Animal shelters play an important role in communities by keeping animals and people safe, and providing families with friendly pets. But not all shelters are the same. They all work differently and are funded differently. Read on to learn more about the differences between rescue shelters and city shelters.
What is a Rescue Shelter?
Rescue shelters are non-profit organizations run by volunteers or a small staff of paid employees, which rely on adoption fees and donations to fund their charity. They accept dogs from a variety of people, give them shelter, and put them up for adoption by local families. There are three types of rescue shelters.
An Open Admission Animal Shelter will accept any animal that is brought to them. Because they accept any dog in any condition, they will receive sick or aggressive dogs which, unfortunately, may need to be put down.
A Limited Admission Animal Shelter is selective with which animals they bring in. This means they only accept dogs in good health with a fine temperament. This means they do not euthanize any of their dogs.
A Foster Home is a different type of shelter, where a volunteer will house dogs on their personal property. They are not compensated for taking care of the animals but do receive food, medicine, and veterinary care from the organization they’re a part of.
What is a City Shelter?
Municipal shelters, or city shelters, are taxpayer funded and employ dog catchers to catch stray dogs. They keep stray dogs off the streets permanently, or at least long enough to vaccinate and fix them, keeping the citizens and dogs themselves safe.
Municipal shelters also serve the function of reuniting lost pets with their owners. You can drop off a lost, domesticated dog at a municipal shelter and they’ll find the owner if it’s microchipped or has a collar with tags.
Finally, city shelters assist with rehoming dogs. If an owner can no longer care for an animal, the shelter will either keep it until someone adopts it or pass it along to a rescue shelter or foster home.
The Differences Between a Rescue Shelter and Municipal Shelter
Although rescue shelters and municipal shelters serve the same general purpose of keeping dog populations under control, there are some significant differences between the two shelters. Perhaps the biggest difference is funding. City shelters are mostly or entirely funded by tax dollars, whereas rescue shelters are mostly or entirely funded by donations and adoption fees. Sometimes rescue shelters are partially funded by taxpayer dollars if the shelter houses dogs on behalf of animal control. This is especially true for small municipalities which don’t have their own shelters.
The people who work at rescue shelters can either be volunteers or employees. Those who work at municipal shelters are almost always paid government employees. The city shelters also hire animal control officers who actively go out and catch dogs, whereas rescue shelters only house dogs brought to them.
Another difference between municipal shelters and rescue shelters is that municipal shelters will occasionally engage in catch and release. If they catch a stray that is not aggressive nor domesticated, they’ll likely vaccinate and fix it before returning it to its territory. When a rescue shelter takes in a dog, they’ll house it until its adoption.
Start a Shelter with a Commercial Kennel
Are you looking to start a rescue shelter? Or perhaps you already run a shelter and you need to upgrade your kennels. Consider partnering with Trailside Structures to build a commercial kennel for your shelter. Our kennels have a myriad of options to suit your needs. Contact us today.