Any retailer will tell you that you have a certain area of your space in which to place your “spotlight” merchandise. It’s generally at the store entrance since every customer who comes in, regardless of what their intention is, will look at your spotlight merchandise. For shelters, this is an area to place pets who need a little extra push to get them seen by adopters – perhaps black cats in rhinestone collars or older dogs in bandannas. Nice pets who, through no fault of their own, have been overlooked by adopters could benefit from being housed in the spotlight area, especially on your highest traffic days (weekends). Shelters who are committed to getting pets into homes won’t let an opportunity for adopters to fall in love slip by. Even visitors who stop by your facility for reasons other than adoption (e.g. to inquire about spay-neuter services) will see your spotlight merchandise and who knows, they too might fall in love.
This is the spotlight area at MAS this Saturday morning. Since they are closed on Sundays, this is their only weekend day to showcase special pets to adopters.
Every empty cage in the lobby represents a missed opportunity to get a pet into a home. And yet, the volunteer group still contends that people are the problem in Memphis. What will it take to get this into your brains? People are the solution. People who would adopt (if you would let them see your pets), people who would volunteer (if you would quit bullying them), people who would donate (if you wouldn’t trash the donations).
I have no doubt Memphis has a percentage of people who are irresponsible and uncaring with their pets – just like every other city in the country. Hell, let’s say for the sake of argument Memphis has a higher percentage of uncaring pet owners than every other city, mkay? Instead of continually spotlighting that minority, why not spotlight your pets and reach out to the majority of your citizens who are compassionate and willing to help? Your way is a proven failure. Could trying a new way possibly be any worse?
MAS, please – let people in to see and touch your pets. All of them. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. People are the solution. But you have to put in the work to harness that power. Your years of blaming everybody else for the killing are over. The time for change is now. What are you going to do to get a different result today than you got yesterday?