Moving Animal Shelters and Communities Forward
Our resources for animal welfare professionals are evidence-based, affordable, and easily implemented. They’re designed to help all shelter animals and the people who take care of them.
The language we use to describe the dogs in our care can have unintended consequences. It affects adoption rates and public perception. Learn how to avoid stereotypes and personal bias to focus on all dogs as individuals.
Focus on what really matters to adopters – the personalities of the dogs in your care. Use honest and positive messages in your marketing. Find ways to be quirky, progressive, and avoid practices that can be discriminatory to potential adopters.
Don’t rely on inaccurate visual identification to describe shelter dogs. Not only are these methods usually wrong, the bias from breed-specific stereotypes can lead to poor adoption matches. Focus on what you know about a dog, not guesses.
Give your shelter dogs the chance to show you who they are with the physical and mental stimulation they need to stay occupied, happy and healthy. Enrichment helps reduce shelter stress, so that adopters can see the dog’s true personality.
Like enrichment, teaching basic manners improves a dog’s adoption chances. It helps them feel comfortable with people and challenges their minds. Adopters also love a dog who already knows the basics of being a good boy.
Our posters, brochures, and other visual aids help to educate volunteers, shelter workers, and the community about viewing dogs and people as individuals. Our free items include downloads and physical items you can order.
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Breed discrimination is serious and we're working to end it12 December, 2018In Sioux City, Iowa, officials can take your dog regardless of how well behaved they are. In Sioux City, someone can decide your dog is a "pit bull"...Read More
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Petfinder Listings Show Absurdity of Visual Breed Identification 15 NOVEMBER, 2018 This post was originally written in 2013. It has been updated with additional commentary. We were elated last year when Petfinder added "mixed breed" as a primary...Read More
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