Unfortunately the sheer number of new animals entering into shelters everyday necessitates some means of “control.” One form of control is to spay and neuter animals to prevent reproduction. However if a dog is not adopted, according to the Humane Society of the US, a shelter must house strays for at minimum five days after which they can be put to sleep. The method of termination is a lethal injection of sodium pentobarbital by a trained professional. On the other hand, there are cases where animals that are not adopted formally have been taken into the homes of shelter employees.
It depends on the shelter. In a regular shelter, these animals often get put to sleep, as sad as it is. In a no-kill shelter, they are simply cared for by the shelter.
Unfortunately, most of the animals that are not found homes are often put to sleep. Especially in high-kill areas of the country that are not able to provide other options like fostering or permanent homes. However, at certain facilities if a dog is not adopted it is able to happily live out the rest of its days at the shelter. Places like this include the PAWS facility based out of Chicago, IL.
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