Free Cat Adoptions Save Lives – Again!
This past June the ASPCA and Fresh Step® collaborated on a month-long fee-waived cat adoption promotion for shelters around the country. Over 150 shelters signed up to participate by conducting a fee-waived event in June.
Fresh Step captured some great media opportunities to promote fee-waived adoptions – with Joy Behar as the spokesperson, we were bound to attract some new potential adopters!
While any shelter could participate and receive free press for fee-waived promotions, you know we at the ASPCA are all about the data… so we offered an incentive of free litter for any shelter that submitted their data around their fee-waived events.
We received data from 48 shelters, and when I analyzed it, I thought not of numbers but of the hundreds and hundreds of cats that those numbers represented. Thanks to the shelters listed below, Fresh Step and the ASPCA, almost 860 more cats found homes during the fee-waived period vs. the same period last year! Some shelters conducted fee-waived months while others conducted long weekends or weeks – combined, this resulted in 2,077 adult cat adoptions at those 48 reporting shelters!
“We had our biggest month of adoptions ever!” reported Samantha Person, shelter director at The Cattery in Corpus Christi, TX. “We had 55 total adoptions, 27 of them being adults! This beat our previous record set in December 2010, which was 53 adoptions.”
And many agencies told us about great benefits in addition to the increased numbers. “The event provided us with an opportunity to get the local community involved in a specific goal of increasing cat adoptions,” explained Pam Hamilton at Sweet Onion Animal Protection Services, Vidalia, GA. “In rural Georgia, this is a difficult task to accomplish. Animals, especially cats, have little value in some rural southern communities.”
Just as exciting is what happened to the shelters’ length of stay for adult cats – down an average of 7 days. With an average cost of care per day at a low estimate of $10, that is a savings of $70 per cat! That sure can take the pressure off any concerns over loss of revenue!
And not only did length of stay decrease, but the return rate also decreased – from 9% to 6%.
A special thanks goes to Fresh Step for supporting a program that so directly impacts the lives of cats in shelters. Fee-waived adoptions can be controversial, but Fresh Step saw the life-saving potential and respected the research from the ASPCA – it made for a great partnership.
And for those of you at agencies that have yet to give it a try… the evidence is mounting! We hope to have another fee-waived program like this one next June – and we hope you plan to participate!
Thank you to the following shelters that took the time to submit their data to us after the event so that we can continue to track the impact of fee-waived adoptions:
Animal Allies Humane Society
Animal Friends Humane Society
Animal Rescue of Carroll
Asheville Humane Society
ASPCA Adoption Center
Austin Humane Society
Beaumont Animal Services
The Cattery Cat Shelter
Catawba Humane Society
Central Oklahoma Humane Society
Centre County PAWS
Charleston Animal Society
Elk County Humane Society
Eva Burrell Animal Shelter
The Franklin County Humane Society
Ft. Collins Cat Rescue
Ft. Defiance Humane Society
Good Mews Animal Foundation Inc.
Greater Androscoggin Humane Society
Hawaii Island Humane Society
Helotes Humane Society
Humane Shelter and Adoption Center of Whitley County
Humane Society of Charles County
Humane Society of Freeborn County
Lee County Humane Society
Leon County Humane Society
Lycoming Animal Protection Society (LAPS)
NC Cat Adoptions
Newnan-Coweta Humane Society
Orange County Animal Services
Orphan Animal Rescue and Sanctuary
Safe Harbor Humane Society
Shelby Humane Society
SPCA in Cattaraugus County
SPCA of Southwest Michigan
SPCA Tampa Bay
Spokane Humane Society
St. Bernard Parish Animal Services
Sweet Onion Animal Protection Agency
TAILS Humane Society
Ten Lives Rescue Club