Be that person.

by Jules on July 23, 2012

That's me giving the puppies a little love!

As a young child, I remember visiting the local humane society and petting the dogs. I’m not sure why we were there, and I don’t remember my family adopting a dog, but I thought it was the best place on earth. There were dogs everywhere! I was too young to realize that these dogs all desperately needed homes, and that it wasn’t really the best place for a dog to be.

Fast forward 40 years, and it seems that the problem has grown exponentially. There are more shelters, more rescue groups . . . more dogs.

I remember volunteering several years ago at my local shelter. They had just completed a new wing and for some reason, the addition of all the space made me sad. I knew that it would soon be overflowing with dogs. Unfortunately, in rescue, if you build it, they will come.

Instead of focusing on puppy mills and the fact that many people think that animals are disposable, I’d like to focus on something positive.

“Everything you are AGAINST weakens you. Everything you are FOR empowers you.” -Wayne Dyer

What can we do to positively affect the pet overpopulation problem? How can we focus on the good and be FOR positive change?

Let’s start by making adopting cool. The Shelter Pet Project has done a fantastic job with their  ”A person is the best thing to happen to a shelter pet” campaign.  Their goal is to make shelters the first choice and desired way for acquiring a companion animal, ultimately increasing the rate of animals adopted from shelters. I love it!

How can you help? You can adopt a shelter pet, you can blog about how much joy your shelter pet has brought to your life, and you can help educate everyone you come in contact with about the benefits of adopting. You can foster a dog, you can volunteer at a shelter, you can donate supplies (& money!) – the options are endless!

YOU can make a difference – YOU can be that person.

So spread the word. All the cool kids are adopting from a shelter. :)

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  • Georgia Little Pea

    How true. When I was a child, I didn’t understand what pounds were either. Then I grew up and more or less cried every time I visited, volunteered or adopted a dog from one. It would be nice to see them all disappear.

  • Pamela

    One of the great things about being over 40 is seeing how much better things have gotten over the past few decades.

    I remember when all shelters were death mills full of noisy, stressed dogs. Sure they still exist, but there’s a lot of them.

    I visited the website for one of those big city scary shelters to see all kinds of information about how they’ve managed to reduce the number of dogs killed and find more homes for those in their care. Change is happening every day.

    Nice to read such an encouraging post today.

    • Pamela

      Oops, 2nd Paragraph should read “there’s a lot fewer of them.”

  • Debbie Jacobs

    It would be even better if the people responsible for placing dogs in homes understood more about behavior and temperament. The biggest hurdle shelter dogs face is that dogs who should not be adopted out, are. I have stopped counting how many people have told me they will never adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue again having had a bad experience with a dog who should never have been placed in their home. Met a fellow today who told me he was going to buy his next dog from a pet shop.

    • Jules

      Debbie – excellent point. Unfortunately that fellow will probably NOT be any better off getting a dog from a pet shop. Education is key – for both the employees/volunteers placing animals and for the people looking to adopt. It starts with figuring out what type of dog will fit into your family and lifestyle and then a patient search for the right dog. I think too many people get caught up in the “saving” part of it and don’t realize what they are signing up for.

  • Donna and the Dogs

    “Make dog adoption cool.” What a great idea, and a positive way to try and affect the lives of so many homeless dogs Thanks for being part of today’s blogging event, and trying to encourage others to adopt.

  • Jodi

    Nicely done Julie. When we started the great puppy hunt we visited the Humane Society quite frequently. Of course at that time I was fixated on a puppy so I was very fussy. Now I’ve learned and while I wouldn’t trade Sampson or any of my experiences with him for anything in the world, any of my future dogs will be from shelters/rescues.

    What a lovely post.

  • Kristine

    Love that ad, truly adorable. :-)

    As a kid I never thought I’d ever have a mixed breed dog from a shelter. My parents bought into the stereotypes at the time and as a result I mistakenly assumed all “pound dogs” were bad, picked up by animal control for causing trouble. :-P Oh the idiocy of youth. I am very glad I learned differently and decided to take the risk!

  • Notes from the Pack

    Great post! I really love what you wrote about focusing on the positive and using that to help – going to keep those words in mind moving forward.

    • Jules

      Thanks! I love seeing the positive so much more than the negative!

  • Pup Fan

    I love the Shelter Pet Project – their ads are so creative and the positive spin is such a great approach.

    • Jules

      I love when they find a positive way to promote adoption!

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