This Saturday, August 15, the Richmond SPCA will participate in Clear the Shelters Day thanks to the promotional support of NBC12 and a generous grant from Maddie’s Fund®. We, and I hope some other local shelters too, will be urging folks to come in and find a wonderful new four-legged family member with the adoption fee being waived. It is our hope that NBC12’s promotions of this great adoption opportunity will catch the attention of lots of people who may have been thinking about adding pets to their families and this will give them the needed nudge to do so.
This local event came about when we saw that NBC owned television stations around the country are participating in Clear the Shelters day on August 15, and we asked NBC12 if they would do this event with us here in Central Virginia even though they are not a network owned station. They quickly said yes and are working to make this a big event with a wide local participation. We are proud and happy to have gotten this ball rolling and grateful to NBC12 for their enthusiastic embrace of this effort to get lots of homeless pets into wonderful homes on Saturday.
Let me speak for a moment to the topic of fee-waived adoptions to which a few people still express objections. Our primary goal is to save the lives of as many homeless animals as possible by placing them in homes that will provide to them a lifetime of love and commitment. There is absolutely no empirical data to support the claim that guardians who got their pets through fee waived adoptions are any less attached to their companions or that they provide less care for their pets than do people who paid adoption fees or bought their pets from a retail business. To the contrary, data exists from studies by the ASPCA and by University of Florida's Shelter Medicine program, among others, that confirm that there is no correlation between the amount paid, or the absence of any payment, for the acquisition of a pet and the guardian’s treatment of and sense of responsibility to that pet in the future. The idea that it is bad not to charge an adoption fee is an unsupported old saw that only serves to keep pets from getting out of shelters and into loving homes.
Our knowledgeable and caring adoption team always has the best interests of our pets in mind, and they do an excellent job counseling prospective pet guardians to ensure that we are making appropriate and lasting matches among pets and people. Fee free or reduced fee promotions like this one have had a dramatic positive impact on the numbers of pets adopted from shelters all over this country, and that has saved many thousands of lives that otherwise would like have been lost without these promotions. At the Richmond SPCA, getting a large number of pets adopted to good homes in this way allows us to save the lives of even more animals because, every time a pet goes home, it creates an opening in our shelter for us to bring in another pet from a government shelter where his or her life is at risk.
So, let’s hope that lots of people see NBC12’s generous promotional messages about Clear the Shelters Day and that Saturday brings great numbers of people into the Richmond SPCA who want to make their lives happier with the wonderful love and companionship that pets provide. We will be ready for them and so will many wonderful four-footed best friends.
Robin Robertson Starr is the chief executive officer of the Richmond SPCA. To read her biography or that of our other bloggers, please click here. Before posting a comment, please review our comment guidelines. Please note that our comment policy requires both your first and last name to be used as your screen name.