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Adopters Welcome

Finding a loving and happy home for every animal waiting to start a new life—that’s the goal of everyone who works in sheltering and rescue. Examining our adoption policies to ensure they are based on current knowledge--and not good-intentioned, but mistaken, beliefs--is crucial to achieving our goal. Adopters Welcome challenges us to change the way we approach potential adopters. Rather than look for ways to disqualify them from taking home a pet (do they have a fenced yard? does their landlord approve?), let's find ways to send them home with a pet by engaging in conversation and providing information and resources.

Adopters Welcome
  • Adopters Welcome manual

    Adopters Welcome highlights an approach to adoptions that embraces community members, encourages them to adopt, and helps them and their pets succeed. The approach also acknowledges the connection among all local adoption agencies and the impact adoptions, or lack of adoptions, can have on all of the animals in a community.

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Most recent Tools and Resources > Adopters Welcome

  • Assessment

    Operation Hero-Animal Bond

    Vietnam veteran with cat

    A new partnership between the Humane Society of the United States and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that will connect qualified veterans with adoptable shelter pets, to the benefit of both.

    What is Operation Hero-Animal Bond?

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  • Blog Post

    Finding a cat a home

    Are we missing the good apples while trying to catch the bad?

    I was traveling recently to conduct a series of Rethinking the Cat trainings in Kansas and Oklahoma through our Humane State program. Having done many of these cat trainings around the country, we hear many of the same concerns, challenges and questions—often with a unique local flair. 

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  • Blog Post

    Just the facts, ma’am … or maybe not!

    Are we holding on to outdated beliefs just to make our brains comfortable? Inga Fricke explains how challenging our biases can help us save more pets.

    We are truly living in a remarkable age, when new studies and data on sheltering are shaping and confirming best practices seemingly every day. For the first time ever, we can truly set policies based on what we actually know, not what we think we know.

    But no matter how much science and evidence is produced to dispel a myth (like “black dogs are overlooked for adoption”) or support a new best practice (such as eliminating adoption barriers), our field is often slow to embrace new information and make change.

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