McFriends is now here. The fast food marketing has been applied to animal adoptions. One of the well advertised attributes of adoptions from Best Friends Animal Society has been their policy of seriously qualifying prospective adopters. From vet contact information to references and the conditions under which the animal will live. They would not only check some of this information for validity, but would ALSO arrange for a “home check” so that somebody will actually know that the animal will have a descent place to live. As some of this would take some time, people coming to the Sanctuary have been advised to have their adoption papers approved before coming. All of this has been a very good thing, speaking to the integrity and caring of Best Friends. The below link and quote is from the BF web page on adoptions:
Now, what happens after I apply?
“After we look over your application, we will talk to you on the phone about the dog you’d like to adopt, and tell you more about any of his or her special needs. Then, we will do a home check. A home check is done by a Best Friends Animal Society member in your area; it helps ensure that the dog you’re selecting is the right fit for you.”
However, several weeks ago, all this has changed… Getting a dog from Best Friends is now nearly as fast as getting a hamburger from McDonalds. We timed the whole process at less than ten minutes. Need help in writing? They’ll ask you the questions and fill out the form for you. Vet’s name? Fine. Don’t know the phone number? Fine. Will the dog get exercise? Yes is fine. Here’s a free leash and some year-old treats; have a nice day. With all the National Geo advertisements, it’s apparently become somewhat prestigious to have a “Best Friends Dog” and they are going fast. At the BF Sanctuary, the Lodges now has three empty dog runs and many more elsewhere. BF is well on their way to achieving their targeted reduction in Sanctuary animals. All this at the same time BF is also saying:
“As part of Best Friends 25th anniversary in 2009, our goal is to double our membership, so we can double our efforts to bring about a time when all companion animals have a forever home. What can you do to help? Give the Gift of a Best Friends membership to family and friends. “
Well, all you need is $100 and it’s cash-and-carry. We’re going to try and get a count of the remaining dogs there. The Fairway and Garden were usually full of dogs and that’s where they sent most of the visitors. I just heard those dog runs are getting empty enough that visitors have complained, so they’re moving other dogs into there. Just checked with a local shelter. Besides being “dirt poor” they are now getting overwhelmed with dogs. The area is getting many home forclosures and many people are just turning their dogs out into the street. The local animal officer just picked some up with tags and called their owner and was told they don’t want the dogs back. The guy running the shelter refuses to euthanize them and at this point he’s spending his own money to build chicken wire cages outside to hold the dogs.