Most veterinarians will tell you that the best way to keep your shelter animals health is to keep your animal population low. In today’s world of No Kill, people don’t want you to euthanize any animal, even aggressive animals, if you have open cage space.
Some foolish States created laws preventing the euthanasia of shelter animals if open cage space is available. The people creating those laws did not have the common sense to understand that open cage space is necessary to provide for incoming animals. Without open cage space, every new animal intake would create a crisis: do you force the doubling of animals in cages or quickly euthanize an animal to make space on every intake?
Maintaining an animal shelter at full capacity creates stress on the animals. Animals under stress are more likely to get sick. A shelter full of sick animals is a shelter’s worst nightmare.
Even shelter maintaining the proper population balance will hit a crisis when animals are dumped on them from natural disasters or hoarding cases. Usually longer holding periods will be required during natural disasters in hope of the pet’s owner returning home. Hoarding cases often require holding periods to get the owner through the court process; these holding periods could easily exceed months.
The business of animal sheltering frequently forces shelter management to move from one crisis to another. When tough decisions are made to manage the overpopulation at an animal shelter, the No Kill folks will be first to criticize the those decision when they see an empty cage.