studies have found that animals enter into shelters for many reasons, and in one US study the author found 71 reasons for owner relinquishment. In addition, a sizeable proportion of cats can be admitted to shelters by animal management because they are not owned.
The literature has repeated calls for addressing the issues of shelter populations by gathering statistics for an individual shelter, and principles for solving the problems of shelter animals have been developed. [Populate or perish]
Animal welfare agencies recognise that there are important and sometimes interrelated complex issues to address, such as animal hoarding; the link between domestic violence and animal abuse; and compassion fatigue amongst shelter workers.
The relevance of animal welfare in Urban Animal ManagementAnimal welfare in the new millennium is a brave new world and the challenge is to maintain a strong focus on the primary goals while dealing with ever changing attitudes and new partnerships.
Animal Shelter Management, Animal Control And Animal WelfareA review of the current scientific literature showed a lack of knowledge concerning animal shelters and animal control.
Human and Animal Factors Related to Relinquishment of Dogs and Cats in 12 Selected Animal Shelters in the United StatesSince the 1940s, perceived companion animal overpopulation in the United States has been an important issue to the animal welfare community (Moulton, Wright, & Rinky, 1991).
Populate or perishInformation document on unwanted companion animals.
Links to all papers on this subject headingBrowse for further information on this topic
Mandatory Desexing in the ACT – has it worked?
In 2001, ACT became the first jurisdiction to make the desexing of dogs and cats compulsory by six months of age. Has it worked?
Cat Admissions to Melbourne SheltersUnderstanding the characteristics of cats entering shelters can help direct policy on how to reduce shelter euthanasia.