Rescuing the Rescued Pets

September 30, 2014

I couldn’t sleep last night and finally got up and turned on the TV. “That” commercial came on, you know, the one that makes you want to change the channel because the message about rescuing pets is so heavy that all seems hopeless. So I decided to find out more about this situation. There must be a way to help the pets without hurting people’s hearts.

With a little research, I landed on the Maddie’s Fund page. Maddie’s Fund was created to honor a Miniature Schnauzer, Maddie. The mission is to save pets in desperate need of love and care. To do this they have created a foundation to support shelters and rescues in providing homes for pets as well as further the mission of the No Kill movement so that all adoptable pets find homes.

TristanImage credit: DianeDavis

The Maddie’s fund website gave me some hope. In a study done by the Ad Council, presented by Maddie’s Fund and Christie Keith, they found that there are millions of people that will add a pet to their family this year. Of those millions, less than 10% have decided to buy their pet from a breeder. Another 20% have decided they will adopt a pet from a shelter or a rescue group.

That means that 70% of adopters have not yet made up their minds about whether they will adopt a pet from a breeder or from a shelter or a rescue. This is great news for the shelter and rescue pets. There are enough people wanting to adopt, that they could empty all of the shelters and rescues in the United States! “Ok, then, why isn’t this happening?” I asked myself.

According to Maddie’s Fund, “those commercials” are great for generating donations but they do not work for generating homes and families. In fact some may argue that they hurt the adoption cause, portraying rescue animals as damaged and requiring more money, time, and effort to care for.

So what is the solution? It turns out that the solution is relatively simple: let’s share great stories of the wonderful families created by adopting a shelter or rescue pet! When you tell the story of how perfectly wonderful and loving your rescue pet is, it makes people reconsider purchasing pets.

Image credit: DianeDavis

Now I know that sharing positive stories will help, we have a new mission to help rescue pets: Rescue Transformation. Rescue Transformation is a new feature on Fetch! Pet Care social media channels that will tell the stories of the incredibly loving and resilient pets as they find their way to rescue and then to their families. These stories will highlight the courage, love, and character that will take a vulnerable animal from victim to victor. They will also remind us that there is no connection like that of someone that saves and someone that is saved. We expect that we will find it is often hard to tell who is who.

We invite you to share our mission, first by telling your story of rescue and redemption, and then by sharing the stories you find. You can be the part of the real solution to finding families and putting rescue groups out of business.

October is Shelter Pet month. Please consider adopting a shelter or rescue pet.

* The difference between shelters and rescue groups is that shelters are usually “animal control” and run by a government entity. A rescue group is usually a non-profit group with the goal of finding home for animal, often taking the animals out of the shelters. Shelters are not always No-Kill. Rescue Groups are often No-Kill. The No-Kill Movement refers to a program founded by Nathan Winograd that advocates for saving the lives of 100% of animals that are healthy or treatable, or adoptable, including feral cats.

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