Friday, June 11, 2010

Open Adoptions Save Lives - Isn't That What We're Trying to Do?

I wanted to share Dr. Emily Weiss's blog from a couple of weeks ago. She talks about how she wouldn't have met the shelter's criteria for adoption when she was younger.

For those that don't know Emily Weiss, she is the ASPCA researcher who developed the Meet Your Match program that many shelters use now and that has saved thousands of dogs' lives. Open adoptions are faster - a dog can often go home the same day. But faster adoptions does not mean they are poorer quality adoptions. Quality has nothing to do with speed. It is all about asking the right questions. That is why the ASPCA designed the program. As you move animals through the shelter system quicker - you save lives, both by freeing up space - either at the humane societies or animal control; and also by reducing illness, cage stress, etc.

National statistics show that over 90 percent of adoptions work out just fine. It is easy for us to focus on the 10 percent that don't work out because they're the ones that break our heart. I'm sure if you were a cancer doctor it would be the same thing. Pretty soon it would seem like everybody had cancer, when in fact the majority of the public don't have cancer and will never get cancer.

The shelter system should be and will always have to be "the safety net" to catch the 10 percent. That is what a good shelter is supposed to do. And there will be a very small percentage of people who are evil. We can't stop them all. In my heart - I truly believe that God will deal with them when the time comes.

But denying adoptions to the 90 percent because they don't meet some strict "policies"  is only driving people elsewhere - to breeders, pet stores and unscrupulous rescues.

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