Like any gardener, I always like to spice up my repertoire of favourites with a couple of new bits every year. Some, like okra, get added to the annual roster. Others take a bit of time to find their right niche in the yard. And a few simply become one hit wonders.
Truth be told, gardeners are masters at the old childhood game ... 'lets say' :) That is because gardening really is a journey .. not a destination. Without yesterday's science projects there would be no old standbys ... and we would still all be foraging for nuts and berries.
It is much the same with the No Kill Movement ... which began with the wonderful premise ...'lets say' we didn't kill millions of homeless pets every year.
Yesterday's science projects have a proven track record ... and there is now enough evidence to show that it is possible to adopt the way to No Kill.
Does this make the commercial pet breeders that form the mainstay of PIJAC nervous? You bet! In fact, the political ads we are seeing this month pale by comparison to the campaign afoot on the PIJAC website.
I was looking at it last night while perusing interesting documents such as 'Arguments against banning the sale of pets in pet stores'. Word to the wise, don't have any beverages in your mouth when reading about how pets stores are reliable, trusted sources that are part of the solution.... and if you have high blood pressure issues, please don't read the bit where they pull a quote from an industry study that claims that 51.9 % of all cats and dogs adopted from shelters in 2008 had health problems within one week of adoption.
That's pretty rich coming from an organization whose recommended Stocking Densities for pets in retail environments is measured in square centimeters and inches.
( Note from author ... when I popped into the site at time of writing there is a new emotional little video on the front door of their site inviting pet owners to help PIJAC become part of the solution. Who knows what new little tidbits we can look forward to? )
Lets face it .. the Pet Industry represents big bucks. The very fact that they have initiated this new campaign is real proof of the pudding that campaigning against selling pets in pet stores has elevated public awareness of the problem. Of course some of their own, like Bud Wheatley, have done a bit of consciousness raising as well, eh?
So how CAN the rescue community counteract such a campaign? Especially when PIJAC is so closely associated with our own 'national voice' for the animals? How can genuine non profit groups without big money PR budgets get their own message out?
With offsite adoptions of course! The animals make wonderful ambassadors! Even better, their healthy, friendly, fully vetted and altered selves are the most effective way to discredit the scare tactics being promoted by PIJAC. Best of all, every good pet adoption experience is the best possible PR for animal rescue in general and the shelter or group in particular.
Its almost frosting on the cake that it really boosts adoption rates, eh?
Tomorrow, the Yarmouth SPCA is holding another Adoption Fair at the Beacon Church Hall. Admission is free and one can even pick up Rappie Pie for five bucks! And of course, there will be beautiful cats and dogs to meet there as well.
What time is it? It is always time to remember that there is no downside to offsite pet adoptions!