Early in my career, I worked out a deal with the local newspaper to accept my photographs of animals that I had in the shelter. It was not uncommon for me to run the same animals week after week in hopes of finding a home for that animal.
I was approached by the Police Chief claiming that one of the City Council had noted that he was seeing animals listed week after week; he saw that as evidence that I was not “cleaning house.” The Chief ordered that I euthanize any animal that had been in the shelter over two weeks.
Today, people get upset if your are thinking of euthanizing an animal that has been in the shelter months or years. Clearly things have changed. The decision to hold an animal depends of many things: your holding space, the chances of adoption for that animal, the mental and physical condition of the animal, the ability to provide diversions for the animal (long walks, socializing, etc.). Just as it is inhumane to kill an animal prematurely, it is just as inhumane to keep an animal caged its entire life.