Just because a pet is in need shouldn’t make them any less wanted. Just like us, animals can find themselves in circumstances that they can’t help, like a natural disaster or the financial stress of their previous owners. These situations, while heartbreaking, have lead to the misconception that shelter animals can be distrustful, aggressive or have behavioral issues, when in reality they’re simply animals that found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, or, were picked up by animal control just a few blocks from home.

This also means that animals of any age can find themselves in the care of shelters. Many people also assume that only older animals find themselves without a home, when in reality there is no age limit to needing rescue! You can find animals at all different stages in their life, from infants to seniors, that are simply looking for someone to love them.

And just because they're currently in the care of a shelter, doesn’t mean that they’re more likely to exhibit bad behavior. Whether you’re looking at an animal from a store or from a shelter, pet ownership presents challenges no matter how you look at it. All new pets will require some form of training or trust-building, regardless of whether or not they’ve had previous owners. In fact, it’s more likely that shelter pets already know some basic commands or have experience around people that can make the transition into a new home even easier.

Unlike when humans find themselves needing a helping hand, pets are unable to communicate where they’re from and how they got there, and this is the first step to shaking off the shackles of shelter misconceptions.

Regardless of how or why an animal ended up in a shelter, they all have one thing in common: they need a home, and there’s no greater reward then changing a pet’s life for the better when they need it most.