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Why would a shelter/rescue discourage adoptions?

Discussion in 'Rescue & Adoption' started by KC Dog Blog, Dec 15, 2011.

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    Shelters and rescues exist primarily for two reasons -- to be a safe haven for homeless pets until they find their forever home and to help these pets find their homes. And yet, every year around this time, I find it amazing at how many shelters and rescues are actively out DISCOURAGING adoptions -- which is exactly the opposite of what their goal should be.

    Earlier this week, a fairly new blog called "PetMoz" wrote an article entitled "Please think twice before putting that puppy or kitten under the tree" that included seven "Reasons not to give puppies or kittens as holiday gifts."

    Meanwhile, Marji had a blog posting this week that featured another bad advertisement with the headline "What are YOU returning this holiday season? Sweaters don't die when returned. Dogs are not gifts" -- featuring, of course, a dog in a jail cell.

    Dogtime ran a story: "Holiday puppies: A nightmare after Christmas?"

    The Humane Society in Grand Junction, CO is also telling people to resist the urge to adopt a pet as a Christmas present.

    AllVoices.com calls puppies "one of the gifst you should never give a person, especially at Christmas."

    Twitter and Facebook continue to be littered with similar messages - -that actively discouraging adoptions. It's painful to witness -- as these shelters are discouraging adoption while animals remain in shelters waiting to be adopted.
    Anyone else see a disconnect?

    Yes, it's true that sometimes people make bad decisions about giving pets as gifts for the holidays to people who don't neccessarily want, or need, a pet.
    And yet, the holidays can be an awesome time for families to adopt. Most people have a lot of time off during the holidays to spend working the new puppy into the family home. And puppies can make great gifts for the entire family -- as long as everyone is at the table to help in the decision-making and selection process.

    Last weekend at our shelter, a family came in looking for a pet for the holidays. All five members of the family were there: mother, father, and three kids. The youngest daughter kept saying to her mother "Puppy, Christmas? Puppy Christmas?" It was sweet, and the familly was there picking out the dog together -- with the parents fully understanding the long-term commitment of adoption as some volunteers helped pair them up with a dog that would fit their family lifestyle. Why would we disourage this?
    There are plenty of ways to responsibly adopt around the holidays -- and this is something we should ENCOURAGE, not discourage. So encourage people to adopt responsibly during the holidays. Encourage them to bring the entire family to your shelter to meet a new family member. Help them find a pet that fits their lifestyle. Help them to understand the lifetime commitment. And help them have a great holiday with their new pet.

    This should be a joyous time, and people LOVE the idea of doing good around the holidays, and giving back to the community. What could make someone feel better than adopting a dog or cat from their local shelter for the holidays.

    Embrace it. It's an awesome opportunity to adopt out pets. Don't discourage adoptions with doom and gloom messaging. It's counter-productive, and illogical for a group responsible for adopting out pets to do.

    Merry Christmas -- and Happy Adoptions.

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