Shelter 17, as seen in the intro
Elm Street, Downtown
Shelter 17 is the main setting of Pound Puppies. Most of the main characters take up residence here.
The building design, white stucco with reddish-orange roof tiles, is a style based off of Spanish architecture in the Americas and common in former Spanish colonies such as Florida and the Southwestern states (notably California).
The sidewalk in front of the shelter contains a bus stop and a blue collection box. The pound's main structure is a small building facing the street that serves as Leonard McLeish's office. A large sign over McLeish's office displays a blue silhouette resembling Lucky. Under it is a smaller bone-shaped sign labeled “Pound”, rendered in the same font as the Pound Puppies logo. The awning above the front door to McLeish's office bears the number "17". A gate next to the office leads into a roadway that wraps around the building and separates it from the grass, where the kennels lie.
Some of the kennels are caged-in so that their residents are separate, while others lead to an open, grassy area. This grassy area also contains two shacks: a grooming station ("Pound Preemies") and a storage facility ("Rebound")
Pound Puppy Tunnels
Several tunnel slides, hidden under various food bowls, lead into the tunnels that make up the Pound Puppy Headquarters of Shelter 17. The tunnels took years to finish, and are reinforced by wooden columns such as the ones commonly seen in mines. The tunnels radiate from a large room and lead to other rooms, other kennels, places like McLeish's office, and nearby alleys and bushes. The Free Kid Database is located in one of the smaller rooms.
- Leonard McLeish is the head-dogcatcher of Shelter 17. He hates dogs, and only accepted his job at the shelter because it would allow him to move up the ranks of jobs within the city (Head of Sewage is considered an improvement). He is brother-in-law with the Mayor and wishes to impress him.
- Olaf is the kind dog-loving keeper of the pound. He is in charge of making sure its residents are cared for and for keeping the building looking nice, going so far as to decorate for Halloween and Christmas (feats which McLeish berates him for, as the dogs "don't know which day it is"). Despite his love for dogs, he follows any orders his superior, Mr. McLeish, gives him, no matter what it would mean for him or the dogs.
- Officer Ketchum is the "streetman" for the shelter. He never talks and only appears to drop off dogs at the pound from his animal control truck.
Shelter 17 is surrounded by four streets, each one on one side of the block the property lies on. According to the address on a poster Squirt made in "Rebound", the pound's address is on "Elm Street". The mother from "Catcalls" refers to the shelter as "the dog pound on Third." This is consistent with "Mutternal Instincts", where a "Third Street School" is apparently located nearby, although it is never shown.
Shelter 17's first appearance was in the episode "The Yipper Caper", where it was chosen to try out an automatic dog feeder. The shelter is also shown to contain an automatic back scratcher and a microphone bug hidden in Mr. McLeish's cupholder that allows the Pound Puppies to hear in on his conversations. The bug appears in later episodes, although the scratcher does not. An adoption at the shelter becomes the subject of a human interest story by reporter Carlton J. Stankmeyer.
In the episode "Toyoshiko! Bark Friend Machine", it's mentioned that the tunnels that run under Shelter 17 weakened the ground beneath it and that anymore weight would cause one of the tunnels to collapse. Studel and Toyo create a machine that can tunnel through the concrete surrounding the pound to try and fix this problem, and create a new tunnel while trying to escape. It's also mentioned that Lucky and the team have caused Shelter 17 to "have the best placement system in the world."
The kennel becomes the center of a major news story when Cap Wilder discovers an alligator underneath it.
Milton Feltwaddle takes over the pound in "McLeish Unleashed", and turns it into what can be described as a "prison". He also invents a machine that is based on the flawed idea that a pup's perfect person looks like himself. Interestingly, this idea, although seen as flawed, was the basis of the human interest story in episode 1.
Shelter 17 serves as a refuge for Slick and Chip in "I Never Barked for My Father", which is against the rules, as a dog has to be either looking for his or her perfect person or be working for the Pound Puppies in order to be offered shelter.
The pound became the center of another major news story in "There's Something About Camelia", when Camelia, a pup who matches well with anyone she comes in contact with, making her the target of nearly every person looking for a dog in the city. McLeish attempted to take advantage of this by trying to give her away to State Senator Foster, in order to impress him enough to let him move up the ranks.
When Rebound accidentally sang in front of a human in "The Accidental Pup Star", nearly revealing the secret that dogs can talk to the world, McLeish tried to take advantage of this and told the media that he was the owner of the dog (his mother is), causing yet another major news story.
- For the 9 Story Entertainment episodes (episodes 1-7), the sign above the office showed a silhouette of a boxer. The DHX episodes (episode 8 onward) replaced it with a silhouette of Lucky.
- Nearly every other animal shelter seen on the show appears to be built from the same blueprints as Shelter 17. These include pounds built in Milwaukee, Tokyo (with the addition of a large metal cone), and the Happy Valley Shelter in the same city. An exception would be Shelter 52, seen in promotional artwork and in "Mutternal Instincts".
- Despite aerial views showing the Shelter to have streets on all sides, "Lucky Has to Move" shows that there is a house next door to it.
- The name "Shelter 17" is a reference to the titular Prisoner of War camp in the movie Stalag 17.
- Many aspects of the pound, from its runners to its design, are based off of Stalag 13 from the 1960's television series Hogan's Heroes.