Tis the season …. to take a new tack

I love going to the woods with the dogs. On a lovely mild morning like this, its hard to imagine that December is waiting in the wings, just a few days away. For some folks, that means they are starting to seriously ‘shop’ for the new puppy or kitten for the family for the holidays.

At one time, rescues and shelters were adamant about not adopting during the holiday season …indeed there are still pockets of that philosophy to be found in rescues everywhere. Who could blame the rescues … after years of picking up the pieces after the holiday shine had worn off the impulse purchases at the pet stores?

But the heart wants what the heart wants …. and when families are determined to get a pet … they will get a pet. Although the holidays might not seem like the most opportune time, for many families the extra time off work and school make it a great time to introduce a new family member.

Is it really in the best interests of the animals not to adopt out during the holidays? Why send potential adopters off to the pet stores when there are so many wonderful pets waiting in the wings? Does not even the most streamlined adoption application process protect the animals from the impulse buy?

It would be more to the point to pull out all the stops to promote the animals … starting with off site adoptions. The reason that businesses all advertise heavily for the holidays is because they understand the value of having their name out in the public eye. Why are offsite adoptions a critical part of the No Kill Matrix? The answer is very simple … they are the best way for animal welfare groups and shelters to ‘advertise”.

Taking the animals out where potential adopters can meet them is one of the best ways to reach the vast majority of the animal loving public… the ones who never go to the animal welfare websites or shelters. It really is like a little miracle that the animals can promote themselves best of all!

Its also a dandy time to think about adoption incentives … and before the keyboards catch on fire … adoption incentives are never just about the money. Last year, SHAID’s Home for the Holidays helped all of the pets in the care. Why? Because any adoption incentive is an attention getter. Its why CAPS is still running its BOGO that they originally were only going to run for a month. Its why LA Animal Shelter keeps its special adoption rates on for its kitties and why P.E.T. PROJECTS dropped their fees in lieu of donations.

This is the time for shelters to advertise holiday open houses, such as CAPS are having on December 13th.

Successful businesses never underestimate the value of customer appreciation and usually send cards to their customers during the holidays. In these budget conscious days, even an e card or special holiday message could be a great investment in ‘customer’ relations for animal rescue groups.

Many kind, caring families prefer to start from scratch with a youngster. All too often they are unaware of how many lovely ones are available for adoption. Yet, nearly half the pets listed this morning on the homeless pet site are puppies and Young Dogs … or Kittens and young cats. What better time than the holiday season to send posters promoting adoptable puppies and kittens to all the vet clinics and animal related businesses in the province?

What time is it? Its time to do the math .. every pet that is adopted over the holiday season does triple duty …. because each one represents:

  • one less pet that will be bought from a pet store …
  • which means that there is one less potential problem waiting in the wings for later and of course last but not least
  • that there will then be room to save one more good pet.

More than that … its time to remember the truth of the old saw …. doing the same thing is the best way to guarantee getting the same results.

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