Friday, December 11, 2009

Our Long-Term Shelter Guests are “Homeward Bound”!

Meet Redford. If you like to “window-shop” on our “Available Animals” section of our website (we also kiddingly call it “lurking”) you’ve probably seen his handsome photo for several months. He's one of our longer-term “guests”, and a member of our new, successful “Homeward Bound Scholarship Program". What’s that? It’s been a great and innovative way to shine a light on some of our special dogs, cats, and rabbits who have been in our care for 100 days or more and are waiting patiently for us to find them their permanent, loving home. They still have a lot to give, but may not immediately stand out, and have not been snatched up quickly by adopters. HSSV waives their $175 adoption fee to help them find a home. Our adoption counselors still follow the same procedure in rigorous detail to ensure a match with the right individual or family…this special incentive is just a way to encourage more people to consider these special pets. It’s our way of highlighting them and drawing attention to them – and it’s working! We launched this program in early October, and the first weekend, 16 out of our 20 Homeward Bound pets were adopted! And none of them were returned because of a bad match. Everyone we talked to said that they had noticed their new “Homeward Bound” adoptee because we provided more insight into the fact that they had been with us a little longer. Most people who adopt from a shelter or rescue group do so because they want to help save a life and/or they want a great animal who isn’t from a breeder. With the animals in our Homeward Bound program, the mere fact that we call special attention to these animals is just one creative way we get great animals adopted and started on their new lives.

Sometimes, the individual or family adopting these Homeward Bound pets donate all or part of the waived fee back to HSSV to fund another Homeward Bound adoption, or they may use the savings to purchase necessary items for their new pet in our Whole Pets pet store. Either way, everyone wins!

Other individuals or companies who have taken an interest in a Homeward Bound pet, but who can’t adopt right now, have generously chosen to sponsor that pet’s adoption fee as well. (If you have a favorite dog, cat, or rabbit here at HSSV -- either at our Animal Community Center, or at our Petco El Paseo De Saratoga Satellite Adoption Center -- and would like to sponsor their adoption fee, you can call our front desk at 408-262-2133 ext. 150 and cover an adoption fee for someone else!)

We look forward to all of our animals being “homeward bound”, of course, but we get especially excited when those who have been with us for a while, and to whom we become attached, find the home of their dreams with the help of this great new program.

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