It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Y’all. I was almost that person yesterday. You know, that one animal rescue person who drives everyone bonkers. Because someone said their dog was not neutered. Because he’s “good looking” and they might want to breed him.

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Lana’s pretty much a Victoria’s Secret model, and I don’t think that’s a reason to breed her. (I honestly couldn’t picture my baby being a mom anyway.) Picture borrowed lovingly from unsaidyetunderstood

Many rescue advocates would chastise me for not speaking up. And then again for not saying something to another girl who talked about always purchasing her dogs. But in reality, what I did was more subtle. I tried some positive tactics.

I didn’t say “do you know how many dogs die in shelters every day?!”, I didn’t even say “your dog is way more likely to get prostate cancer if he’s still got his junk”. Instead, I said, “one of the best things I ever did was foster dogs”. I didn’t emphasize the lives saved. I talked about what’s great about fostering. Because I believe experiencing something like animal rescue is far more powerful than hearing about it. Because me nagging them about something that I’m sure a dozen other people have already beaten me to won’t do much. And while they know the point of fostering is to save lives, once they actually get involved and see first hand what it’s like, I think it’ll be more likely to click with them.

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People need to see an adorable dog in a cone trying (but unable) to pick up toys in their own living room. And then their heart melts. And then buying a dog is not an option.

October is national adopt a shelter dog month. It’s the best month of the year. Halloween and the start of cool weather may play some small role in my favoritism towards it. So what have I done to promote adoption?

I saw someone online who was looking for a Beagle puppy and spread the word. Then a woman got in touch with me about a puppy in a rescue and I passed the information on to a very interested potential adopter.

I encouraged a coworker to foster in the near future (in hopes that experiencing rescue could change the way she thinks of getting dogs).

That’s it? Just two things? I’d like for that list to be longer. So here’s what I’ll do…

I will share at least one adoptable dog per day on my Facebook and/or my Pinterest to publicize them.

I will share the stories of my fosters on Twitter with a hashtag related to adoption to promote awareness of how flipping awesome and adorable rescued dogs can be.  (Please feel free to join me by tweeting your own thoughts on adopt a shelter dog month! I’d love to see our hashtags trending. I’ve used #adopt and #lovedogs.)

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Like this awesome and adorable dog. What better way to celebrate Halloween than with a lady bug puppy?

But let me ask you: what suggestions do you have for promoting adopt a shelter dog month? (Yes, I am waiting until the end of the month. Why? Because in addition to writing 50k words, I want to drag on adopt a shelter dog month into November. I’ve never liked deadlines, and neither do the dogs who get stuck in shelters the day after Halloween.)

2 thoughts on “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

  1. I’ve heard people say this too and I honestly don’t know what to say. Initially, I’m appalled and I know that will come through in my comments, which result in the person shutting down. No one wants to be told what to do or what not to do. No one wants to be told that they’re a danger to dogs, which is kind of what I would be insinuating. So I just share my own experience with our dogs, which seems like a cop out, because what can I honestly say. Once, I asked questions about genetic testing, contracts, if they had a vet or experienced breeder helping them – the person just walked away – they didn’t want to hear it.

    • That’s insane to me. I truly don’t mind a responsible breeder, but these people are not responsible breeders. They are far from it! One day, one of us animal rescue advocates will discover the secret to penetrating their shields and the backyard breeders will see the light. (I’m an optimist at heart.)

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