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Joyce Madsen
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I thought you meant these all-too-common fake statistics: http://hamptonroads.com/2013/10/portsmouth-shelter-releases-cats-calls-them-adopted
Toggle Commented Oct 12, 2013 on Fake cat statistics, the sequel at Dogged Blog
Ted, it sounds as though we both are lucky enough to have very similar local humane societies – caring places which are both progressive and responsible and which treat both animals and people with respect.
I guess you’re feeling backed into a corner when you perceive ME, an adoption desk teammate and a rescue foster mom, as the problem! At the humane society, there’s no more joyous occasion than an adoption, which we celebrate with staff congratulations and greetings, take-home gifts and certificates, feature photos, and celebratory Facebook emails to our many, many friends. (“. . . taken ALL of the enjoyment out of adoption” ?!?) Well, Happy Holidays to all, and I hope the New Year finds you better able to cooperate with other animal advocates in a joint effort to fight cruelty and neglect.
I’m afraid I don’t understand this entire first paragraph: “Nonhumans are not "its". Dogs are sentient beings who can think and emote. A sweater cannot and is appropriately referred to as an "it". . . . We diminish the inherent worth and value of another living being when we call them "what" or "it".“ Where does the word “it” even appear in the ad? I can’t find “it “anywhere. And the whole first paragraph argument is centered on the imagined misuse of the word “it”?!? Putting the specious analysis aside, I personally think the picture/ad is very effective and thought-provoking. It’s intended to make you think past the darling pup in the red bow under the tree to what happens after the holiday is over – both literally and figuratively. A shelter’s main responsibility is not to make people “feel good”; it’s to promote responsible adoption and do what’s best for the animals – long-term, not just on Christmas morning. I’d like to think that any intelligent adopter would be willing to “Think twice before putting a puppy or kitten under the tree." It’s a major decision. That article concludes with: “Pet ownership should be a well-reasoned decision as owning a pet is a decades-long commitment and it is a financial commitment as well.” If a shelter doesn’t stress those two points, it’s doing a disservice to its animals. You seem to equate ‘thinking carefully about” with “discouraging.” Adopting an animal is certainly an emotional decision, but, for the animal’s sake, it should be balanced with a little practical reasoning, too. Sorry to make you so defensive about your “actively DISCOURAGING adoptions” claim – I didn’t realize that expressing an alternative viewpoint would be perceived as such a threat.
You didn’t answer my first question: Which humane society do you work with? Certainly I read the entire articles. The second paragraph of your article states: “many shelters and rescues are actively out DISCOURAGING adoptions.” That’s a far cry from your revised statement of: “They’re leading with "no", even though a few did come back with "except". They should lead with "yes", and then the "except".” FYI: The accepted format of a persuasive debate is to present the “con” first and then the “pro,” which leaves the desired outcome as the final impression. Also, your comment about “lead stories”: I think you’re referring to the headlines of the articles. Generally, the headline is written by the publisher of an article, not the author. I think it would be helpful if people who are truly concerned about animals could avoid sensationalistic statements like “actively . . . DISCOURAGING adoptions” and instead find common ground to work together.
Which humane society do you work with? I (and the humane society I work with) totally agree that adoption should be encouraged – and it most definitely is – at the holidays and year round. I have never seen and I can’t imagine any adoption counselor saying “no” as a first response. It’s the last thing a counselor would want to have to say.
I’m referring to legitimate humane societies. You’re taking small cautionary warning snippets out of entire press releases which intelligently present both sides of the argument. Perhaps you don’t actually work in a humane society and witness cage after cage after cage after cage of animals returned after the holidays. I guess some organizations are only concerned with getting their animals out of the door and hoping for the best.
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Dec 16, 2011