Most people have this idealistic impression that an animal shelter is a utopian place where all the animals live a jolly life till the end of their days and “the more, the merrier”. This is far from true. While shelters try to offer animals a haven away from cruelty and road accidents, they too have limitations.

Shelters are run by animal welfare groups for a reason. When they respond to appeals to end cruelty and suffering - a puppy being beaten mercilessly, a cat hit by a vehicle or a cruel human, they must offer care and treatment to such an animal. If the animal survives and has nowhere to go back to, it is absorbed into the shelter to live out its days in safety.

So which animals should NOT go into shelters?

Kittens and pups that are in their mother's care should not be sent to shelters. Wait till the young ones are a month old, find homes for them and send the mother for sterilization after giving them precautionary vaccinations. Contact your local shelter for these precautions.

Healthy adult cats enjoy freedom, hunting and keeping the rodent population in control, protecting you from deadly diseases.

Pet animals are used to having families and when abandoned at a shelter, they often starve, fall seriously ill and eventually die. If a pet is found abandoned on the street, try finding it a new home.

Animal groups are overburdened, under-funded and struggle to find employees that care enough to work with animals. It is far better for all of us to do our bit. Take an injured animal to the vet, find homes for baby animals and send adults for birth control surgery after vaccinations.