Atlanta Animal Organization Begins “Don’t Get A Dog” Campaign

Don’t Get A dogAnimal shelters normally try to encourage people to adopt a pet and provide them with a new home. But Southern Hope Humane Society in Atlanta, Georgia is spreading the message of “don’t get a dog.”

The organization, which runs Fulton County animal shelter, is launching an advertising campaign and the Don’t Get A Dog website to spread the message to those thinking about getting a pet.

Southern Hope Humane Society wants potential pet owners to think about all of the responsibility that goes along with owning a pet. They see numerous cases of animal neglect each day and want to prevent those situations from ever occurring.

“The sheer volume of neglect we see is overwhelming,” said Susan Feingold, director of the Fulton shelter. “A lot of people just don’t realize they’re financially responsible for taking care of their animals.”

Signs with strong messages like “If you don’t want to go to the vet, there’s always jail” and photographs of neglected and injured dogs will be put up among the city. Most of the signs will be placed in the inner-city area, where most of the reported neglect cases occur, said Stacey Hall, the president of Southern Hope Humane Society.

Hall said, “We’ve tried other, more subtle campaigns, but it hasn’t had any effect. We’re trying to make people understand it’s their responsibility for 15 years when they take a dog in. It’s not the taxpayer’s responsibility to pay to care for their pet. If they can’t do that, they shouldn’t get a dog.”

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

14 Responses to “Atlanta Animal Organization Begins “Don’t Get A Dog” Campaign”

  1. Jenny Bark says:

    There is more news about the gas chambers & etc in the above paper The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in under Related.

    A lot more news on under Latest News. Don’t know if the shelters are the same or just in the same area. Just got air & heat in AC trucks because of 2 dogs dying, some one else is going to run for director for shelter & etc.

  2. kaefamily says:

    That picture will stay with me for a few days now :-( Often it’s the elderly, women, children and animals who get neglected and abused.

    There should be some stricter laws to hold dog’s owners responsible for the welfare of their animals. Some form of national ID that connects the pet to its owner and requires an annual registration similar to vehicle registration. That might deter folks from adopting. Still, if someone truly wants it s/he will find a way to do it right.

  3. EmilyS says:

    fascinating, creative, and different.
    It highlights the bad owners.. the ones responsible for the numbers of pets in shelters.
    The way to solve the problem of too many pets in shelters (too many pets KILLED in shelters) is to reduce the number of people getting pets (who shouldn’t have pets) who will abandon them.

    Seems obvious… too bad so many people think harsh, expensive and unworkable mandatory s/n laws are the answer.

  4. KarlaSanDiego says:

    After just seeing that photo of this adorable poor little starving dog….makes me fume!!! My body temperature has literally gone up 3 degrees!! I can’ take it! I am all for this organization 100%. Too many people do not pass the criteria for owning a helpless pet. Something needs to be done. An abused animal is just as bad as a homeless one. We cannot just let anyone who walks into a shelter beable to go home with one. They need to qualify. The question is how do we really qualify a person? We need much much harsher laws that punish animal abusers.

  5. Nora and Rufus says:

    What a pitiful starving little dog. So sad it brings tears to your eyes. The look on this poor fur babies face speaks volumes. Anyone responsible for this should be locked up and starved.

  6. The Lioness says:

    Mixed feelings on this. For one thing, you all are right, as is the organization: Anyone who can’t afford pets shouldn’t have them. Or, anyone who can’t handle the committment.

    On the other hand, what happens to all the homeless animals? I mean, I’ve been dirt-poor myself, but I kept my animals and they had all of their needs met (I went without in other areas in order to take care of them.) I have also known other very poor people with very good hearts who would do all they could for their animals. I have also known wealthier people who mistreated them.

    I think concentrating the ads in areas statistically known to be hotbeds of abuse and neglect is a very good idea, and where someone lives based on those statistics may be one way of screening, but then again, is it foolproof?

    Do we want people to stop adopting?

    It’s such a tough call, but ultimately, I think they ads are the right thing to do. If nothing else, people will become better-educated, and the problems might reduce.

    (I wish we could tag these threads to know when someone responds!)
    ~The Lioness

  7. Lynn says:

    There’s no clear answer on any of this. But this much I do know: people need to know that animal parenting is a lot more than just bring a pet home, petting it a couple minutes a day and feeding it regularly. And it takes money. People need to really THINK and decide responsibly before they adopt.

  8. chris says:

    This picture just breaks my heart.

  9. chris says:

    If you go to the original web site here in Atlanta you can see the reasons why this was necessary as well as the some of the names, jail sentences and fines of the over 200 we have prosecuted sucessfully.

  10. MaineMom says:

    It’s really not so much about money, but commitment. Many people still do not accept a pet as a life-long obligation - just like a child. Child abuse and neglect are rampant in segments of our society. Is it any wonder animals are treated the same or worse?

    Laws need to change, which may encourgae moral changes. But for now, more power to the Fulton County animal shelter! There is no such thing as a perfect home for a pet - animals are adaptable, just as we are. But the basics need to be provided - water, food, shelter, love, grooming and medical care.

    If you can’t provide those basics, don’t have pets or kids!

  11. straybaby says:

    i think it’s a good idea. the signs will be out in the community, not specifically at the shelter, so i don’t see it lowering adoptions so much as i see it raising awareness. if they are seeing a lot of it, it’s good to make the communities aware. so much abuse is not seen by the general public, so they have no idea this is going on. the public needs to be educated and hopefully this is a start.

  12. mittens says:

    some organization needs to retool this ad and redirect it as ” don’t have a ( human)baby if…”

  13. Holly says:

    I like how Lynn refered to it as “animal parenting”. We are their guardians, we do NOT own them. Parenting conjures up a different image than the term dog owner does. Licencing an animal is not the answer - that makes them appear like an object also. Sadly the issue of neglect also applies to children and the elderly as someone already mentioned. I think there needs to be a shift in general in society so that children are taught early on to RESPECT LIFE. All life. If we all did that, then we could make a difference. Somehow compassion and empathy for animals is seen as a weakness. How can all of the collective animal lovers and caregivers band together in different cities, states, provinces (I am Canadian) to get the message across? That is the key I think. If we can learn to treat animals with love and respect, then we can learn to do the same for others. That is my hope for the future.

    One message….respect life.

  14. Sarah says:

    I tend to be very sarcastic when dealing with the abuse and neglect of animals. So when I make the following statement it’s coming from a very huge pool of disgust, anger, and frustration that boils inside of me:

    What can we expect from certain members of our society ? They can’t even (or won’t) take care of their own children, but they insist on continuing to breed more children along with allowing their pets to continue breeding more offspring.

    In my job I see the abuse, neglect, and obvious disregard for anyone else except themselves (and they don’t even take care of themselves) every day. I have seen dead dogs still tied to the fence by their leashes and collars. I have seen dead cats in a pile out in the back part of an acreage because the man didn’t like cats on his property. I have seen dead babies laying on gurneys in a hospital E/R because the mother’s new boyfriend of was tired of it crying.

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