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We just completed a successful reduced rate adoption promotion. So I do appreciate the up side. But I do fear that some people are drifting in the direction of "as long as animals are out of the shelter, it's cool" with a lot of talk of lowering fees and cutting back on screening. It's not like this hasn't been tried before. Back in the 60s and 70s, you could plunk down $5 or whatever and walk away with the animal of your choice. I'm not feeling nostalgic for those days and I hope no one else is either. Initiating a MORE rigorous screening program has cut down dramatically on returned dogs and other problems at my shelter. That and a policy of spaying and neutering before adopting out, a critical and not inexpensive practice that is subsidized by adoption fees, has cut our dog intake by about 25% over the past several years, a period during which foreclosure and other economic hardship surrenders caused a spike in intake at a lot of shelters. Yes, we can learn some from retail practices. But we aren't part of the retail industry and have missions that we can't undercut in the name of more gross adoptions for their own sake.
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Sep 7, 2012