A New Breed of Pet Store
I, along with other pet lovers cheered when the Southern California city in which I live finally banned pet shops from selling pets from puppy mills. Hopefully this legislation is something that will one day exist in pet stores nationally.
Thus I want to take this opportunity to talk about a new breed of pet store called Adopt and Shop that is starting to appear in Southern California, and hopefully will one day also become the recognized norm in the pet world, namely pet stores that showcase pets available for adoption ( not for sale) in a really stylish setting,
The concept is fabulous; pet lovers can shop for the latest accessories and foods for their pets in a stylish mall pet store BUT the store doesn't operate for profit. Proceeds from each sale directly support animal initiatives in local communities such as adoption promotions, spay and neuter surgeries and low cost veterinary services.
Adopt and Shop is the brain child of the Found Animals Foundation, a Los Angeles based organization that promotes everything thing from micro chipping, spay and neutering and of course adoptions. They opened their first Adopt & Shop in the Lakewood Center Mall in Lakewood, California in April 2011. To date, it has found homes for over 1,500 cats and dogs.
Last week I was invited to the opening of their second store in The Shops in Mission Viejo where a variety of cats and dogs from a local shelter were being showcased so that they could find forever homes. The meet and greet rooms are designed like big dog houses and there are also quiet hospitality areas for the cats too.
The city’s mayor showed up with an entourage of councilors to endorse the concept and to cut the ribbon with the largest pair of scissor I have ever seen.
There are sadly many shelters in the country that have the best intentions for the pets they are looking after but do not have the funds to properly photograph and showcase the pets in their care. There is no question that a good setting and great photographs are key to easier adoptions.
This Adopt and Shop concept also overcomes the issue many people face of not being able to go to a shelter because although they want a pet, they find the process depressing. And sadly often it is…
While there may not be Adopt & Shop I your area yet -- the plan is to take them nationwide -- there are still lots of opportunities to help shelter pets in local shelters.
For starters, if you are a keen photographer, consider offering your services to a local animal shelter to help them get happy smiley photographs of their charges and thus make it easier for them to be adopted.
Here is also a call for school photographic clubs. Looking for a project? Well, why not “adopt” a shelter and take charge of all their photograph needs so that pets can find forever homes.
Surely that’s something every teacher will consider worth of extra credit?