BOGO Pets?

One of my readers wrote to tell me that in her area the local shelters offer a BOGO (Buy One Get One Free) offer for anyone adopting an animal.

This means that when you adopt a pet from the shelter that you can get another one without any additional fees.

Now you might feel that this is a good deal–which it is considering some of the adoption fees these days.

But, what kind of picture is being set up about the animals and our relationship with them?

Yes, animals are considered pets or family members by most of the people I know.

However, in some circles they are commodities –and the BOGO mindset reminds me simply of stores trying to move inventory–which is probably also true of shelters.

But the subliminal message?

Not that animals are valuable but that they are a commodity–and can be picked up during this bargain period.

Does that create value in the mind of the buyer?

I understand the marketing idea behind it but is it a good one?

What do you think about BOGO Pets?

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  1. I hate this idea for so many reasons! Where to begin! First of all, if the cost of adoption is a motivating factor for adoption, the person considering adopting a pet should think long and hard whether they are really in a position to adopt a pet. The cost of owning a pet doesn’t end with the adoption fee – there’s the day to day cost of food, litter, toys, bedding, etc., not to mention veterinary costs over the lifetime of a pet (even for a healthy pet, you’ll have to budget at least $200 a year for that, more as the pet gets older).

    By making the cost of adoption a marketing issue, shelters are completely devaluing the pet as a commodity. I understand the dire straits many shelters find themselves in, and the need to get animals adopted quickly and in great numbers, but this is not the right approach.

    Can you imagine a human adoption agency coming up with a promotion like this? I think not.

    So to answer your question – I think this is not just a bad idea, it’s a horribly misguided marketing effort.

  2. @Ingrid: Thanks for your thoughts. It doesn’t sit well with me either.

  3. Eleonora says

    Well, though I agree with you, it is also true that many of these shelters are way over their max. capacity, and if they don’t do this, these animals will be euthanized. I understand your point of view, but try to put yourself in the shelter and the dog’s shoes (and paws!). I believe this is definitely better than putting a healthy dog to sleep. It should only be used as a last resort, though.

  4. Now although I appreciate your taking the time to comment–perhaps you’re new here because I’ve worked in a shelter and to help them and don’t agree with you at all. I’ve also been in captive animal management and the pet industry for over 30 years and am pretty clear about what happens and many of the issues found throughout facilities housing animals.

    Mental deterioration is more cruel than euthanasia in my opinion.

    Unless you are involved with the shelter industry it is hard to get the full picture and to understand the differences between all the different management models.