What is the difference between a Municipal and
a Non-Municipal (Private) Animal Shelter?
I get asked about this a lot. Here's some quick facts:
A few additional things to note:
Some Municipal shelters, facing under-funding from the municipality and lack of support from taxpayers willing to increase taxes to fund the shelter properly, have still managed to achieve save rates equal to or exceeding no-kill shelters by creating a strong network consisting of rescue partners, private shelters, and foster parents.
Many private shelters are now re-branding as "Adoption Centers" to help avoid confusion with sanctuary organizations and Municipal shelters.
Some lucky Municipal shelters are well funded by the taxpayers. This is local taxpayer funding, from your sales tax or property taxes usually. This is not a State nor Federal domain. Many Municipal shelters, sadly, are not adequately funded for the charter they are given by the City or County, immediately forcing them into a no-win situation.
What you can do:
Every time there's a budget meeting at your City or County, they usually decide (like here) on whether to increase or cut funding to the shelter. Here they consistently refuse to increase it despite the fact the shelters is constantly overcrowded with cats and dogs who literally end up stacked in tiny crates in hallways, with no room to move, turn around or urinate/defecate except on the very blanket they are lying on. This is because the municipal shelter is REQUIRED by law to intake regardless of space.
If you feel your Municipal shelter is underfunded, understaffed, often out of space, you MUST show up at the Council meeting to ask for more funding. Get your friends to come with you. Most Politicians only respond to money (for them) and multiple voters telling them they won't hold office after the next election if they don't increase the funding. Every time there is a local election, there's often a ballot measure on there to spend money - and that money sometimes comes from the shelter budget (that happens here a lot too). READ the measure before you vote to ensure you're not voting out your animal shelter's funding.