Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Time to come out of the cocoon

What a great morning to go to the woods!   The horseflies didn't like that lovely light misting rain so we were able to go hiking down some of the trails we haven't dared to go down for a while.  It is so beautiful up on the ridge that its just frosting on the cake when we are treated to the sight of an eagle fishing in the river below us.
Last month, I was speculating about why more shelters and rescues in Nova Scotia weren't taking advantage of the free publicity available for those who signed up for the IAMS Home for the Holidays program.   At that time, the only ones onboard were SHAID and the Colchester SPCA ( who have mysteriously dropped off the list since then sadly.)
Its been a while since I popped into the Home for the Holidays site, so I was happy to see several SPCA Branches have signed on  .... Metro, Kings,
Cape Breton and Yarmouth .
The advertising campaign for this starts in the media on the first of October.  Each participating shelter or rescue gets a package that includes information on contacting the media along with media materials such as fill in the blank press releases.   Its almost frosting on the cake that their local radio and TV stations will be able to download IH4TH Public Service Announcements recorded by official IH4TH celebrity spokesperson and Academy Award winning actress Diane Keaton.
And while the program has become so wildly popular that there aren't always enough for everyone, IAMs also provides starter kits of goodies to offer holiday adopters.
There are still a lot of misconceptions about Holiday adoptions.   I really like what Nathan Winograd had to say about it  
“A kitten or puppy under the tree in December would end up in the shelter in January” was the dogma of the times and many shelters across the country actually refused to adopt out animals during this time of year. Taken to its logical conclusion, the argument is nothing more than “shelters should not do holiday adoptions because the animals may end up back at the shelter.” This, the thinking goes, is bad because shelters are bad places where animals are killed. The problem should be immediately obvious: the animals are already in the shelter! Stopping adoptions which would get them out of the shelter because they might end up back in it was bad enough. But not adopting them out ensures that the harm they claim to fear is all but assured—the animals will be killed, exacerbating shelter death rates
Holiday adoptions do not put pets at risk.  Why?  Because the adoption procedure puts the brakes on impulse.  One has to apply and have references checked.  If an adopter would meet all the criteria today, why shouldn't they be able to adopt in December?
At the end of the day, rescues and shelters are 'competing for the market share' when it comes to good pet homes.  To make matters worse, when they close their doors for the holiday season, the only thing they are really doing is encouraging potential adopters to turn to other sources for pets... sources that have a proven track record of creating all those problems for rescue later.
Why not LET folks adopt instead of scolding them? 
What time is it?   Until there are no more homeless pets in this province ... until there are no waiting lists ... until there are no more Unhappy Tails for the unwanted ... it is way past time for shelters and rescues to rethink their holiday adoption policy.
"If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies"  Author unknown.

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