Shelter launches first annual holiday pet sponsorship drive

In an effort to help find homes for those animals who will otherwise spend the holidays alone this year, the Fayetteville Animal Shelter is asking local businesses and individuals to front the adoption fees for its resident dogs and cats through the first annual Home for the Holidays Sponsorship Drive.

Although the $60.00 adoption fee already includes all the basic vaccinations and spaying or neutering, for some, it’s simply too much. “In these tough economic times it can be difficult for people to make that initial investment,” says Animal Services Superintendent Justine Middleton. “By sponsoring a dog or cat, you will greatly increase its chances of finding a forever home.”

Those participating may choose to sponsor either a cat or a dog. Once the drive has concluded, shelter staff will send an update to each sponsor with basic information about the animals’ new home.

Sponsorships will be used first for animals that have been at the shelter the longest or who may have special needs. “Essentially, the ones with the lowest adoption potential will have priority,” said Middleton.

In the past, kennels of the sponsored animals were labeled but Middleton says that practice resulted in people choosing an animal solely because it was sponsored and not because it was a good fit for their family or lifestyle. Many of those animals ended up getting returned to the shelter due to incompatibility, she said.

Instead, this year, the shelter has trained caregivers and front desk staff to be aware of which animals are sponsored and through interaction with potential adopters, they can get good feel for what a person is looking for.

“Many times when a person finds out their animal is sponsored, they will go ahead and pay the fee to sponsor another animal in its place,” said Middleton.

For those who can’t afford to do so, the sponsorships are a nice surprise.

For more information or to participate in the drive, call the Fayetteville Animal Shelter at 444-3456 or email Justine Middleton at [email protected].

[Photo by MNicoleM via Flickr and Creative Commons 2.0.]