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Embracing the Community with “Adopters Welcome” Approach

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LifeLine welcomes all adopters with their Adopters Welcome policy. Historically, adopting a pet was a very frustrating process. Shelters may have asked you for a veterinarian reference, proof of a fenced yard and more. These policies were designed to prevent adoptions judged as “likely to fail.” They were also supposed to prevent pets from being turned back into the shelter. However, the policies created barriers that often kept good potential adopters from adopting. And, due to their one-size-fits-all approach, potential adopters did not feel welcome. 

Rather than using traditional adoption policies, LifeLine uses the Humane Society of the United States’ Adopters Welcome approach. This approach welcomes community members, encourages them to adopt and helps them and their pets succeed. Adopters Welcome enables us to find more great homes for our shelter animals without unecessary judgment. 

Instead of trying to rule out potential adopters, Adopters Welcome focuses on finding good homes through discussions. Adoption counselors talk to potential adopters in a positive and respectful way, while learning about their attitudes and intentions. Additionally, this often leads to adoption counselors serving as a resource throughout the life of the adopted pet and beyond.

Adopters Welcome is based on data and studies that prove that returns and abuse cases do not increase when adoption restrictions are lifted. And, while LifeLine wants every pet and adopter to be the perfect match, we do not view returns as failures. Instead, we use the information to learn more about the pet so we can better match them with future adopters. 

With so many animals needing homes, using an approach that tries to find adopters rather than reject them makes sense.  By welcoming adopters and removing roadblocks, LifeLine Animal Project is proud to be a shelter that welcomes everyone.

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