An animal shelter or pound is a place where stray, lost, abandoned or surrendered animals, mostly dogs and cats, and sometimes sick or wounded wildlife are kept and rehabilitated. While no-kill shelters exist, it is sometimes policy to euthanize sick animals, and any animal that is not claimed quickly enough by a previous or new owner. In Europe, of 30 countries included in a survey, all but four (Czech republic, Germany, Greece, and Italy) permitted the killing of healthy stray dogs. Critics believe the new term "animal shelter" is generally a euphemism for the older term "pound". The word "pound" had its origins in the animal pounds of agricultural communities, where stray livestock would be penned or impounded until claimed by their owners. Some shelters even have sick tropical animals.
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