If you have no experience of animal shelters, you may be wondering how to spot a good one. Here are a few pointers to help you recognise a well-run shelter

what to look for in a good animal shelter

  • Transparency: The shelter should hold special events (e.g. open days) that give people who are interested an opportunity to see first-hand what goes on there.
  • Qualifications: The staff should have the necessary expertise and – where relevant – certificates.
  • Size of rooms: all rooms should have enough height, width and depth for the animals they are intended for.
  • Euthanasia: A good shelter will primarily follow a “no kill” policy and will only resort to euthanasia in the most extreme circumstances.
  • Providing information: The staff will always be ready to provide detailed information about the care needs of a particular species.
  • Education: Dogs will be taught basic commands by trained staff; animals with behavioural problems will be re-socialised by experts.
  • Follow-up checks: The shelter’s adoption contract will require follow-up visits to ensure that an adopted pet is being well looked after.
  • Allocating animals: the staff will carefully inquire into the circumstances and knowledge of a person who wants to adopt, and then advise which animal (if any) would be most suitable.
  • Veterinary care: The shelter should work closely with a vet and/or veterinary clinic.
  • Single rooms: only for animals that are absolutely incompatible with others.
  • Exercise area: for dogs, so that they can fulfil their need to run around.
  • Infirmary: for the care of sick animals.
  • Quarantine station: so animals that were found in uncertain circumstances or that have infectious diseases can be kept separate, for the protection of the healthy animals.


If you are searching for a good shelter, there are several criteria you should look out for. These will help you to quickly spot a well-managed shelter.

Share now!