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Community Conversations - 9/11/23 - Top Dog Adoption Decision-Making Factors

  • 1.  Community Conversations - 9/11/23 - Top Dog Adoption Decision-Making Factors

    Posted 09-07-2023 12:29 PM

    Recording available to watch on-demand

    We hope to see you on Monday, 9/11 at 11am PT for our next Community Conversations call for a presentation on, "Top Dog Adoption Decision-Making Factors" by @Lawrence Minnis, Director of Workforce Development at Humane Rescue Alliance!

    A potential adopter walks into your shelter to look at adoptable dogs. They ask the front desk about the adoption process then walk through the dog kennels. Twenty minutes later they leave the kennels, say "Thank you!" to the front desk and leave. This may be a common occurrence at your shelter, but what do you know about the thought process that the potential adopter went through? What were they thinking? And how may your operations impact their decision process?

    Lawrence Minnis has studied shelter visitors and adoption decision-making research and will highlight findings from his research and other studies. Lawrence will also share information about his upcoming research and what we may hope to learn about the adoption decision-making process.

    ๐Ÿ’ธ Maddie's Fund will also be announcing the August grant giveaway winners so be sure to tune in to see if you've won! ๐Ÿ’ธ
    Register here for our Monday Community Conversations Calls:
    If you are unable to make it live on Monday, this thread will be updated with the recording and resources so you can watch and share whenever you'd like.  After you watch the recording on-demand or attend the call live, be sure to complete this new September entry form to enter to win up to a $5,000 grant:


    Maddie's Pet Forum Admin
    Maddie's Fund

  • 2.  RE: Community Conversations - 9/11/23 - Top Dog Adoption Decision-Making Factors

    Posted 09-11-2023 12:13 PM

    I want to thank everyone for attending and supporting this call!! I look forward to great questions and follow-up discussions on this topic.

    Please, post your questions or comments, and I will be here to engage as much as I can!

    Lawrence Minnis
    Director, Workforce Development
    Humane Rescue Alliance

  • 3.  RE: Community Conversations - 9/11/23 - Top Dog Adoption Decision-Making Factors

    Posted 11-14-2023 07:27 AM

    Hi Lawrence,

    Thank you for a great webinar and wonderful research. I learned so much about the adopter's decisions when looking for a pet to adopt. As a trainer, I agree that behavior is the main event. Could you explain to me again what is the Realtor model? I appreciate it. Thanks.

    Julielani Chang
    The Life of Kai: Compassion Connections Inc.
    Davis CA

  • 4.  RE: Community Conversations - 9/11/23 - Top Dog Adoption Decision-Making Factors

    Posted 11-14-2023 11:30 AM

    Thank you for your feedback and for your question, Julielani!

    The Realtor model represents an alternative to the current adoptions model that many organizations use. If you imagine a scenario of purchasing a home, a potential home buyer may look online for available homes. But at some point, before the typical purchase offer is made, a potential buyer will engage a realtor or real estate agent and receive help for the next part of their search. The realtors provide advice, may curate homes to visit, and overall assist the potential buyer through the search and final purchase decision process.

    So, the Realtor model is based on two or three primary characteristics: 1. early engagement with potential clients, 2. provide advice and assistance during the search process, 3. Support the decision-making process of clients. Shelter adoption teams can take a similar approach to model operations along those three characteristics. In the current model, adoption staff do not typically engage potential adopters until they are close to choosing a dog and making an adoption decision. In the Realtor model, adoption staff would find ways to engage potential adopters much earlier (possibly using social media) and work through the search and decision process in support of the potential adopter. 

    Lawrence Minnis
    Director, Workforce Development
    Humane Rescue Alliance

  • 5.  RE: Community Conversations - 9/11/23 - Top Dog Adoption Decision-Making Factors

    Posted 11-14-2023 04:37 PM

    Hi Lawrence,

    Thank you for your quick response and clear explanation. What a progressive way to approach adoption! Is the Realtor model being implemented in a shelter right now? And do you have any data supporting its effectiveness when compared to the traditional approach? Thanks 

    Julielani Chang
    The Life of Kai: Compassion Connections Inc.
    Davis CA

  • 6.  RE: Community Conversations - 9/11/23 - Top Dog Adoption Decision-Making Factors

    Posted 11-15-2023 07:17 AM

    Hi Julielani, 

    The presentation was the first time that I have discussed the Realtor model outside private internal conversations at HRA, so it is in the early 'theory development' phase. I simply wanted to offer a different perspective accounting for cognitive decision-making behaviors and customer purchase behaviors, due to my unique background. I hope that we can further the conversation and begin to innovate a practical Realtor model adoptions approach that can be tested a one or several shelters. 

    Any innovation and changes to adoption staff procedures should be backed by a simultaneous research effort to provide solid theory and defined data points that everyone can collect. It may take a year (or two) for everything to begin moving, but I am confident that change in the direction of a Realtor model will have the impact that many shelter adoptions teams have long sought after.

    Lawrence Minnis
    Director, Workforce Development
    Humane Rescue Alliance

  • 7.  RE: Community Conversations - 9/11/23 - Top Dog Adoption Decision-Making Factors

    Posted 09-11-2023 03:02 PM
      |   view attached
    Thank you to the 187+ people who joined us live for today's Community Conversations call. There was SO much great information shared by our presenter @Lawrence Minnis plus some grant winners were announced for attending these calls and for participating here on Maddie's Pet Forum! Congrats to the two grant winners @Kathy Duncan and @Ky Crawford! To enter to win a grant for the September drawing, be sure to complete this grant giveaway form each time you watch a call live or on-demand:

    The recording is now available to watch on-demand and Lawrence's presentation slides are attached. Below you'll find a recap of the agenda, resources and chat. Have a great week!

    • Welcome From Hosts
      • @Nadia Oseguera, California Program Manager, UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program
      • Shannon Martin-Roebuck, Executive Director, Bridging Impact

    • Acknowledgment of 9/11: We want to acknowledge the significance of today, September 11th, and take a moment to remember those who perished and thank first responders and service members who were involved in responding to the attack. If there are any loved ones you're thinking about today, we welcome you to share about them in the chat or unmute.
      • "My sister-in-law is a nurse who cared for victims in the aftermath. She is still traumatized. Mary Ellen Routin." - Amy Charles
      • "I acknowledge all the wonderful law enforcement, military and fire rescue people serving us honorably everyday." - Vincent Medley

    • Question of the Day: What influenced the selection of your pet?
      • "She chose me!" - Alison Gibson
      • "Foster fail cat" - June Thomas
      • "She showed up barefoot & pregnant and gave birth under our bed 24 hours later! ๐Ÿคฃ So.... no choice in the matter whatsoever!" - Amanda Coburn
      • "I asked for who was the longest stay and we feel in love ๐Ÿ™‚" - Jenna Riedi
      • "When my wife adopted me she already had our dog." - Bobby Mann
      • "I played amputation nurse and I couldn't let him go" - Alexsey Dobberstine
      • "Mine always chose me." - Penny Leisch
      • "We have been fostering since all of our pets passed, and we finally foster failed with a crazy kitten who bonded tightly with my son." - Dylan Moore
      • "Foster fail dog - he matches my energy every day, no matter what" - Sarah Meyer
      • "My last pet, Buster, I adopted him as a kitten, and he was the only kitten who wasn't sleeping when I went to the shelter. So I picked him up to play with, and fell in love." - Kelly Clardy
      • "Rescue pet who required daily tube feeding and became a foster cat fail." - Beverly Paladinetti
      • "My kids happened to be visiting our shelter and fell in love with a dog (who also loved my kids)!" - Jessie Sullivan
      • "staff suggested her to us" - Nancy McKenney
      • "All from shelters. Our eyes met and it was meant to be." - Elaine Edington
      • "Mine was a black cat looking for food outside on Halloween. Fostered and kept her" - Amanda Gra
      • "Looked like a dog from my childhood then foster fail-keeps :)" - Debbie Loveland
      • "PJ was passed over by two other families already. He also reminded me of my first dog." - Irene Chansawang
      • "She had a cute photo on petfinder and growled at me when we first met" - Maria S
      • "They need to be seniors with special needs. That is where my heart is" - Roxane Fritz
      • "My dogs were all rejected by other people.  They are outsiders like me" - Vincent Medley
      • "She looked into my eyes and I heard her name, "Ursula," in my head." - Nanette McCann
      • "It was supposed to be a fospice, but it's been 5 years..." - Emily Wood
      • "All rescues that needed a home right away." - Carol Shelby
      • "Their personalities - somehow all of my four pets ended up being black and white...we did not plan that! ๐Ÿ˜‚" - Jordan LeVine
      • "A friend was fostering the perfect kittens and I adopted after meeting them." - Sara
      • "I have retired racing greyhounds who picked me. When each came in on a haul from a couple of different farms, I saw them and just knew they were mine!" - Mary Flores
      • "My latest were adopted at our SVO clinic. Two brothers. I lost my old kitty back in Sept. it was time." - Lisa Tate
      • "Foster kittens that adopted us." - Kimberly Moore
      • "I went to adopt a senior with limited life span. The foster family decided to adopt her and my present dog was presented as an option. I went from a terminal senior to a puppy found on the street." - Penny Leisch
      • "Our pet chose us! She was nearly two years old, living in a dirt backyard with generations from her "pack". A shepherd/husky mix who had to fight for her food, because her "owner" threw handsful of food to the 2 dozen dogs living there. All the other dogs barked insanely at the fence. Cree sat quietly staring at us, as if to say, "Get me out of here!" And we did!" - Amy Charles

    • National Updates
    • Today's Presentation (recording starts at 10:10) - Top Dog Adoption Decision-Making Factors with Guest Speaker, Lawrence Minnis, Director of Workforce Development, Humane Rescue Alliance
      • Related Links:
      • Published Research:
      • Reference Citations
        • Wells, D. L., & Hepper, P. G. (2001). The behavior of visitors towards dogs housed in an animal rescue shelter. Anthrozoรถs, 14(1), 12โ€“18.
        • Protopopova, A., & Gunter, L. M. (2017). Adoption and relinquishment interventions at the animal shelter: A review. Animal Welfare, 26(1), 35โ€“48.
        • O'Connor, R., Coe, J. B., Niel, L., & Jones-Bitton, A. (2017). Exploratory study of adopters' concerns prior to acquiring dogs or cats from animal shelters. Society & Animals, 25(4), 362โ€“383.
        • Trimmer, P. C., Houston, A. I., Marshall, J. A., Mendl, M. T., Paul, E. S., & McNamara, J. M. (2011). Decision-making under uncertainty: Biases and Bayesians. Animal Cognition, 14, 465-476.
        • Southland, A., Dowling-Guyer, S., & McCobb, E. (2019). Effect of visitor perspective on adoption decisions at one animal shelter. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 22(1), 1โ€“12.

    • Highlights From The Chat
      • "Great slides - I am instantly sharing on my Conncectteam app with my staff as this is a constant conversation on how to help these dogs." - Michelle Russillo
      • "Love this comparison. I totally feel like an animal realtor! ๐Ÿคฃ" - Amanda Gra
      • "There's a fine line between providing education and support versus pushing to get the animal out at any cost. I definitely felt that way at one shelter I visited." - Penny Leisch
      • "How about more like a personal shopper or personal stylist "model"?" - Nancy McKenney
      • "We need someone to design a game type system for a kiosk where incoming adopters put in things about their lifestyle and the result is suggestions for various breeds that are best suited. No pressure from people, just a fun game with a few logical ideas to help make a good match." - Penny Leisch
        • "One issue is that many shelters don't have a variety of breeds. My local shelter is 99% pit bull types!" - Maria S
        • "Penny, the ASPCA use to have something like that with Meet your Match -- sort of like a quiz to match adopters to animals up for adoption." - Nancy McKenney
      • "I love the idea but we don't have the staff to do the pre-conversations. I think a Social worker model should be a key employee for some many reasons but we have to afford that role. I think I have thought of 15 plus things they could be doing that would be a better shelter model all around." - Michelle Russillo
      • "Tjis would lessen the barriers to adoption, reunification, and diversion. I know this is my next grant request. ๐Ÿ™‚ I want to try it for 6 months" - Michelle Russillo
      • "We found it difficult to capture this info. We had a sign in sheet that asked for all of this info. Adopters were reluctant to give the info and usually only write their first name, so we stopped. Do you have recommendations on how better capture it?" - Carrie Ridgway
        • "Maybe pets that are most suited temperament and size wise for their lifestyle?" - Dina Smith
        • "I second Dina! Generally lots of variety in behavior in bully types. If people feel they have a customized match that might help!" - JoAnna Platzer
        • "You could have a website to do that and offer a QR code visitors to scan, to walk through that process. Everyone has smart phones now" - June Thomas
          • "@June Thomas A lot of people do, but many people still don't have a smartphone. It varies a lot by demographic" - Maria S
        • "maybe ask volunteers (if in a greeter role) to assist with tracking?" - Nancy McKenney
        • "Did anyone explain why this info is needed? For example, there are still places with breed laws that may not accept a bully breed or insurance limitations for homeowners. Many people don't realize they need to know those things. We are helping prevent a lot of heartbreak and return if we help them eliminate those issues." - Penny Leisch
      • "This statistic is so important to keep in mind. We're not "failing" if 100% of shelter visitors don't adopt if only 10-25% are intending to adopt during that specific visit. Super helpful to really consider the intent of visitors" - Kim Domerofski
        • "Yes! I used to go to my local shelter just to browse. The only time I went intending to adopt was if I'd seen a specific pet on the website I wanted to adopt" - Maria S
      • "If there was a social worker model there probably a better name for the role then the kennel staff could learn the best ways to engage and problem solve shelter animal issues thus making it a more standard interaction style and belief system. Just my thoughts as I listen to this great presentation. This detail is fabulous.." - Michelle Russillo
      • "Spontaneous adopters are so surprising and exciting! We had a friend come in with her coworker who was adopting one kitten. Supportive friend adopted the two siblings!" - Amanda Gra
      • "Lawrence- we should chat research!!" - Carley Faughn
      • "Thank you, this was wonderful!!" - Lucy Biesenbach
      • "Excellent info!!  Love the data!!!" - Kathy Duncan
      • "Thank You Lawrence!  Very informative presentation!" - Debra DeVries
      • "Super helpful presentation. So much great information!" - JoAnna Platzer
      • "Amazing presentation!  Thank you, Lawrence!" - Mary @ Maddie's Fund
      • "Amazing presentation can't wait to rewatch!" - Jennifer Salan
      • "Fantastic Information!" - Nanette McCann
      • "AMAZING!!! So grateful to work with Lawrence!!" - Jasmin Bell
      • "Awesome presentation! You're going to kill it in your thesis defense!" - Amanda Gra

    Charlotte Otero
    Community Strategist at Maddie's Fund

  • 8.  RE: Community Conversations - 9/11/23 - Top Dog Adoption Decision-Making Factors

    This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous
    Posted 09-11-2023 03:04 PM
    This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous

    Unanswered question from the chat, "Do adopters and participants in the studies show any awareness of how the living conditions may affect the behavior when considering a dog or cat?" - Penny Leisch