"If we start from the perspective that people are coming to us with the best intentions, we will have a much better success rate of finding life-long matches."
--Carmine DeCenso, Executive Director, Providence Animal Rescue League
Removing barriers to adoption is one of the five key initiatives of the Million Cat Challenge. Over the last decade we've witnessed a nation-wide shift in our adoption culture; one that encourages us to let go of unfounded fears and together look for solutions where we have previously constructed barriers.
What have we learned by opening closed doors?
Replacing our fears with facts is a win for the animals we are charged with protecting and arms our staff with the necessary tools and the peace of mind they need to make the best matchmaking decisions for our animals.
Without question, the nature of our industry serves as a constant reminder that humans can be unkind to animals. However, what the data reveals is a story that is overwhelmingly driven by love. Did you know that less than 10% of owned animals ever end up in a shelter? Because we are the shelter, that small percentage becomes our whole truth. Conscious of our skewed perspectives, we must look to the data to provide the complete picture and guide our adoption policies. When we do, we find there is an entire community waiting to be engaged if we meet them where they are.
In this comprehensive guide and accompanying five part webinar series, you'll learn tips and tools to identifying areas where you may be leaving lifesaving solutions on the table.
Increase positive outcomes by identifying:
- Can the culture in our adoption center best be described as an "Adopters Welcome" zone?
- Are our adoption policies drafted to support our adopters and provide more options for our animals?
- Are we engaging in thoughtful conversation with our community or relying on pages of adoption applications to "catch" the bad guys?
- Are our marketing campaigns in line with our data? Are we reaching pet lovers that can offer a home but may not be familiar with our services?
- Does our staff agree that the role of our shelter in the community is to find homes for homeless animals as quickly as possible?
- Are returns embraced as a sign of success?
We love the Adopters Welcome manual and accompanying webinars for providing a pragmatic, holistic approach to developing tools that increase positive outcomes by leading with facts instead of fears.