It's sometimes hard to change our minds about adoption practices, but when research shows something that is contrary to what we believe, are we willing to accept it?
A recent Best Friends blog post, aptly-titled "I've made up my mind. Don't confuse me with the facts", discusses why data-driven evidence is often rejected by those with deeply held beliefs, but that animals who are dying in shelters need us to be open to new ideas that may run opposite to what we believe to be true. By accepting new ways of thinking, innovative programs and progressive policies could save lives.
Many rescue groups and shelters have exhaustive, hassle-filled adoption
policies that result in turning away potentially suitable adopters.
Restrictive or "closed" adoption policies move fewer animals into homes, resulting in more animals being
killed in the shelter.
There is little evidence to show that such policies result in fewer returns than
, also called user-friendly adoptions. Maddie's Fund offers a webcast and great list of resources on Removing Barriers to Adoption. See the list here.
, research done at Edmonton Humane Society shows that fee-waived cat adoptions bring in adopters who are as likely to keep the cat, return for follow-up veterinary care, and consider cats to be valuable. Read more details of the study
If you have time to read one more blog post, take a look at this one: I Rejected The Perfect Pet Adoption Family For The Wrong Reasons.
Will you be the person in your organization to trust the research, try something new, and save more lives?