The Best Friends Podcast Episode 116
The Best Friends National Adoption Weekend is coming up July 22nd-24th. This network partner exclusive event helps organizations like yours adopt more animals. To learn more about the event and to register, check out this link: https://network.bestfriends.org/join-us/events/best-friends-national-adoption-event
To get us all geared up for the adoption event, we're dipping into the archives to revisit one of our favorite adoption-themed episodes!
Every time someone chooses to adopt an animal, we have the opportunity to positively change that person's life and save an animal's life. So why do we still put up so many barriers that make adopting an animal so unreasonably difficult?
The reasons to deny a pet adoption are as vast as they are inane. Sometimes it's because of age (of the adopter and/or the pet). Others because they are a renter, while another potential adopter may own a home, a fenceless yard can lead to rejection. Some organizations go so far as asking if you plan to have children anytime in the next decade. Unfortunately, this often grueling and unnecessarily invasive adoption process does little to determine how much a pet will be cared for and drives good people away from our lifesaving work.
This week we speak with Lawrence Nicolas, the Chief Operating Officer for the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League in West Palm Beach, Florida (currently, he is the COO of the Jacksonville Humane Society in Florida). Lawrence tells us about their open adoption process that sends roughly 6,000 animals to new homes each year while maintaining a return rate of under 4 percent.
- Best Friends Playbook: Open Adoptions - Basic considerations and steps that every agency can take to create a well-rounded open-adoption program.
- Best Friends Lifesaving Training Module: Client Service & Open Adoptions - Exceeding client service expectations to increase lifesaving.
- Best Friends Adoption Barrier Study - Qualitative study to understand the pet acquisition process, existing barriers (real or perceived) to adoption, and potential solutions to overcome those barriers.
- Best Friends Tool: How to Use Data to Prove the Community-Supported Sheltering Model - A guide to the importance of knowing your data (especially now), what you need to be measuring, and how to use it to increase lifesaving with your community.
- Best Friends Pet Adoption Survey Results - How do Americans feel about pet adoption, and what do they really know about shelter animals? Those were two key questions Best Friends hoped to answer through its inaugural “Pet Adoption” survey.
- HSUS: Adopters Welcome
- American Pets Alive! - Open Fostering: Removing Barriers to Fostering During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Carver Scott Humane Society- Example of low barrier adoption agreement
- Saving America's Pets Eps. 16 & 17, Getting out of our own way to save more lives
- Best Friends, Pet Adoption: Barriers and Solutions
- Blog, Pet adoption policies: More red carpets, fewer roadblocks, empty animal shelters
- Animal welfare should tear down walls to pet ownership
- Reflecting on Rescue Roadblocks
- Removing Rescue Roadblocks
- Rescue Roadblock Pledge Participants Share Their Successes
- Association for Animal Welfare Advancement: If your adoption policies put up barriers, you’re part of the problem
- Removing Barriers to Adoption: How Evidence, Innovation and Compassion Grow Pet Adoptions
- Stories Matter- CARE's Narrative Division is producing stories that celebrate diverse companion humans and their pets.
chief operating officer, Jacksonville Humane Society
Lawrence graduated from the University of Colorado in Denver with a Bachelor’s degree in communications and an emphasis on public relations. After graduating, Lawrence began working at a very large private animal welfare organization in Denver and the direction his life took changed forever. After spending nearly five years with that organization, Lawrence began working for Best Friends Animal Society in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he held many positions overseeing various aspects of sheltering operations as well as coalition building and relationship cultivation. Lawrence then moved to Florida and worked for Peggy Animal Rescue League for nearly two years prior to joining the Jacksonville Humane Society in 2021. Lawrence lives in Jacksonville with his wife, son, and three shelter pets.