Classic example of terrified dog at an animal shelter as seen in a video

I think all people should see this little video. It is uncomfortable to see. Perhaps many people already realise what is going on when they see this kind of video. I don’t know but it does show how terrified dogs and cats can be at an animal shelter. I list below, briefly, the reasons for this.

Previous traumatic experiences: Many dogs and indeed cats at animal shelters have suffered traumatic experiences before they were rescued and brought to an animal shelter. They might have been abandoned, neglected and abused which has led to them being fearful and anxious. So, when they come to a shelter, they are already fearful and the shelter itself will make them more fearful because it’s a new and strange environment.

Change and uncertainty: The very fact that a dog or cat is coming into a completely different environment can make them anxious at least and fearful at worst. Dogs and cats are creatures of habit and they like routine because it’s reassuring. Being brought into a shelter disrupts the familiar surroundings and expose them to unfamiliar sounds, smells and sights. The change can be overwhelming and cause them to feel scared. They seek to hide but they can’t even hide because the cage is too small. This probably makes him feel even more frightened. Fearful animals should have a place to hide to help them cope.

Lack of socialisation: Some dogs and cats brought to shelters are not fully socialised which means they are not fully acclimatised to interacting with people. They find people scary. And suddenly they are trust into an environment where there are lots of people and lots of noise and other animals. They might not be socialised to animals either. All this adds to a sense of insecurity and fear.

Loud noises and crowded spaces: As mentioned, animal shelters can be noisy. They are crowded. If the shelter is full of other animals which appears to be the case not infrequently, there’s more commotion and noise. There’s barking and there are strangers. All this adds to a poor environment provoking the dog to find a place to hide.

Stress and overstimulation: Dogs and cats are almost bound to feel high levels of stress due to the confinement, the unnaturalness of the place, the sterility of the place, a lack of exercise and limited mental stimulation and, as mentioned again, the lack of a place to hide in. The stress can be manifested as fear and anxiety.

Not all dogs or cats feel this way. Some manage well and they can be confident individuals who are often adopted quite quickly. But patience with these fearful dogs and cats can bring out their natural character making them highly adoptable. It’s a great shame that the shelter environment per se can encourage dogs to be unadoptable because of a temporary change in their character. This can end up badly in euthanasia.

Fostering out can save their lives.

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Post Category: Animal shelters