1. "No-Kill" Shelters Aren't Totally
In website words of one of first no-kill shelters, The San Francisco SPCA:
"(We)guarantee to find a home for all San Francisco's adoptable cats and dogs - animals that are healthy and free of serious behavior problems. Animals are euthanatized only if they are too sick to be rehabilitated, or too aggressive to be safely placed in a home."
2. Tax Supported Shelters Can't Turn Down Anyone
No-kill shelters have been criticized for skimming cream of abandoned pets and letting public, tax-supported shelters deal with all sick, aggressive and elderly animals.
There is truth to this. If you take Fido to a no-kill shelter, you may be required to have a clean bill of health from a Vet before shelter will accept him. People who won't or can't afford this wind up leaving Fido at county shelter.
3. Some Adoptions Don't Take
With pressure from animal rightists to avoid euthanizing animals, some shelters allow dogs to be adopted that shouldn't be.
The dogs have a history of biting or have chronic health problems. Typically, these problems may not be disclosed or mentioned so casually, a new dog owner doesn't understand gravity of situation.
Some shelters claim they don't take puppy mill dogs, but how could they possibly know dog's background! You most certainly can teach an old dog new tricks, but only an experienced person can train an aggressive dog.
If you ever decide to get a dog from a shelter, be sure to ask if dog has ever been adopted and then returned.
4. Personnel Is Biggest Problem at Any Shelter
Do you enjoy cleaning up after Fido? Imagine having to do it for a 100 strange dogs and for Cujo as well as Lassie. Salaries are low and even with government benefits, employee turnover is high.
At private shelters, problem is worse because so much depends on volunteers as I know from my volunteer days. How much time and attention a pet receives is dependent totally on number and quality of volunteers who participate.