Many people make negative associations about pets that are in animal shelters. Often the animals in shelters aren’t there because they  have difficult behavior or health issues, it is because they have become a victim of circumstances beyond their control. Here are a few of the most common reasons pets are found at animal shelters. We hope this helps you to clear up some of the common misconceptions and myths about shelter pets!

#1: Moving is the number one reason pets are given to a shelter. While moving is sometimes an excuse used by owners that simply no longer want their pet, since pets can of course move with their families, many companion animals really can’t move with their families. They are relinquished because an owner has died, is relocating to a senior-care facility, or has no choice but to move into low-income housing that prohibits their pets.

#2: Cost of regular pet care. Especially in today’s economy, families often are forced to move in with other family members where their pets are not allowed, or cut back drastically on their living costs, including being able to feed and care for their pets.

#3: Lost pets. One of the most avoidable reasons that pets find themselves at the shelter is because they got lost and did not have a microchip or tag to facilitate a reunion. Some pets are lost for months, and end up in a shelter after their family has stopped looking for them.

#4: Adolescent pets are the most common age group seen at shelters. Often families buy or acquire an adorable puppy or kitten, not realizing the time and effort needed to care for and train a young pet.

#5: Pets as gifts. Especially pets  given as surprise gifts often end up in a shelter either because recipients were not involved in the selection process, the pet is not a match for their lifestyle, and no one planned to care for them.

These are just a few of the real reasons wonderful adoptable pets end up in an animal shelter. You can find a pet like these in your local animal shelter or rescue by using the searches available at and give a deserving pet like these a loving home.