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Cat Coupons and Dog Discounts

Shelters encourage adoption with special offers

Shelters encourage adoption with special offers

During its “Purr-fect Pairs” promotion, Loudoun County Animal Care and Control waived the fee for one cat when adopters took home a pair. LOUDOUN COUNTY ANIMAL CARE AND CONTROL
If you’re active in the animal welfare field, it’s likely the phrase “free to a good home” raises the hair on the back of your neck. You may have even protested its use in your local newspaper—on the basis that it devalues animal lives and invites exploitation from those who might collect these “freebie” pets and then sell them to researchers.

But what would you say if you saw a shelter promoting its animals in the same way?

The Humane Society of Berks County in Reading, Pa., regularly borrows a page from the classifieds through its “Free to a Great Home” program, which allows area residents to adopt cats 11 years and older and dogs 8 years and older at no charge.

No stranger to risk-taking, Karel Minor, the shelter’s executive director, has been bucking conventional wisdom since he took the helm in 2004. Among his notable shifts in policy are reversals of prohibitions against adopting out black cats at Halloween and pets at Christmastime. Through the fee-waiving program, Minor hopes to boost adoptions by 5 to 10 percent and reduce the euthanasia rate. During an earlier, temporary incarnation of the free adoption special, the shelter avoided euthanizing at least 200 cats for space.

 Read the full article.


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