Are Black Friday animal shelter adoptions a good idea in the long run? They certainly appear to be.
Black Friday is a big consumer day. It is an American concept which has transferred to the UK with great success. Retailers depend on it to turn their balance sheets from red into black – hence the name. Sales are massively increased at heavily discounted prices. Consumers are almost addicted to purchasing on this manic consumer day.
The motivation to shop through big discounts which drives the consumer’s desire to save money has been borrowed by a number of animal shelters.
For example, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay offered a “doorbuster” sale with 75 percent off on all pet adoptions” from midday to 2 pm on 28th Nov. – the day of black Friday 2014. Fantastic, I hope it was successful because the more companion animals shelters can get into homes the less there are to euthanize.
That was my initial sentiment then I thought, “is it a good idea to employ a high pressure consumerist approach to adopting a cat or dog at a time close to Christmas when presents are offered and people can make poor decisions?”
Christmas presents can be discarded within months or less but you can’t do the same with a cat you’ve just adopted ostensibly for the life of the cat.
Heavy promotions are probably a very good idea but there may be a weakness in the concept. The shelters may encourage the wrong sort of person to come forward who despite being checked out by the shelter as suitable may prove to be unsuitable after several months.
I don’t know how many people who adopt from shelters give up their cat in quite a short time. I don’t think the statistics are available. However, it must be a noticeable percentage. Even with the best checks and intentions it can go wrong.
Running promotions, no matter how laudable may result in a higher percentage of failed shelter adoptions although if I am incorrect I’ll be very pleased. The concept when applied to cats and dogs may encourage a slightly less than ideal attitude towards shelter animals i.e. marketing animals as consumer products. I’d welcome feedback.