Free to a Really Good Home: A Unique Adoption StrategyPublished July 7, 2009
According to a recent article in "The Times Leader", The Luzerne County, Pa. SPCA has launched an innovative and creative program to facilitate the adoption of cats over a year of age. From now through September 30, the shelter will waive their regular nominal adoption fee of $50.00 and offer their older cats through a unique ""Free to a Really Good Home" strategy. In clarifying this "experimental" adoption program, Vince Sweeney, the executive director of the SPCA said, "It's not unusual for us to get 30 to 40 cats a day. We've got them stashed everywhere" With over 150 cats living at the shelter longing for loving, forever homes, this plan was initiated out of desperation. S. John Wilkin/The Times Leader Sweeney added, "We've never done this before. As far as I know, no animal welfare organization in Northeastern Pennsylvania has tried this, but we've tried everything else. We've begged people to adopt cats. Everywhere we go we mention the heartbreak of the cats. It becomes a matter of health and sanitation and we have to make terribly hard life and death decisions to euthanize."(Referring to the increase of cats surrendered to the shelter between the months of March and September.) Older cats are generally more difficult to place than kittens since most potential adopters are drawn to the cuddly balls of furry energy. Through their special limited-time offer, the SPCA will give cat lovers a great opportunity to experience the very special joy which an older cat can provide. In contrast rambunctious kittens that can make even the most devoted cat lover's hair turn a bit greyer at times, mature felines can be a far more serene delight. Sweeney added, "I find cats to be very interesting and in most cases very affectionate. They all have their own personalities and some of them are very quirky, so they are fun and they are fun to watch." Sweeney explained the rationale for the "cat giveaway" program, by saying, "We never did make money on adoptions. By the time you have the animal here a few days, spay or neuter it and give it shots, you don't even break even. This isn't about the money. It's about the heartbreaking fact that there just aren't enough homes for all these wonderful cats." Of course there are a few strict requirements for potential adopters. A few of these include: - No animal leaves the shelter without being spayed or neutered. - A potential adopter must be over 18 or have parental consent. Parents must be contacted by the shelter before an adoption can be made. - For those renting their residence, the landlord's contact information must be provided. The landlord must provide permission the tenant to have a pet. - A pre-adoption form is required I.D. in the form of a driver's license is preferred. The adopter must sign a pre-adoption contract promising that the cat will never be declawed. To read more about adoption requirements, visit: http://www.spcaluzernecounty.org/adoptions.html Feline fans are well aware that cats are lower maintenance pets than dogs. Cats thrive on an abundance of love and petting, good food, a wide variety of toys and a few scratching posts and a cat tree which affords the cat a place for vertical exploration. I am very hopeful that the SPCA's program will be highly successful and that many older cats will find forever loving homes. If you are interested in adopting an older kitty from this shelter, please contact the shelter at: http://www.spcaluzernecounty.org/ What do you think about this unique adoption strategy? Leave a comment and share.