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The Minimum Requirement Guide for Dogs in Shelters

Sue Sternberg

The Sue Sternberg
Minimum Requirement Guide
For Dogs in Shelters:

Every Shelter Dog Needs: (the following list applies to ALL shelter dogs–strays, owner-surrenders, adoptions, cruelty-holds, D.O.H. bite holding cases, EBRS, long-term holding cases, etc.)

  • A Bed. I don’t care if he chews his bedding, defecates on it every night, urinates on it, or chooses to push it out of the way. Every dog deserves something soft and dry to sleep on.
  • Toys. The animal shelter is a highly competitive, high-stress environment, especially for puppies and adolescents. Shelter dogs should be saturated with things to chew on and gnaw on and play with. Toys can be rotated every few days, bones can be stuffed with peanut butter, cream cheese, canned dog food, etc. Rawhides are especially important. The benefits of chewing far outweigh the risk of an obstruction!
  • A Name. A dog can learn a new name within a few days, and I believe having a name while at the shelter and having to re-learn a new one when adopted is less stressful than not having a name at all until finally adopted. Shelter dogs deserve to be identified and referred to by a name, and not a case number. I think the public is less intimidated by a shelter filled with dogs with names, as opposed to case numbers.
  • To Be Clean and Dry. No dog should have to endure being wet from hosing/cleaning techniques, or be covered in excrement or urine on a daily basis.
  • To Have the Lights Off at Night. Even Captain Kirk and the crew aboard the Enterprise had a simulated nighttime in outer space … Dogs also need a peaceful few hours to sleep deeply and uninterrupted.


  • To Be Petted, and In Direct Human Physical Contact for at least 20 minutes DAILY: If an adoption dog is too aggressive, or too mouthy to walk or be played with, why is he up for adoption?
  • If Kenneled Indoors Only: To get out and enjoy the great outdoors, DAILY.
  • If Kenneled Outdoors Only: To come indoors and acclimate to a home like setting, DAILY. ANYTHING LESS IS JUST WAREHOUSING ANIMALS.

Courtesy of
Sue Sternberg
Rondout Valley Animals for Adoption
4628 Rt. 209
Accord, NY 12404
Telephone: (914) 687 – 7619


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