The City of Stockton (Calif.) Animal Shelter is offering FREE pitbull adoptions until further notice.
According to its Facebook page, this is an ongoing special designed to get dogs out the door alive.
The reason I want to highlight this shelter’s efforts is because I love the idea of free adoptions or discounted adoptions in general.
I also hope to encourage more shelters to do what other progressive shelters are already doing.
Simply, adoption specials work!
Why I support free or discounted adoptions
1. Free or discounted adoptions save lives.
Offering free adoptions or discounted adoptions for any type of pet is good marketing tool to get people to the shelter.
Let’s face it, shelters are known as depressing places, and some animal lovers avoid them. Others just have no idea the local shelter even exists.
That’s why positive marketing is so important! Adoption specials are one way to get people talking about the shelter in general.
- more people will visit the shelter
- more people will volunteer
- more people will donate
- more people will adopt
It makes sense to offer a discount on harder to place animals or on animals that are in large “supply” such as cats, pitbull mixes, large dogs, Chihuahuas, etc.
Each shelter is different and might have more of a certain type of pet compared to other regions.
Here are a couple examples of recent specials at other shelters:
San Diego Humane Society offered 50 percent off on all adult pets:
Austin Pets Alive offered a “2 for 1” special on cats:
A couple of other reasons I support adoption discounts:
2. There are still screening processes in place.
When shelters offer adoption specials, the adopters still have to go through the same adoption application process as anyone else. At minimum, there is an adoption application to fill out.
*Patricia, below, is up for adoption in Stockton. See all the dogs at the Stockton Animal Shelter here.
3. Free pets are loved just as much as other pets.
You can’t put a price on love.
How many of you have found and taken in an animal for free?
How many of you have paid less than $100 for your current pet? Probably most.
And you don’t love your pet less than the person who paid $500 or $1,200 for hers. And you still understand pets cost money.
Two of my pets were free. The other was $25. There’s nothing special or unique about me for loving my free or “cheap” pets. I’m just like everyone else who loves her animals.
There’s no controvery – adoption specials save lives
*Lotus, below, is up for adoption in Stockton.
Sadly, some web sites are creating a “controversy” or “debate” around Stockton’s free pitbull adoptions.
Some of the headlines include:
“Stockton Shelter Offers Free Pit Bull Adoptions; Critics Sound Off” – From Fox40
“Shelter Gives Away Pit Bulls, Angering Both Lovers and Haters of the Breed” – Dogster
But the thing is, most people do not have an opinion on pitbulls.
It may seem like there are “haters” out there, but it’s a small group. And as with anything, this small group is good at being extra loud on Facebook to make it seem like there’s real controversy.
[quote_right]Most people don’t have an opinion on pitbulls.[/quote_right]Most people don’t have an opinion on pitbulls.
They don’t love them; they don’t hate them.
Most people view pitbulls as … wait for it … dogs!
And just as there is a small group of haters, there is small group of extreme pitbull lovers who have also lost touch with reality.
That being said, there are two myths I’d like to set straight, coming from this glorified “controversy.”
Myth #1: Free pitbull adoptions attract the wrong people, like dog fighters.
Dog fighting is terrible, but it’s not the epidemic some would like us to believe.
*Develyn, above, is up for adoption in Stockton.
Pitbulls are popular dogs. I’d even go so far as to call them the most popular dogs in America right now!
The majority of pitbulls are in loving homes, will never be mistreated and will never fight. (See the Majority Project.)
[quote_center]The majority of pitbulls are in loving homes, will never be mistreated and will never fight.[/quote_center]
Someone involved in dog fighting is not going to go to a shelter to adopt his next fighting champion. Plus, this is why shelters have basic screening processes in place as mentioned above.
Some of the people who say they love pitbulls are actually the reason so many pitbulls are killed in shelters. They’re standing in the way of allowing shelter dogs to go home. See my post on pitbull myths.
Myth #2: Free pitbull adoptions means more dangerous dogs will be in the community.
The key to decreasing dog bites is not to target a specific type of dog but to have better laws in place to encourage responsible dog ownership overall. This has nothing to do with breed.
Shelters and rescue groups do have the responsibility to make the right choices about the individual dogs they are adopting out. A small percentage of all dogs are truly dangerous and should be killed or carefully managed, but this has nothing to do with breed.
Ideally, adopting out more pitbulls should be viewed as a positive outcome for communities because it means more friendly dogs are going to good homes.
I’m all in favor of sending dogs home!
What are your thoughts on free or discounted adoptions?
Have you ever gotten a free pet?
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