Animal shelters in general don’t seem to be doing any significant harm to the environment — but shelters, like most buildings, can be more efficient. The US Green Building Council promotes what they call LEED (“Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, which rates the level of energy efficiency and environmental friendliness of a given structure. Some argument can be made that confining a number of different animals in a single location can increase the risk of disease among the animals — but most shelters take precautions against this by using proper ventilation and kennels. Wild animals do sometimes damage property, get into garbage and chemicals.
It seems that a majority of shelters that are not designated “no-kill” shelters incinerate the bodies of animals — which can raise pollution levels. This should be balanced against the environmental impact of disposing of an animal improperly, which can contribute to water and land contamination.
If the shelter is not following city guidelines by maintaining a sanitary facility, then I’d say yes. Animals should not free to roam, the facility should be kept clean, and any any safety hazards should be addresses. Failure to do so may have a negative effect on the local area.
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