The Marin Humane Society in Novato, California has announced a campaign to increase their number of pet adoptions with reduced adoption fees and extended operating hours through October, 2012. Their motivation includes the chance to win a contest sponsored by the ASPCA. Shelters that significantly increase the numbers of their adoptions will be eligible to win $500,000 in prizes, with a $100,000 grand prize and $25,000 for the second place organization.
Gary Klein reported about the campaign on the website of the Marin Independent Journal:
Nancy McKenney, the chief executive officer, said the campaign is partly about the contest money, but also about thinking of innovative ways to get residents interested in pet adoption.
“If they haven’t been thinking all year about getting an animal, we’d like them to think now,” McKenney said.
The campaign will begin Aug. 1, with a “name your own adoption fee” event and extended hours until 8 p.m., said Carrie Harrington, the shelter’s communications director. Normal adoption fees range from $65 to $250 for cats and dogs, the lower fees being for older animals.
“Our goal is to get more animals out the door so we can bring more in and save more lives,” Harrington said. More than half of the animals brought to the shelter are from outside Marin, she said.
The ASPCA contest started with 108 shelters around the country. Supporters cast votes online for their favorite shelters, and the top 50 reached the final round.
The full report may be read online here.
Some rabbit advocates are concerned that if the Bay Area shelter reduces its adoption fees too low, unscrupulous people may be attracted whose intent is not to adopt animals into loving homes but much more cruel. Free rabbits given away on Craigslist, for example, have been fed alive to pet snakes or given to pet bulls to be deliberately mauled to death.
Commenting on the report, an Oklahoma-based rabbit rescue activist wrote on Facebook, “Please leave a polite comment or message them and ask them NOT to include small animals like bunnies in this promotion. Getting a bunny for a dollar would just be perfect for a snake owner. We do not approve.”
Another commenter expressed hope that the shelter will have a reserve price below which they will not release pets, and yet another wondered how many “name your price” pets will be bought on impulse and then later returned to the shelter because caring for a rabbit and other pets is more difficult, time consuming and expensive than they realized.
The Hoppington Post encourages the Marin Humane Society to take steps to ensure their pets are only adopted into loving homes, whose owners have been well enough educated to give their new animals proper care.
Photo courtesy of Vancouver Rabbit Rescue and Advocacy