A dog walks into a bar, jumps up on a barstool and says, “Hey, how about a drink?” The bartender stares for a moment and replies, “Sure, the toilet is around the corner.” Silly as this old joke is, we all know the feeling: Sometimes the results of our best efforts at communication are disappointing.
The sheltering and rescue field is all about the human-animal bond. Adoption programs aim to facilitate and enhance the bond between people and pets. We rely on the strength of this bond to drive the donations that make our work possible. But equally, we know the frustration of seeing the bond strained to the point of people surrendering their pets.
Cars, mattresses and pets—no obvious connection, yet there is one similarity: All are infrequent acquisitions. Statistics show that people buy a car every 10 years and a mattress every seven years. While those of us working in animal welfare see pet adoptions almost every day, the average person only acquires a few pets over the course of a lifetime.