Thursday, January 21, 2010

Talking the talk or actually walking the walk.

From the front door of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies site,
Nearly 1.4 million adopted through Iams Home 4 the Holidays
After setting its most aggressive pet adoption goal to-date – Iams Home 4 the Holidays (IH4TH) announced today that 1,363,638 million animals were adopted through the global program.
In Canada, more than 145 animal shelters participated in this annual adoption drive with more than 3,500 animal organizations participating world wide.
The following animals were adopted this year:
729,357 dogs
588,265 cats
46,016 other animals (including rabbits, reptiles, horses, birds and more)
Between Oct. 1 and Jan. 4, 2010, two-time Academy Award®-winning actress Hilary Swank acted as the IH4TH ambassador and Quebec actress and television personality Geneviève Brouillette acted as the French Canadian Program Ambassador.
“We were thrilled to once again partner with Iams for the Home 4 the Holidays campaign,” says Steve Carroll, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Federation of Humane Societies. “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of animal shelters from across Canada, we have made a significant impact on the lives of homeless animals in Canada.”
The 2010 program will kick-off on October 1.
Visit to learn more about how to make a difference in the life of an orphaned pet.

Out of that 1.4 million, how many were adopted from Nova Scotia? Zip. Nada. Not a one. Why was that? Don't we have compassion here in this province? Are we short of animal lovers?
No... the short version of this story is that not one of our Nova Scotia rescues or shelters signed up for the program. No sir ...instead there was a chorus singing the same old song about how irresponsible it would be of them to permit holiday adoptions.
Permit? Allow? Do none of these groups or shelters trust their own adoption screening process? Did they suddenly start passing pets out like candy without checking references?
Potential adopters are often responsible, animal loving ADULTS who tend to take a dim view of being dictated to.
The easiest job I ever had in the military was teaching in the military cooking school. Why would I say that when there was so much work and the hours were so long? Because the students, especially the privates, hadn't spent enough time in the working world to become set in their ways.
When the students came back for the equivalent of their journeyman's training, they were more resistant to change ... and by the time they came back for their senior management training there were very few open to anything new.
One of the cornerstones of the No Kill philosophy is the simple and beautiful idea that it is possible to stop the killing by increasing adoptions. How do they do that? By engaging in better customer relations, offsite adoptions, more user friendly shelter hours and embracing new social networking tools.
And before the keyboards catch on fire ... yes I know that the private rescues are not normally killing any of the pets in their care. But their ability to help the other animals ... the multitude of Unhappy Tails who can't find room at the inn .... is directly connected to how aggressively they promote the adoptables in their care.
Nor does the society get off the hook. There is no justification for branch closures over the holidays until they can at least get their total kill rate down below ten percent. Now in all fairness maybe that's the case this year, but we won't know until this years statistics are published, eh? But ... based on the stats to the end of Sept, the proverbial snowball has a better chance than that.
The Home for the Holidays campaign is almost as good as a winning lottery ticket. Every year there are ads in all the media to bring attention to the campaign. There is a well crafted and informative website for the campaign that allows interested potential adopters to learn more .. including which shelters are participating in the program.
Every group and shelter in the program is listed, with links back to their sites and contact information. Each and everyone of the 147 Canadian participants was there.
The 2010 campaign kicks off just before our Canadian Thanksgiving and will run until the holiday season is over.
What time is it? Its time for Nova Scotia rescue groups, breed rescues and shelters to embrace the concept so that this year their animals can get the attention they deserve.

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