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.
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.
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.)
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.)