Monday, December 20, 2010

When experience is the worst enemy

I love going to the woods on a beautiful crisp morning like this.   What's not to love?  The sound of the snow crunching underfoot?  Good traction on the snow?  Its just frosting on the cake that we generally have the trails to ourselves because most folks will wait for the day to warm up.
Its actually not more sensible to wait until it warms up ... because the small skiff of snow on the trails gets so darned slippery it just slows us down and we wouldn't be able to get anywhere near the ridge. 
Many rescues still think they are being sensible by not adopting out pets during the holiday season.  But what a slippery slope that is.   One rescuer I know was recently quoted in the media as saying that they " keep at least 14 foster homes open into February because that’s eight weeks after Christmas,”
Not to be mean ... but that is one of the best arguments that I can think of for allowing holiday adoptions.   At the risk of sounding like a stuck record ... if an adopter is going to pass the screening in September, there are rarely any good reasons to refuse them during the holiday season. 
Its important to remember that the adoption application process doesn't allow people to give pets as gifts .. nor does it accommodate the impulse "purchase"   It is even more important to remember that every pet adopted during the holiday season will be much less likely to cause extra work for rescues in February.
Families with young children often use the extra time during the holiday vacation to get everyone off on the right paw with the pet ... especially the children for whom this very likely may the first family pet.
How has the Home for the Holiday's program been working so far in Nova Scotia this year?   Its like anything else ... kind of a reap what ya sow thing, eh?
At SHAID, as of today,  Regal is the only one of the long term residents that were featured who still is waiting to be adopted .... the rest are home for the holidays because the shelter used Home for the Holidays along with adoption incentive.
Atlantic Small Dog Rescue only has two of its adoptables still waiting .. and their extra boost helped Dixie go home for the holidays after months of waiting.  
Metro has been doing very well ..... in 2008 they only adopted 40 pets between the first and twentieth of December ... this year in the same time frame they adopted 104 pets!  That is a very radical boost in numbers ... without any reduced adoption fees ...just by using the Home for the Holidays publicity and by rebranding their Festival of Lights to bring attention to their adoptables ( Light up the Holidays for a Pet this Season is still going on for two more days at the Halifax Shopping Center and the Sunnyside Mall ... for a modest five dollar donation you can help the animals and help light the tree :)
I haven't been talking to The Yarmouth SPCA yet, but with all the great incentives they are offering it would be a surprise if they haven't found a few homes there as well.
What time is it?  Its always time to remember that undercutting the competition of pet stores and the free online ad sites at the holiday season is a win win for rescue.
In times of rapid change, experience could be your worst enemy   J Paul Getty

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