Once upon a time, pets in animal shelters were considered inferior, tainted. After all, if they were good dogs and cats, they would be in loving homes, wouldn’t they?

Over the past 15 years, Petfinder.com has been a tremendous force in disproving that notion, educating people that adopting a shelter animal is not about pity but about bringing joy and love into the adopters’ lives.  Think of it as an interspecies dating site — one that I’d wager is more successful than Match.com in creating lasting partnerships.

My series of Pet Adoption Videos That Don’t Make You Want To Kill Yourself is about joyousness too. A recurrent theme is that it’s the people whose pets end up in shelters, not the pets themselves, that are often* inferior. This latest (#8) installment in the series, another production of the ShelterPetProject.org — see the first one I posted here — is dedicated to Petfinder’s 15 years of helping superior pets find superior homes.

This post is part of a celebration of PetFinder.com’s 15th birthday that will culminate on March 15. Click on the Adopt the Internet Day badge to the right of this post to see what you can do to help.

*But far from always. A lot of pets are given up because their families become homeless or too financially strapped to care for an animal. But if that were the premise of a video it would really make me want to kill myself.

17 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Petfinder!”

  1. Have you found any ads addressing the fact that many pets end up in shelters today because their families have lost their homes in foreclosures?

    1. Pamela– check this out: http://www.fairydogparents.com. Currently they are only in Massachusetts, and their mandate is to prevent people who’ve lost their jobs from losing their pets as well. There should be chapters everywhere!

      Edie– thanks for letting me hijack your comments section! 🙂

  2. You know I had that in mind when I wrote “it’s the people that are…often inferior.” I had made that stronger in the first draft but then I thought — this is one of those nuance things. But you’re right. I’ll footnote it – my favorite leftover from my days of academic geekdom.

  3. Edie, I am passing on the Stylish Blogger Award to you among others. You are consistently honest in your posts, using humor and Frankie to help us all see the truth. I am one of those people who have given up animals to shelters – first years ago during my divorce and less years ago during recurrent years of cancer surgery – though by then I at least made sure my cats went to a no kill. Now, I have a dog sanctuary – and am on the other end yet always with a toe hold making sure someone will care for my dogs should something happen to me.

  4. Even though the dog is just a wee bit creepy, I like this. I still encounter people almost every day who think all shelter dogs have serious behavioral issues. It’s great to see a commercial that disputes this in such a charming way. After all, most dogs end up in shelters through absolutely no fault of their own.

    1. The talking dog does add a tad of creepiness, I agree, but came to the conclusion that you did: That it was outweighed by the message that the animals are not the problem in cases like these.

  5. This video was good, but not the happiest…it made me look at the kitchen knives, but not actually play with them. Roberta’s comment brought me back to the bright side.

    1. Oh dear. I would worry, but I don’t see you as a kitchen knife type of suicide. Too messy. I’m glad that Roberta’s comment brought you back; it was great, wasn’t it?

  6. Our first foster dog came to us because the elderly lady who owned him went into a people shelter. (I don’t think she got adopted.) I always felt terrible about that. At least one of the other dogs (forget which) was thrown out of a car– talk about inferior people.

    Problem is, there are “problem dogs” in shelters. The fact that they got that way because of mistreatment by “inferior people” doesn’t change anything for the people who adopt them, return them, then refuse to try again. If I can invent a statistic here, probably 99% of people who go to shelters just want a pet. They know nothing of dog behavioural issues, or worse, they’ve seen five episodes of The Dog Whisperer and think can fix it themselves.

    Shelters need volunteer trainers who can work with problem pooches and help them become more adoptable. Call them “Trainers Without Borders” or something. Anything so dogs fewer adopted dogs get returned.

    1. There are many programs, Lori, like “Meet Your Match,” which tries to get people to adopt pets who are suited for them. And many shelters do have training programs. As always, the problem is money. I love the idea of “Trainers without Borders…”

  7. it’s fantastic to see all the bloggers on your side of the world getting together for this great cause. i hope it’s hugely successful!

    ok, i have to go. my rescue dog wants her dinner NOW.

  8. All of our cats have been rescues, but none have been through pet finder. However, my wife and I are very aware of the service and plan to using it when finding a dog in the next few years.

    I don’t understand how anyone would want to pay for a cat when there are so many beautiful kittens that need a home! I am so glad we rescued the cats we did. Their personalities are great and they make our life so happy. Meanwhile they get the good life of having food everyday and getting to sleep to their heart’s content! 🙂

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