Proven Strategies

Three black cats and two orange cats lying on pink blanket

Encore! Encore!

Take another look at this year’s top five editorials and program spotlights  

As we wrap up 2021, we thought we’d look back and see what topics resonated the most with our audience of Network partners. It’s great to know that we are connecting with shelters and rescues around the country and giving them useful content that just might help make their work a little easier.  

Below are our top five most-accessed Program Spotlights and Editorials; since they were so popular, you might want to read them again! 

Lady in sunglasses sitting with dog in back hatch of car1. You Asked the Potential Adopter What?

“Face it: most people come to our shelter or rescue organization because they love animals. They want to adopt from us. They’re excited about the chance to meet their new family member. The worst thing we can do is greet that enthusiasm with judgment and intrusive questions that reveal more about our fears than they do about how good a match this family is with the pet they’re interested in adopting.” 


Small brown dog standing in grass2. Latest Data Analysis Reveals Most Common Reasons for Owner Surrender

“We found that pets acquired from the community are relinquished to shelters significantly more frequently than pets who are adopted or purchased. . . It may be the case that people who acquire pets “without support” are either not exposed to services other than owner surrender or are not aware of such services due to poor marketing. Either way, the data implies that getting a cat or dog from an organization gives people a better chance of fixing the kinds of issues that might otherwise drive them to give up their pet.”  

Tabby cat3. Setting the Record Straight on Shelter Returns

“Demonizing people who can no longer give their pet the home they envisioned is not the way to change behavior, nor is it helpful in advocating for necessary policy changes that encourage keeping pets and families together or in building strong rapport with the community. Demonizing people also alienates the very people we want & need to help support our life-saving work at shelters.” 


Tabby and white cat in grass4. Research Underscores Need to Use Broadly Understood Language  

“Right off the bat, it was clear that there was a need for us to do this kind of research, as close to 70% of participants revealed a low level of awareness about the language, concepts, and benefits of community cat programs. It’s frustrating to know that we’ve been doing and talking about this work for years and a majority of people are still unaware. That’s why we did this, to determine if we have been communicating at a level that people didn’t understand.” 


Black cat sitting next to white and brown dog lying on ottoman5. The 2020 Data Set is Here!  

“The results of each year’s data analysis show our industry to be on the right path toward getting to no-kill. The number of people who believe it’s very important to essential to have no-kill shelters in their communities continues to grow—rising from 81% in our general population survey published in 2020 to 85% in the 2021 version.”  


If you enjoyed this program spotlight, you can find our complete catalog of spotlights here