A Day in the Life at an Animal Shelter

Discovering the Daily Routines and Tasks at an Animal Shelter.

Every day at animal shelters across the world, dedicated staff and volunteers work tirelessly to care for and protect our furry friends. From feeding and cleaning, to providing medical attention and finding loving homes, no day at an animal shelter is ever the same. Our shelter at Malaysian Animal Welfare Association (MAWA) is no exception, and their typical day is a whirlwind of activity as we strive to improve the lives of animals in their care. While some tasks may take priority over others, this is what a typical day at MAWA looks like.

1. Morning Feeding

The first order of business on a typical day at an animal shelter is feeding all the animals in the care of the shelter. Depending on the size and resources of the shelter, this can be as simple as putting out self-serve food troughs for cats and dogs or as complex as cooking multiple meals for a variety of species throughout the morning. The staff at animal shelters must be mindful to provide diets tailored to each animal's specific needs and make sure all animals get their prescribed meals.

2. Cleaning

Cleaning is essential for any animal facility, especially one that takes in abandoned and rescued animals from around its community. This can include scrubbing down cages, floors, walls, and litter boxes to ensure a healthy environment for all its four-legged guests. Staff may also tidy up common areas like play yards, courtyards, hallways or sidewalks around the building if they are regularly frequented by visitors or pet boarders.

3. Medical Care

Taking care of sick or injured animals is one way that qualified veterinarians and technicians contribute in an animal shelter setting. Depending on their expertise and skill level, they may perform anything from routine checkups to more detailed surgical procedures involving anesthesia administration or intravenous injections of medications at certain points in recovery based on a patient’s condition.

4. Socialization & Exercise Time

Once any medical needs have been taken care of for the day, it's time for some socializing between pets staying at the shelter as well as exercise! Animals tend not to do well when kept isolated so social opportunities help them feel more content but supervised interactions also help reduce any possible aggressive tendencies so everyone stays safe in such a tight environment. For active pets like dog breeds like retrievers or huskies that need frequent exercise, staff may let them off their leashes (in secure outdoor areas) where they can safely roam free while they practically drag their handlers along during walks or runs!

5. Mental Stimulation & Enrichment Activities

While physical exercise will always be important for overall health and wellbeing, many unadopted pets end up feeling depressed because of the lack of human interaction coupled with long periods of boredom due to lack of mental stimulation throughout their days at the shelter — something that is often hard to come by with overcrowded spaces being what they are! In order to combat this situation (which often leads to destructive behaviors) staff at these shelters come up with enrichment activities such as playing music/age-appropriate videos in kennels/cages throughout lunch hours; providing petting sessions & treats; introducing toys like puzzles & balls which provide problem solving challenges; games focusing on smells that stimulate curiosity & alertness; giving tasty rewards...all kinds of fun stuff! It would take up its own listicle just discussing this topic alone!


A day in the life of an animal shelter, including at the Malaysian Animal Welfare Association (MAWA), involves a variety of tasks including feeding, cleaning, medical care, socialization and exercise, and mental stimulation activities. These daily routines help ensure that all the animals in the shelter are healthy, happy, and comfortable while they await their forever homes. To support the important work of organizations like MAWA, we encourage you to consider making a donation or following their social media channels on Facebook and YouTube. By supporting these shelters, we can help make a difference in the lives of animals in need. Click on the links below to check out our channels.

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