Purina ONE’s 28-Day Challenge: Bringing a New Light to Pet Adoption

Toby and Thatcher, two beagle-lab mix puppies from the Golden Valley Humane Society in Minnesota, patiently awaiting adoption.

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Dog ownership in America is more popular than ever, with an estimated 45 million U.S. households currently making room for at least one canine companion. But when it comes to acquiring a dog, only about one out of four owners are choosing to adopt from a shelter. Why? Experts have observed that part of the problem may be persistent misperceptions about shelter pets — and about shelters themselves.

Toby and Thatcher, two beagle-lab mix puppies from the Golden Valley Humane Society in Minnesota, patiently awaiting adoption.

Too often, people think of shelter dogs as “wild card” animals with little or no available information about their history. They might worry about behavior problems, health issues, or a lack of available dogs within a certain age or breed group. The truth is that today’s shelters are likely to provide medical and behavioral information for adoptable pets, and also work directly with prospective adopters to help ensure the right match in terms of breed, age, or disposition.

With ongoing support from Purina ONE, several of the nation’s brightest pet welfare organizations have been working to dispel myths about shelters and shelter pets. Their smart programs not only drive adoption, but they also showcase the quality of care, feeding, and evaluation shelters provide for homeless pets.

“People think shelter animals are damaged somehow, they’re broken, they all have a behavior problem, and that’s why they don’t live with their families anymore — and that’s really wrong,” says CJ Bentley, Director of Operations for the Detroit-based Michigan Humane Society (MHS). She explains how human circumstances such as financial strain, moving to a new home, and other lifestyle changes can land a dog in the shelter just as often as behavioral concerns.

Regardless of the reason why a pet enters the shelter, MHS has developed a —> Read More

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