For the Love of Pets
The Best Things in Life Are Free
Adult cats at the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley are now FREE. Here's why!
I’ve been involved in animal sheltering for close to eight years. This is an ever-growing and changing field of work, and it seems like I am constantly learning something new. I’m lucky to be involved with an organization that wants to evolve and implements change when needed. We recently changed a policy about cats that we had in place probably since the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley opened 30 years ago.
After doing quite a bit of research, speaking with other shelters and attending a conference given by the Humane Society of the United States, we have decided to eliminate adoption fees for adult cats. That’s right—cats over a year old are now FREE. They will still be spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated, Felv/Fiv tested and de-wormed, but you will get all that at no cost. Pretty incredible.
So, you may be asking, “Why?” There are numerous reasons behind the decision, but it was spurred into action by the fact that we had way too many great cats waiting way too long to find a home. How were our adorable felines supposed to compete with all the free cats in the paper? What incentive did people have to come out to the Shelter to pay $65 for a cat when there were plenty of free cats to take home? We are hoping that our felines will be able to move into homes more quickly if there isn’t a price tag associated with adopting them.
Now, wait. I know what you might be thinking and, honestly, I was thinking the same thing for quite some time—Doesn’t it de-value a pet by making it free? Shouldn’t there be SOME sort of cost associated with adopting a cat? Actually, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
(ASPCA) did an extensive study on free cat adoptions, and it turns out people were not more likely to give up a pet just because they got it for free. In fact, there was no correlation on how well a pet was cared for and what it cost to adopt or purchase the animal.
In addition, the Shelter wasn’t making any money on our adoption fees. In fact, the length of time a cat was spending here was two to three times more costly than the adoption fee. So why not eliminate the fees and get cats in their permanent homes more quickly?
We continue to have our cats’ best interest in mind. Potential adopters still need to fill out an application and we still make sure our cats have the best quality of life possible while they are here. Don’t get me wrong, they can stay here as long as they’d like. We just think we owe it to them to give them every chance to find great homes as soon as possible.
So, the time is NOW to come adopt. We honestly have some GREAT cats just waiting to go home. We’re hopeful their days at the Shelter will become shortened and their days in a home will start soon! For more information, visit the Animal Shelter’s website.