Ipsos Marketing conducted studies for Petsmart Charities on a variety of issues related to pet adoption in 2009 and 2011. The results contain a lot of interesting information which I will look at in upcoming posts. In this post, I am going to focus on page 14 of the report which asked the question: What were the reasons you chose not to adopt your cat or dog?
The base for the respondents to this question were owners who had acquired a pet within the past 12 months from a source other than a shelter or rescue group. Petsmart Charities draws attention on the page to the most common answers given which basically amount to people wanting a purebred pet and/or one with a known history. But what caught my eye were several of the less popular responses which, to my mind, all fall under the same category and could be combined to reflect more significance:
- Adoption process too difficult
- Organization too depressing
- Inconvenient hours
- Poor customer service
These were all obstacles to adoption for the respondents that shelters and rescues could address today:
- Streamline the adoption process. Most owners try to do right by their pets and most adopters can be trusted.
- Don’t threaten to kill pets. Don’t make assumptions that the pet was abused in the absence of clear evidence.
- Open up the facility when most people can get there – evenings and weekends.
- Answer the phone. Reply to e-mail and social media inquiries. Treat potential adopters like they are celebrities.
In short, a significant reason people didn’t adopt their last pet was suckage on the part of the shelter or rescue. Fixable suckage. Take heed.
(Thank you Joni for bringing this study to my attention.)