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Public-images-osm logo.svg amenity = animal_shelter
Kennel 2.jpg
A shelter for animal recovery. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: animals
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areas (and multipolygon relations)should not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Useful combination
See also
Status: approvedPage for proposal

An animal shelter is a facility where animals in trouble are brought and facility's staff (volunteers or not) feeds them and cares of them, rehabilitating and healing them if necessary. This definition includes kennels for abandoned dogs, catteries for abandoned cats, shelters for other abandoned pets and wildlife recovery centres.


Tag Description
amenity=animal_shelter Mandatory, the main tag to identify a place as an animal shelter.
animal_shelter=<animal>[;<animal>...] Optional, it lists the kinds of animals kept in the shelter.
For more info on how to set <animal>, see Kinds of animals accepted.
animal_shelter:<purpose>=yes/no/<animal>[;<animal>...] Optional, it specifies the reason why animals are in the shelter, see Shelter's purpose for <purpose> values.
If you set this tag, you must also list all kinds of animals accepted in animal_shelter=<animal>: if all animals are kept for the same purpose, set yes in this tag, otherwise set a different list of animals.
For more info on how to set <animal>, see Kinds of animals accepted.
If one or more animals are kept for different purposes, set an animal_shelter:<purpose>=<animal>[;<animal>...] subkey for each purpose.
name=* Optional, it specifies the name of the facility.
operator=* Optional, it specifies the company, corporation, person or any other entity who is in charge the facility.

These tags should be used to tag the whole facility area. If within this area you can distinguish buildings, lawns, courtyards, fences, you can tag them properly with building=yes, landuse=grass and so on.

Shelter's purpose

The main reasons why animals are kept in a shelter are specified with the subkey <purpose>:

<purpose> Description Concept on Wikidata
adoption to give animals (usually stray pets) up for adoption; [W]Q7171565
release to rehabilitate injured animals (usually wildlife) and then release them in nature. [W]Q69676094
sanctuary to care for abused or abandoned animals (usually animals that were rescued from animal farms and/or wildlife that can't be released back into nature) for their remaining life. [W]Q1533036

Kinds of animals accepted

To specify which kinds of animals are kept in the facility you have to insert them in the value field using the common English singular form (e.g. dog and not dogs, bird and not birds).

Multiple kinds of animals: you can set multiple values at the same time if the facility keeps more than one kind of animals, for example dogs and cats. In this case you have to separate values with semicolon ";".

animal_shelter Animals accepted Concept on Wikidata
dog dogs [W]Q144
cat cats [W]Q146
horse horses [W]Q726
wildlife any species of wild animals [W]Q241741
fish any species of fishes [W]Q152
amphibian any species of amphibia [W]Q10908
reptile any species of reptiles [W]Q10811
bird any species of birds [W]Q5113
mammal any species of mammals [W]Q7377
sea_mammal any species of sea mammals ?
sea_animal any species of sea animals (i.e. sea mammals, sea turtles, fishes...) [W]Q1230015
<user defined> a kind of animals or a group of animals you can specify. You should prefer commonly used values according to Taginfo

Scientific name: If you want to specify the scientific animal's name you can add additional tags species=*, or genus=*, or taxon=*. This is optional, the main tag is as described above.

Sheltering service as secondary activity

A structure of any type with its own main purpose (e.g. a veterinary or an animal boarding facility) can offer animal sheltering as secondary service. In this case the facility should be tagged according to its main purpose (e.g. amenity=veterinary, amenity=animal_boarding) and then add a secondary tag that is:

Tag Description
animal_shelter=yes/no/<animal>[;<animal>...] Sheltering service is offered for listed animals; use yes only if you don't know the kinds of animals accepted.
For more info on how to set <animal>, see Kinds of animals accepted.


Potential Renderings:

Dog shelter icon.png for adoption shelters
Deer shelter icon.png for release in nature shelters


Tagging Description
amenity=animal_shelter A generic animal shelter, unknown type of animals kept, unknown reason why they are there
A shelter for dogs (a kennel), unknown reason why dogs are kept
A shelter for dogs, a kennel that gives dogs up on adoption
A shelter for any species of wild animals, that rehabilitates and releases them in nature
A shelter for any species of birds and sea animals, that rehabilitates and releases them in nature
A shelter for dogs, cats and wildlife, it gives dogs and cats up on adoption and releases wild animals in nature
A shelter for cats, a cattery that gives cats up on adoption, but it also boards owned cats as secondary service
A shelter for dogs and cats that gives both of them up on adoption but boards only cats as secondary service
A veterinary that offers, as secondary services, sheltering for stray dogs and cats and boarding for owned cats

Related tags

See also

Possible tagging mistakes

Note that at least some shelter_type=animal_shelter are definitely not for amenity=animal shelter but for some other feature, see https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/1019812059

If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!

External links