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I volunteered at the animal shelter in San Marcos the entire summer (when I didn't have school or work).

One major problem I noticed was that the people that worked there to clean the cages for the cats and dogs seemed to HATE animals! All of us volunteers would end up re-cleaning after them.

The woman in charge of the "sanitary" cat room (where they stay a few days to make sure they don't have any diseases) was extremely overweight and refused to clean the bottom cages...she always tried to keep the cats in the top cages, but when there were a lot and some had to go on the bottom, their cages were NEVER cleaned! I wasn't allowed in that room without supervision, but I would sneak in and clean the bottom cages as quick as I could, because otherwise the lady would yell at me for trying to undermine her if I did it in front of her. She also was notorious for 3 hour lunch breaks...

The dogs were only walked if volunteers showed up...they weren't allowed off leashes and weren't allowed to play with toys in the 20x20 grass area....and they had no chart to show which dogs had been walked when. SO some would get walked 3x, and some never.

They also never had a trainer work with the dogs. It was a no kill shelter so some dogs had lived there over 6 months because they had behavior problems that could have been easily fixed. We were not allowed to give treats and not even teach them to sit.

Is this how animal shelters normally are? I have only volunteered at one and it discouraged me a lot. The animals would have been adopted out quicker if the employees actually cared...
 

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I think a lot of shelters are having a difficult time right now. Most of the problem is with lack of funding, but the lady that I coordinate some of the stuff I do for a rescue group said they're having a tough time with volunteers as well.
I know that the Minnesota Valley Humane Society was forced to close at the end of December due to funding problems. They were a fairly large organization and had a lot of volunteers.

I also wonder if some of it isn't stress over being so overwhelmed.
 

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That is NOT how my shelter is run. 93% adoption rate, non-government funded(everything is based on donations, we just have had and continue to have generous donors), we have trainers, we just recently got the OK to have a full-time vet, we offer training classes for shelter dogs and dogs that aren't at the shelter(different kinds of training based on level), agility classes(I am thinking of getting Molly into it.) we offer low cost vaccine clinics, low cost spay/neuter(and financial assistance and its already low), there is a marketplace that sells basically anything dog or cat related, there is a pet hotel, and pet groomers. Volunteers and staff all work to help the animals and keep the cleaned and up to date with health. On each kennel door there is a kennel card with basic info on the dog(they also have cards for cats too) there is also a kennel sheet which has the dogs basic info along with any information such as:any health issues, special diets, energy level, whether or not the dog is good with cats or other dogs, what age level of kids it can be with.

They also have summer camps for kids, Animal Assisted Therapy, and mobile adoptions, and tons more.

But there are some shelters who are not as fortunate as us. Sometimes they are so overwhelmed, people who really just don't care, lack of funding.
 

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Trust me...it's a country club compared to many out there...the conditions would sicken you.
 

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Yes, the state of animal shelters is often deplorable.

Ours is small and out dated and too exposed to the elements. It is run by the local police dept in a small town.

Recently, they began allowing volunteers to help. Thanks to a new employee who is vibrant, the recently had a month with 80 percent adoption rate. They always fill right back up. Facebook has been a great tool for them.
 

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I've pulled a lot of dogs out of different animal shelters over the last several years. My view into them isn't as deep as Roxy's is, but I get a nice overview of a bunch of different ones. Some are wonderful, with volunteers and employees who truly care about animals and fairly nice facilities. Others are horrible, with "volunteers" who are only there because a judge makes them and employees who some to actively hate animals.
 
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