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Boone County Animal Shelter chosen to participate in ASPCA Adoption Ambassadors campaign

NKyTribune staff

The Boone County Animal Shelter was one of just two shelters in Kentucky chosen by the ASPCA to participate in its 2016 Adoption Ambassadors campaign.

ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) announced that it has provided $239,000 in grant funding to 112 animal welfare organizations nationwide to help them take part in the campaign.

ASPCA logoThe 2016 campaign, which runs from July 1 through December 31, empowers fosters to act as talent agents for their foster pets, including finding matches and completing official adoption processes.

Boone County Animal Shelter director Beckey Reiter said Adoption Ambassadors are a new approach to an age-old problem for every animal shelter – space.

“The Boone County Animal Shelter is always looking for new ways to keep animals out of the shelter,” Reiter said. “Our foster parents are dedicated folks who volunteer their home, time, and emotions for weeks at a time.”

When animals are taken out in the community and promoted by their ambassadors, they’re seen by new pools of potential adopters, including trusted family and friends. Local participating shelters are currently recruiting members of the public to become new Adoption Ambassadors, making saving lives a true community effort.

“Through the Adoption Ambassadors program, shelters can find safe and loving homes for more at-risk animals by leveraging the social circles of their volunteer fosters,” said B.J. Rogers, vice president of prolearning for the ASPCA. ”Our research shows that adoptions completed by Ambassadors have fewer returns than traditional adoptions made in shelters.”

BCAS logoReiter said the use of Adoption Ambassadors reduces the stress of both the animal and the foster parent.

“We trust our foster parents to care for our animals, why wouldn’t we trust them to find good homes as well,” Reiter said. “The animal doesn’t have to re-enter the sheltering system and the foster parent worries less because they know who is adopting their foster pet.”

The Adoption Ambassadors grant funding helps by subsidizing adoption fees and other costs including pet food, cat litter, marketing expenses, and special “Adopt Me” vests, leashes, t-shirts and other promotional items.

“This program can enable shelters to increase capacity, decrease returns, ease overcrowding and reach new adopters – but they cannot do it alone,” Rogers said. “The success of this program depends on the response from members of the community. The more people who sign up to become Adoption Ambassadors for adoptable pets in their area, the greater reach the local shelter will have with a whole new population of potential adopters.”

Organizations of all types and sizes – including private and municipal companion animal shelters and horse rescues – can start their own Adoption Ambassadors programs. To learn more about the program, click here.

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