Friday, September 24, 2010

Trying to cat(ch) a little more light

I love having pumpkins in my garden.  What's not to love?  They're easy to grow, are really disease resistant and make marvelous fall decorations.   Its almost frosting on the cake that pumpkin is also the key ingredient in so many of my old favourite recipes.
If you're not a gardener, not to worry.   This time of year it is impossible to shop anywhere without practically tripping on them.  Retailers know that pumpkins don't keep forever, so they pull out all the stops to minimize the amount that will wind up in the green bins.
Now people can ... and some do ... head out on the back roads to buy vegetables at the big U Picks.   Its a lot cheaper.  It makes an interesting excursion with the kids.  And best of all one is confident that the produce is local.
Why doesn't everyone do that? Because we live in a convenience focused society.  In many cases, both partners have to work to afford a house these days.  Add into that all the activities folks want time to enjoy and its easy to see why so people many take the simple road when they are shopping for anything.  Its the reason the big box supermarkets, thrive, eh?
It is the very reason why people still buy pets from pet stores.   People KNOW that the pets very likely come from puppy mills.   But people also know that their discounted designer clothes were likely created in sweatshops ... that the dollar store toys come from countries without our Canadian Standards Council ... and that the cheaper rice in the grocery stores might come with a higher health price tag than the organic rice in the health store.
People KNOW ... but if there is a conflict between convenience and social responsibility, convenience wins every time.   No matter how good, or kind or compassionate a person is there are only SO many hours in a day, hmm?
At the risk of sounding like a stuck record ... that is the very best argument for offsite cat adoptions.   There is not a single successful business that does not understand the value of advertising.  What is the best way to 'advertise' cat adoption?  Getting the cats out where more people can meet them.
Its just frosting on the cake that cat only adoption events offer a convenient alternative to the pet stores ... which is business speak is referred to as undercutting the competition.
Do we need laws to ban the sale of all pets in a pet store?  You bet.  But until we actually get them, the most effective tactic is to offer a convenient alternative for consumers with offsite cat adoptions.
After all, the differences between cats and dogs is more than purely anatomical.   There are no offleash cat parks where adoptables can be promoted by their fosters.   The numbers of cats available for adoption are so staggering that its no surprise that Petfinder listings for cats don't always get the same level of work as the ones for the dogs.  
Its the big reason that I'm building the Cat Galleries.  There are hundreds and hundreds of lovely kittens and cats available for adoption in Nova Scotia and unfortunately that still only represents the tip of the iceberg.
Its wonderful that so many have found safe sanctuary ( and before the keyboards catch on fire, yes I know that not all the cats in the society's care live to tell the tail, but THAT was one of the motivators for building the galleries, eh? )
But .... for every cat that has FOUND a safe berth there are at least a dozen turned away.   In some instances that is a dozen a day that are turned away!
But I don't want to wander afield here. 
Offsite cat adoption events are a proven part of the No Kill Equation.  Why? 
  • Is it because they boost adoptions? 
  • Is it that it brings Pet Adoption out in the public eye in a friendly and inviting way? 
  • Is it that each successfully adopted pet becomes an ambassador for pet adoption? 
  • Is it that each adopted pet represents one less customer for pet stores and the "free to a good homes" 
  • Is it that pets adopted from reputable rescues are already altered and so become part of the solution instead of being part of the problem?
Nope!  The correct answer is all of the above!  
What time is it?  Its always time to remember that offsite cat adoption events are a personal and pawsitive way to engage public interest in Pet Adoption.
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.  Plato

No comments: