To certain people, animal shelters, and specifically the term "stray," conjure up feelings of uneasiness and concerns about the animal's behavior. "A lot of people think there is something inherently wrong with pets in animal shelters. Purely for the reason that someone doesn't want them, something must be wrong with them," says Colvin. Buchwald believes the term "stray" is a misnomer. "The word 'stray' just means that an animal has just strayed from home. The animal was either abandoned or it wandered away and got lost," she says.
In fact, a shelter is an excellent place to acquire a safe and healthy pet because the shelter's main purpose is to tend to and revive lost and ailing animals. Animals may come into a shelter with an illness or a problem, but they are evaluated and cleared before being eligible for adoption. "We are providing state-of-the-art vet care with PhDs in animal behavior," says Buchwald. "Because our mission is to alleviate suffering and prevent cruelty, we are making sure we are giving the best of care."