Dog Pound Facts-- The Good, The Bad and The Little Known

Dog Pound Facts

The dog pound, it's also known as the animal shelter. Just the sound of the name strikes fear into some dog owner's hearts. Images of the mean dogcatcher snatching up unsuspecting pooches are conjured up. However, most of this is based on myth and TV's portrayal of the dog pound. Let's take a look at what this institution really is.

First of all the dog pound is a place where lost, nuisance, and unwanted dogs are kept. These dogs arrive here in several ways. Animal control (a.k.a. the dog catcher) brings in animals reported as strays. They also bring in abandoned dogs, dogs suspected of rabies (these guys are quarantined), dogs injured by cars or other animals and left at the side of the road, and dogs that have been taken away from negligent owners.

Let's talk about strays. Not all stray dogs that end up in the dog pound are really strays. Some are beloved pets that have wandered out through open gates, or gotten away from their owners by other means. If your pet has a collar with either their name and address and owners phone number attached to it, they will try to contact you.

Also, if the rabies tag is attached to the collar (and it should be) they will look up the vet who issued the tag and try to contact you through them. In the mean time, while your precious pooch is waiting for you to find them; they are in a safe place with food, water, shelter, and vet care (if needed). The dog pound does not offer luxury accommodations, but your pet is safe until you come to get them. If they are unable to contact you within a certain amount of time (this varies from place to place) the dog will be put up for adoption.

Dogs that have been abandoned or confiscated from negligent owners find their way to the dog pound. Again, animal control is involved. Usually these poor pups are in need of immediate vet care. When calls about animal abuse are received by animal control they are required to investigate. If the situation warrants, the dogs are taken away from the owners. These dogs are then given immediate vet care and if they can be rehabilitated they are put up for adoption. In severe cases of abuse, when the damage is so severe to the animal, sometimes they have to make the difficult decision to euthanize the animal. In this case the dog pound offers a safe haven to animals in need.

Animal control will pick up stray dogs and usually fine owners of nuisance dogs. If the nuisance keeps up then it is possible that the dog will be removed from the owner. These dogs all become residents of the dog pound. Now here is where things get difficult. Every shelter or dog pound can only hold a finite number of animals. Although they adopt out animals, there are usually more animals in need than the shelters can hold. The shelters have to make very hard decisions about what to do about space management.

Unfortunately, this requires euthanizing healthy animals. Sometimes animals are not adaptable because of age, size, or behavior. These are the ones at highest risk for euthanasia. It is an unfortunate reality of the dog pound. The best way to relive this problem is to adopt dogs from these pounds instead of going to a breeder. They almost always have puppies. If you do not want a show dog, then be responsible and adopt from the local dog pound.

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Comments 36 comments

Oscar Jones 8 years ago

Hi, its awful to think so many dogs end up in this situation which basically is no fault of their own. If only more dog owners would make the effort to find out and understand how dogs operate then I am sure we would could all reduce this amount of poor dogs that end up in these sorts of places.


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perfumer 8 years ago from California Author

Hi Oscar, I totally agree with you.Thanks for the comment.

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4Paws 8 years ago from Minneapolis

I wish people had to grow through an educational program before adopting a dog (or any animal). So many folks have no clue about raising and taking care of a dog, so they "throw them away." Plus, there are too many breeders and puppy mills. We need to stop supporting breeders, and we need to stop buying pets from pet stores (they get the animals from horrible puppy & kitten mills). I adopted a rescue, and she is a family member, not an object to be thrown away.

Thanks for raising awareness about the good things that the dog pounds do. I wish they were funded better and had more leeway to enforce stronger laws against animal abuse & neglect. But they do provide a necessary service.

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perfumer 8 years ago from California Author

4Paws, thank you for your comment!

mm11 8 years ago

The animal shelter is only a business. I think we should get rid of them and find a more humane way to shelter animals. Animal control people are not there to help loving dog owners find their pets, they are there to make money by taking peoples dogs and forcing them to pay a fee to get them back. The idea in theory is good but the reality falls short of their goals. When my dog escaped through my gate we immediately found her only to be stopped by an animal control and have her carted away while we were standing right there. They take peoples beloved pets that have been killed while outside the home and cremate them or euthanize them before they can be claimed. I am totally against animal "shelters" which are really just pounds. I am also against puppy mills and breeders they should all be shut down.

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perfumer 8 years ago from California Author

I couldn't agree with you more.Thank you so much for your comment.

zack 8 years ago

do they ever kill any animals

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perfumer 8 years ago from California Author

What do you mean zack?

Found a do 7 years ago

I have found a somebody's pet. It is clearly a well taken care of dog however it does not have a collar or tags. I plan to put up signs in hopes the owner will see the sign, but I found my dog at the shelter quickly when he was lost and I am sad for both the owner and the little dog and fearful they may not find this little dog soon.

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perfumer 7 years ago from California Author

posting on your local Craigslists borad is also a good idea...

Cassidy 7 years ago

im trying to saport the dogs at Makenses

Ellen 7 years ago

im working with a girl to support Makenses and am making a slide show but need more info

unknown 7 years ago

i need help i think im confused where should im put advertisement for a dog shelter

4 pups 6 years ago

they do kill dogs when it gets too full

SaveEm 6 years ago

That's so stupid that paple do killl the animals! Ugh! makes me so mad! that's why i am glad they have pounds that do not kill the animals

Save emisadumbass 6 years ago

Read above SaveEm cause it clearly says Dog pounds will put dogs down if they are basically running out of space... "The shelters have to make very hard decisions about what to do about space management.

Unfortunately, this requires euthanizing healthy animals"

unknown name 6 years ago

I hate it when all the grownup dogs are not getting adopted only the puppies are. Every body goes after the cute ones

kookoolaylay 5 years ago

I need to know what percent of the dogs in the world do the ponds kill. Or if that is too hard, what percent of the dogs that they find/ catch get killed? Dog Pounds should be banned from our society!!!!!

JoJo 5 years ago

I also think that it is beyond rediculous!!! OUTRAGIOUS

Vjay 5 years ago

My dog was captured by the pound and they abused her, her lip is cut open from the stupid dog catcher who muzzled her and her left side of her face is all swallon. While trying to micro chip her he also called her a f**ken mutt. Now I thankfully have my dog back home but she is very traumatised. Never bring dogs to the pound try and find a home for them. Pounds should be shutdown.

Miguel 5 years ago

I got an order to take my dog for ten days. Hurts me to think how he is feeling. Probably feels abandoned and betrayed heartbroken

carla anne 5 years ago

wow!... i feel really bad for those animals in that situation :(

JOLEENA MOGLE 5 years ago

Not here where I live in's terrible, outside kennels no heat..their working on it now that there has been a lot of publicity...but two dogs froze out there last year

Fabulous Kee 5 years ago

Not all animal controls are created equal by any means. Some are caring and do what they can, others are heinous. The main way to "shut down" animal controls is to promote responsible pet ownership, microchip and spay neuter. MANY facilities do NOT provide shelter or even what could be considered adequate care for those kept there. Some kill rates may be as high as 98%depending in the "shelter" and the a.c. Officer in charge, budgets, etc. They are not all bad, but there are most definitely more bad animal control facilities than good. I've seen it frost hand.

Hannah Hawes 5 years ago

The dog pound is a great help,but i don't think is fair that the dogs are put to sleep; if they don't find a home.

Vanessa 4 years ago

Dog pounds shut be illegal! We are all mammals we have feelings. No animal should be treated this way. They didn't choose to be unwanted and abused by their owners and again abused by the "Animal Shelter". We should protest against this!! Before its to late!!

Hemanth 4 years ago

People shoud put sighns about adopting a dog

Dakota Hills 4 years ago

Dog killings should stop. I am doing a research paper on it and it is cruel.

Tulip 4 years ago

Do vets not like the way stray dogs have to be put down when they are not adopted?

Why do vets put down strays?

How can we stop dogs being put down?

I'm so curious

Tulip 4 years ago

I really want to know these answers! You know that saying " Curiosity killed the cat!"


petlover 4 years ago

i think that the shelters should work as a team and put some of the animals in empty places so they wont have to kill them if it gets to full

brandon trudeau 4 years ago

the dog catchers sux i had 2 dogs and the catcher came to my house and tried to take my dogs without telling me or my family first. He had some bs papers saying they were getting into somebodys trash a mile down the road. i said hows that i just let them out to use the bathroom not 2mins ago. Then he said if i touch my dogs i will be sued by the pound. SO MY TIP TO ALL OF YOU IF THE POUND COMES FOR YOUR DOGS MAKE SURE THEY NO WHAT SICKEM MEANS.

flobow 3 years ago

What kind of work is being done to see if some of these dogs could be Rehabilitated? Dogs are now used for Sight; Hearing; PTSD; to detect bed bugs and now peanut allergies. It's been said some dogs can smell cancer. What kind of rehabilitation or research is being done? There are many areas we can explore to help dogs help humans and thus often save their lives in the process.

jacky 3 years ago

pounds are just places were they get dogs and cats they don't even try to save them they just killed them don't even try to find them a home for them the pound could help them if they want too but they don't they just killed them

Annalisa 2 years ago

This morning my dog ace chased a guy on his bike, he didn't bite him, he was trying to pull him off of it, he doesn't like bikes, he does the same to me when I ride a bike, I'm worried the guy is going to call animal controll, so my question is, can the pound take him? Or give me a fine ?

Josh 14 months ago

This website is very helpful for my school project on why its bad to have pounds and animal shelter

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