I must say that in my heart, I was a bit disappointed in myself that I’m not a better fundraiser. I thought I could have inspired more $5 donations. If you have any ideas for me to be a better Fund Raiser, please let me know. I’d happily hear all ideas!
I am hoping that my skills improve this month so we can collect a bit more for our Iron Man Foal and his buddies. Here is a link to the Bucket Fund page. Thank you again, for every penny! I know it means much to the chosen ones!
Also, it has occurred to me that I, alone, will have the receipts to these donations. That is not why I’m doing this… But if this upsets anyone, please know that it would be wonderful for anyone wanted to go to these rescues and donate on their own to get an individual receipt. No worries! The more the merrier!
AN IDEA FOR HORSE RESCUES
Now that we are speaking of people who help horses in an organized way, I wanted to touch on an article I saw on MSNBC. You might have seen it as well.
Basically, the article spoke of several cities that are banning pet shops from selling puppies because they believe this trade helps support the puppy mill industry. So, NO MORE, they said. And, interestingly, it is helping stop the puppy mill industry… But, my point is another idea presented in the article that has come out of this idea.
BOUTIQUE VIEWING AREAS
It seems that some shelters in those towns with no pet store puppies have come up with a very good idea. They realized that many puppy purchasers now had no where to go to purchase their puppies. But, they also knew that these types of puppy buyers were not inclined to savor the pound experience. Not many people do savor the pound experience.
I know that it is very difficult for me to visit the local pound. It basically destroys me. It is heart wrenching to see all these homeless and doomed animals when you can only save one. I get it. I totally understand how certain folks want a different environment to find their new dog.
Although these ‘not wanting to go to the pound’ feelings don’t help save lives (and we hope those folks help in other ways…), they do leave a market untapped. There is a whole group of dog adopters out there who are ready, willing and able but just cannot bring themselves to stomach the shelter walk.
A HA! THE PLAN
So, these brilliant Animal Welfare groups have created “boutique” viewing parlors that resemble pet shops inside of their facilities. Isn’t this an incredible idea?! What they have done is created a very comfortable, warm and inviting room that houses several dogs/cats in appropriate containers who are easily viewed in a non-threatening environment. Yay!
The great part is, as one example in Albuquerque, since the ban started animal adoptions have increased 23 percent and euthanasia at city shelters has decreased by 35 percent. Peggy Weigle, executive director of Animal Humane New Mexico. explained her goal was to adopt out 45 animals in the first month; instead, they placed 118 animals in new homes. Adoptions have been so plentiful, Weigle said, that her organization is preparing to open a second adoption boutique. Weigle said she recently had a young purebred Yorkshire Terrier available for adoption for just $135, the standard adoption fee.
What a success! You can read the full article here.
HOW CAN THIS APPLY TO THE HORSES?
Well, I’m sure there is a way… I’m sure if we presented this idea to the smart folks that facilitate this sort of thing, there would be answers. So, I’m asking you all to pass this idea around to all the horsey folks you know. Somewhere, it will make a difference.
To step back a bit, many people think that Horse Rescues only have old, sick or useless horses because the “good ones would have been adopted”. Sigh. As we all know, often horses are driven straight to the feedlots because the breeder or rancher or previous owners just want to be rid of them. The feedlots pay good money right up front and there’s no messing with classified ads, feeding while waiting or the hassle of the auction. Sad but true. So, many very usable and wonderful horses go straight to the feedlots. (Not that Equine Rescue Groups only rescue from feedlots, they don’t. They rescue from everywhere and they rescue fine horses every day.)
So, why not create a boutique type of viewing area for potential horse adopters? I’m not saying build a new barn (although that would be dreamy), I’m saying that perhaps there is a way to spiff it up a bit and re-brand certain rescues as the “place to go to get quality rescue horses” for that crowd. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that all rescue horses aren’t quality, but there are many adopters who want a certain type of riding horse or kids’ horse or you know… And, if one rescue in the area was the designated place to house those horses (from all rescues in the area) maybe that cooperative would work.
I can just hear it now, “But Horse Rescues are struggling as it is on a shoe string budget…” Yup. I know. But, there is probably a way TO come together and learn from the dog/cat shelters in New Mexico.
There ARE groups of horsey folks in the market for new equines every day. Those people could adopt a rescue horse but they would never think of going to a rescue to get one. It hasn’t occurred to them because they have an impression in their minds that prohibits them from considering rescue horses. All we have to do is change their minds. Advertisers do it to us consumers every day.
As one example, here is a website of photos (jodiesinclair.com) of Rescue Horses from one particular rescue. They look like they should be on the cover of Nat’l Geo… They look gorgeous! This kind of Rescue Horse advertising could wet the whistle, so to speak. Of course, photos like these are expensive — but not necessarily (Sinclair donated her time and photos for the rescue). Perhaps there could be a network. In fact, I think there are some in the works… I’ll keep you posted on that. But, the idea here is to create a more user friendly environment for potential horse adopters.
I know there is an idea in this article that can be applied to the horses. Chew on it and pass it around. Someone will figure this out. After all, the “boutique” adoption feel is working in the small animal shelter paradigm. And, I’m sure it wasn’t easy, but they did it.
I’m just sayin’…
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
Donate $5 to the Iron Man Foal Bucket Fund Now! To read about the Bucket Fund, click here. The June Bucket Fund is for the mustang foals rescued by LRTC. Read about it here.
(photo credit, Trish Lowe)