One of the most confusing and damaging trends in the animal sheltering industry currently is the overwhelming number of limited-admission animal shelters in existence. Organizations that don’t take in animals, or that take in animals only on their terms and timelines are shutting themselves off from their community. Just like a country-club that restricts entry, protocols such as these set an organization off as a ’boutique rescue’ able to help the lucky few that get through their doors and let the others fend for themselves.
This model has its roots in areas of the country that have reached balanced companion animal populations and are now able to pick and choose the animals that come through their doors. The problem lies in the stray and owner surrendered animals that now have nowhere to go. By turning away individuals with these animals in need an organization is saying ‘we’re not here for your animals.’ And if they’re now…who is?
Municipal shelters, those currently struggling the greatest were formed because stray and homeless animals had nowhere to go. Running a limited-admission shelter in an area of the country that has not reached balanced companion animal populations is turning a blind eye to those animals in need, taking crucial resources from the municipal shelter (forced to handle everything that the limited admission shelter doesn’t) and putting an unnecessary burden on the staff. If you have successful adoption, foster, and volunteer programs there should be no need to limit admission to the few.