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« Inaccurate media reporting, follow-up fails, and why most most dog-bite studies fail | Main | Knowing that it's possible »

May 19, 2010



It only makes sense that their is an adoption facility in every pet store. How many empty building are in KCMO that could be used for this?


Another "spot on" blog Brent! Because of my history in retail, I have always felt that many rescues and shelters are not "customer" friendly when it comes to the process of adoptions.

While I understand waiting periods, home inspections and all that, I sometimes think we make it TOO hard for people to adopt pets. And those people that find it cumbersome to adopt from a shelter are the same people who will end up frequenting a backyard breeder or pet store.

Consider customer friendly hours as many pets are you really going to adopt between 11 and 5 Monday through Friday??

My final comment will be to mention that the staff and volunteers of shelters and rescues should consider themselves not only to be advocates for the pet, but also salespeople to a small extent. Their goal should be to get the pet into a good home and rude, demeaning, or "highbrow" talk will not accomplish that task.


Right, Michelle, there are empty buildings in the crossroads (First Fridays), P&L, Westport and even the Plaza. There could be a LOT of opportunities.

PetDocs, exactly. It has become too easy to blame breeders and pet stores for the problem, yet not realize that any 'business' with less friendly staff, hours and location is going to lose out on market share. Having all of your pets in an out-of-the-way location M-F 11-5 is not going to get them in front of people - -not when they can stop by a breeder or pet store after work or on weekends. And yes, the message for the people at the shelter needs to be positive instead of rude, "highbrow" or "adopt or we will kill him" type of talk.

No Kill Houston

Exactly! This is what I've been saying about Houston's animal control facility. It is built in a remote location that few people know exists. The city of Houston is now planning on spending 10-12 million dollars to build another adoption another remote location very much like their current location. (

I don't understand why don't people get this very basic marketing idea.


Thanks for writing this! Animal shelters have one of the most appealing 'products' a person can ever hope to bring home, with much more intrinsic value than virtually anything else a person would spend money on. When's the last time you got a warm, fuzzy feeling from your car?

Non-profits are generally operating under more businesslike models today, focusing more on marketing and attracting people who support their mission in new ways, which often helps them gain more resources to support themselves. Non-profit animal shelters are especially fortunate, as they and the recipients of their services can benefit tremendously from thinking more like retailers (whereas non-profits focused on, say, health matters would have more difficulty in the retail arena.)

Thomas Cole

Brent, just saw a link to this on someone's FB page. Thought I'd add a comment to reinforce what you wrote.

Tristan's comment above is at the heart of the innovative concept I am trying to introduce to replace sheltering as we know it. It's all about our "appealing product."

Every shelter in this country, large, small, high-kill or no-kill, are all based on the same failed prison model. Cages? Really? That's marketing?

The most progressive shelters have only taken a baby step away from this antiquated prison model and have gone to semi-private rooms for dogs. Shelter directors across the country cannot think "outside the box" because the box is all they know. Not even Nathan Winograd, Susanne Kogut, Abigail Smith nor Bonney Brown are able to see beyond caging. They're blinded by this ugly old model to which they cling.

We need a pioneer to lead us out of this swamp called the shelter industry - someone who gets it that our product sells itself if given a chance.

Tristan will get this: my innovative concept calls for displaying (not "housing") dogs and cats in showrooms (not kennels or cells). No cages, no wardens.

These are social animals. Why do shelters lock them up like prisoners in solitary confinement?

This will be frustrating to see because it's so easy to grasp yet doesn't exist anywhere, yet. Check out my introductory video at

Then if you're still interested you can read more about this at:

1) Blog =
2) Website =

Thomas Cole

Sorry, a period got included in the video link. This will work =


Thomas, there are actually quite a few shelters that do what you propose -- at least when it comes to cats. I think doing so with dogs comes with a different set up problems that, while not unworkable, make it more challenging to do for the safety of the dogs.


Yeah, Forest City, AR did that "cage free" thing and dogs ended up dead from the huge fight that ensued. Of course, they were doing "cage free" so they didn't have to clean out kennels on a holiday.

My collegue's greyhounds were put in the same kennel at boarding and during the night they got into a fight and the staff showed up the next day to a dead dog.

MONITORED socialization rooms are great - cage free means dead dogs and rampant disease.

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