You might have noticed a bit of chatter online about free or low-cost pet adoption events in the news. Take a moment to read this response from Executive Director of the No Kill Advocacy Center Nathan Winograd.
In light of our recent participation in Clear the Shelters in addition to our 8+ low-cost adoption events each year, we felt the need to say a little bit more about our belief in holding free and low-cost adoption events.
Each cat adopted at SAFE Haven means we can save one more life. Our wait list is usually around 60+ cats plus we take 6 cats every week from traditional, euthanizing shelters. Low-cost adoption events means that our cats find homes at a faster rate so we can save more lives.
Our free or low-cost adoption events are saving lives by lowering the barrier to pet adoption for worthy families and individuals. We still rigorously screen and interview every person who adopts a cat from our shelter. On days like Clear the Shelter, that means even more work and care from our team.
Lower adoption fees mean that more people have access to pet adoption. Whether it’s the marketing spur to come in and meet the cats, or that old adage that “Southerners love a sale,” low-cost and free events help bring more foot traffic to our shelter so more of our cats have a chance to go to a loving home. Our adoption numbers prove that on weeks with a low-cost or free adoption event, our adoption number goes up and so do the lives we save.
Another interesting factor in holding low-cost adoption events is that we only do it when necessary to find more homes for cats. In the nearly 25 years of our organization, we have observed times in the year that are low for adoptions. No amount of Facebook posting or email nudging will increase our adoption numbers like an adoption event. We often cancel adoption events when our full price adoption numbers are good. We use low-cost adoption events to increase the number of cats going home.
The daily reality of cat euthanasia in our country is truly depressing. Nearly 3.2 million are cats are surrendered to shelters in the US each year, of those 860,000 cats are euthanized each year. We work every day to impact these numbers.
Trust that if we ever had a bad experience with this type of event, we’d evaluate the whole process. But our experience mirrors studies that have shown that events like Clear the Shelters increase the number of animals who find homes without lowering the quality of those adoptive homes.
People who attend our adoption events are outstanding individuals and families who just want to love cats as much as we do. We hope you’ll support us in continuing to find homes for as many cats as possible, regardless of what it takes to get them loving homes.