Because the Greenwood County Animal Shelter is an “open-intake” facility, space and illness are the primary reasons why animals are humanely euthanized. The shelter facility, coupled with the high number of pet owners who allow their pets to freely reproduce, contributes to the majority of why animals that enter the shelter do not survive. The shelter is old and its design outdated allowing for illness to easily spread. The continued flow of incoming animals, plus budget constraints, prevents the medical treatment of the sick. Additionally animals do not thrive in a shelter environment. When animals are caged for long periods, or in some cases for a only a few days, they can demonstrate stereotypical behaviors, like pacing, repetitive jumping and circling, self-mutiliation, and mouthing kennel fencing. These are signals that the animal is digressing quickly and is in need of behavioral intervention and rehabilitation. Some call this behavior “cage craze.” The stress affects their immune systems, which puts them at higher risk of getting ill.

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