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I lied...

OK, I said I would shut up about the OC.  I lied.  :-p

We're thinking of doing a special promotion campaign aimed at converting the heathen dogfree.  At the moment we have rather a lot of dogs (and not a few cats, actually) on the books that need to be only pets.  Usually they are animals that don't really get on too well with other dogs - OK out on a walk, but not so good at close quarters longterm. All of them, looking for homes that have no other pets (or possibly, only small caged pets or birds or something contained).  

This is difficult. People who already have pets are proven soft touches and can often be convinced to add another one. But people without pets - ah.  They are a mystery to us.   Where do they go?  Why do they not already have pets?   How do we talk them out of buying a puppy from the local paper*?

Now admittedly most of them will not have pets because they can't for some reason or just don't want to, which is fair enough.  But somewhere, there must be a pool of prospective dog owners that don't have dogs.   There is no point advertising, as we normally do, in pet shops and vets and so on, because why would they be in there?

So I'm thinking, libraries, supermarkets, post offices?  Schools maybe?  Any cunning ideas out there from non-petowning people?


* like the lovely colleague of philmophlegm's who was telling us all about her bulldog, how she had bought it relatively cheaply as a pup, but it had proved to have an amazing list of incredibly expensive ailments that ate up all her bonuses for years. 

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
king_pellinor
16th Jul, 2008 14:35 (UTC)
To be slightly callous, perhaps - pet cemeteries? People who've just lost their dog and might like to have another, but don't want to take on a bouncy little puppy that needs training and energetic walking and so on.
bunn
16th Jul, 2008 14:36 (UTC)
That is a grim, but possibly very cunning, thought.
king_pellinor
16th Jul, 2008 14:47 (UTC)
Well, you see, my current job is coming up with a solution, then finding the problem it solves, and only identifying the sort of person to apply it to later, if at all :-)

At the moment, for example, I'm assuming I can find a company that's really a partnership; if the idea pans out I'll find out if such things exist later.

You're after dog owners that have no dogs. What is a "dog-owner"? Someone who *habitually* owns a dog - *actually* owning one is incidental.

How about recent immigrants whose dogs are in quarantine, or couldn't be brought in to the country at all?

Of course the former is only a temporary solution, but that might be worth a go too :-)
wellinghall
16th Jul, 2008 14:49 (UTC)
Would vets allow you to put some leaflets out / posters up?
bunn
16th Jul, 2008 15:00 (UTC)
Some do, some don't. We do ask our supporters to get their vets to put up leaflets, but in general, the vet posters attract people who already have animals. I'm trying to think of places where people who don't have any animals are more likely to see a poster that is specifically aimed at people who don't have existing pets.
wellinghall
17th Jul, 2008 15:01 (UTC)
So you'd said, sorry.
jane_somebody
16th Jul, 2008 14:53 (UTC)
Yes, I'd say schools/ children's libraries/ creches/ toddler groups/ child activity places in general might be worth looking into. A lot of people, it seems to me, like the idea of getting a pet once their baby is a bit older so the kid gets used to the idea of looking after someone else etc. I imagine the main issues with this might be that (a) these people do not necessarily know the ramifications of taking on a pet in real terms and thus might not be the best owners, and (b) I also imagine that at least some of your dogs/cats also need to be in homes that don't have lively young children in.
bunn
16th Jul, 2008 15:02 (UTC)
We could do a poster specifically featuring the 'likes kids but not dogs' dogs. A fair number of dogs seem to be people people, not dog people.
philmophlegm
16th Jul, 2008 15:00 (UTC)
The breeders hoping to sell those expensive puppies to non-dog owners will be advertising in classified ads - local papers, Loot etc. Advertise next to them? If you speak to the publication and play up the charitable aspect, they might offer you discounted rates on slow advertising days.
bunn
16th Jul, 2008 15:01 (UTC)
I'd like to, but we really can't afford anything paid at the mo.
(Deleted comment)
bunn
16th Jul, 2008 15:26 (UTC)
The larger well-known organisations tend to have fixed rules on that sort of thing, the smaller ones are usually more flexible on individual circumstances.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'certified' - do you mean they were not a registered charity?

I would be dubious about rehoming an unspayed sighthound to someone with a back problem, just because of the pulling issue (plus, spaying is good practice anyway), but I think we've rehomed appropriate dogs to people who can't walk well before now. Actually, one of our dog fosterers has ME and is in a wheelchair a lot of the time. I am glad to hear it worked out well for both of them.
ladyofastolat
16th Jul, 2008 15:56 (UTC)
What about leisure centres and gyms, focusing on the fitness benefits of going on walks every day?* Singles clubs etc, focusing on the opportunities dog-walking offers to meet up with fellow dog-walkers and get chatting? **

* Though "Fed up with expensive gym fees? Get a dog and take exercise for free!" might not go down very well with the gym owners.

** "Too boring to get a date? Get a dog. At least somebody will love you." "A dog: a ready-made topic of conversation when you meet hot girls."
bunn
16th Jul, 2008 16:05 (UTC)
You have some very cunning ideas there. Though your slogans may need just a tad of fine-tuning.. :-D
louisedennis
16th Jul, 2008 16:28 (UTC)
We have at least two friends who have become dog owners on concluding (erroneously in one case) that they were unable to have children. I'm not quite sure how you would target such people (though Doctors' surgeries are probably a good idea) and a poster which states "can't have children? why not foster a dog?" leaves much to be desired on the tact front.
king_pellinor
16th Jul, 2008 16:38 (UTC)
OK, so what you do is put the "Can't have children? why not foster a dog?" poster up somewhere, with the logo of some fictitious organisation.

People notice it. They don't like the way it's presented, but the notion still sinks in - the effect of shock and taboo-breaking is well known in advertising.

Then a little later, having talked it over a bit, they decide it might be a good idea. They don't call the tactless organisation, of course, callous brutes that they are. But oh look, there's an Oldies Club poster just next to it... they look nice, why don't we try them?
kargicq
16th Jul, 2008 18:28 (UTC)
"proved to have an amazing list of incredibly expensive ailments" -- don't all pets?? As a non-pet-owner, one of the things I have made a mental note about from all you pet-owners out there is how expensive the bloody things are -- I seem to remember you spending what struck me as a fortune on your rabbit recently! (I remember thinking at the time, bloody hell, is it compulsory to stump up, or are you allowed to have them euthanised if you don't consider that Bunny is worth the spondulicks?)

Yours callously,

Neuromancer :-)
bunn
17th Jul, 2008 10:25 (UTC)
OK, it took me a while to be able to answer this. I assume you meant this lightheartedly, rather than as a deliberate troll, but as Joop only died a few months back, and went through a lot, it was rather painful to have it referred to in those terms. OK, very painful. I cried.

If I could travel back in time, I would probably have had Joop put to sleep sooner, to spare him pain. As I don't have a crystal ball, I went for the option that I hoped would give my healthy young pet, who I consider to have been a member of my family, whose company I enjoyed, who made me smile - another 5-6 years of life, by spending money that I could easily spare - which was, in fact, less than one might spend on, say, a cheap holiday. The choice was approved by three vets, one a specialist. They wouldn't have told me not to put him to sleep, but they felt it was reasonable and humane to try to treat his problem (the biggest problem wasn't actually diagnosed till we got to the specialist anyway, so we couldn't really have planned for it).

Yes, I could have bought a new rabbit. The only way I can answer that is by saying that if someone you knew and liked died, you could probably easily find a new friend to replace them. But that wouldn't make the grief go away, and you would probably spend money to keep the old friend alive if you had the option.

The person I referred to in my comment had not realised that a bulldog would come with so many genetic problems, and told me that she would not have another bulldog because she felt it was not right to breed animals in such a way that they are so likely to become ill. Next time she is planning to adopt a mongrel. But because it was her dog and she loved it, she had not even considered failing to treat her, or simply killing her to get a healthier model. You don't do that to members of your family.

I am still grieving for Joop. To be honest, I probably have grieved more for him than I have done for some human members of my family who have died - my grandfather, for example, a nice man who I liked, but to whom I was not very close, who died quickly and painlessly in old age.

I would consider it a kindness if you could think more carefully about how you word your comments in future.
(Anonymous)
17th Jul, 2008 15:55 (UTC)
Oh dear. Sorry. Neuromancer
smirnoffmule
16th Jul, 2008 20:14 (UTC)
How about that local paper? Get in there before all the staffie breeders.

I agree it is a mystery why some people don't have animals. What do they do all day? Crazy.
(Deleted comment)
bunn
17th Jul, 2008 10:02 (UTC)
S'a joke between obsessive pet-owners.

Like if you said ' how do people survive with only one copy of the Silmarillion...'?
philmophlegm
16th Jul, 2008 21:30 (UTC)
Great icon!

Arse! Feck! GIRLS!
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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