"All of our programs are geared to encourage responsible pet ownership, increase adoptions of abandoned animals, and decrease euthanasia at our local animal shelters".
FAIRE's Animal Shelter Advertising Program
When FAIRE volunteers were helping out at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter in 1985, we realized a surprising angle to getting an animal a home. By giving the homeless cats and dogs names, they acquired an instant personality. When advertised by name, people reading the ads felt an immediate bond with certain animals because of this. So FAIRE started running weekly ads in the
Press Democrat's classified section listing the animals available for adoption by name.
Across the United States, only 26% of animals arriving at animal shelters will get homes. FAIRE's advertising program has ensured that over 80% of the dogs and cats arriving at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter leave through the "right" door.
Our advertising program has come a long way since 1986. We currently spend over $8,000 a year advertising shelter animals. This includes listing Rohnert Park Animal Shelter's animals in several local newspapers and the yellow pages. We also have racks in several pet stores in the county that hold fliers listing our local animal shelters' locations, phone numbers, and web sites. In addition, we run display and classified ads in the Press Democrat newspaper and various other publications listing all the local animal shelters under the heading "Adopt One*Save One". These all-shelter ads encourage prospective pet owners to consider adopting from one of our six local animal shelters. As funding allows, we also branch out into radio and television with our message that adopting a homeless pet from one of our local animal shelters is a truly rewarding experience.
The Rohnert Park Animal Shelter
State law requires that all animal shelters take a deposit towards the spay and neuter surgeries of adopted pets. This deposit is refundable if the pet is spayed or neutered before certain deadlines (usually 60 days to 6 months after adoption).
Unfortunately, many adopted pets transfer hands again during this time without being spayed or neutered or have litters prior to being spayed or neutered. Given that the Rohnert Animal Shelter was receiving over 500 dogs and 1,000 cats every year, FAIRE found the possibility of adopted animals adding to the population of unwanted pets unacceptable. In 1991, FAIRE began managing the Rohnert Park Animal Shelters spay/neuter program. Under FAIRE's management every adopted dog and cat left the shelter already spayed or neutered or with an appointment to be spayed and neutered. In addition, FAIRE, subsidized this program, ensuring that funds were available for any surgery costs over and above the deposit taken on each adopted pet.8
Since 1991 this program spayed and neutered over 3,300 cats,over 850 dogs, and over 75 rabbits preventing over 10,000 additional unwanted pets from entering our animal shelters. Starting in 1998 and with FAIRE's financial support, rabbits (the third largest population of unwanted pets after cats and dogs turned into shelters) were added to the program.FAIRE's Community Spay/Neuter Programs
In February 2000 FAIRE returned the program to the City of Rohnert Park to manage with their guarantee that every attempt would be made to operate it with the same high standards in mind.
FAIRE continues to help fund other programs at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter including: foster care for puppies and kittens, dog training, and medical costs for sick and injured animals.
FAIRE currently offers a reduced cost pet spay/neuter program to the residents of Cotati, Penngrove, Rohnert Park, and the Sebastopol area. In 1996, FAIRE realized that even after 5 years of spaying and neutering every pet adopted from the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter, the shelter was still receiving over 800 cats and 600 dogs every year. FAIRE's board decided a more aggressive approach was needed to reduce these numbers of unwanted pets. Consequently, our Spay/Neuter Voucher Program was developed. Residents of Cotati, Penngrove, and Rohnert Park can call our Voucher Hotline and request a discount voucher toward the cost of spaying or neutering their cat, dog, or rabbit. Financial need is not required and there is no limit to the number of vouchers a resident can request.
FAIRE felt that many people who don't meet general low-income guidelines still may not be able to spay or neuter their pet(s) in a timely manner if they are a senior citizen on a fixed income, have a temporary financial set back, or need to spay and neuter multiple pets at one time. Indeed, we have had requests from mobile homes parks and apartment complexes from kind-hearted citizens who offer to get the cat populations at these residential units under control and require up to 30 vouchers to do so. An unexpected bonus of this program has been that many people requesting vouchers have had a stray pet "adopt" them and would not be able to keep it if it remained unaltered. So, not only has this program prevented many unwanted litters, but has also kept a large population of adult animals out of our shelters that would otherwise be turned in. Our Community Spay/Neuter Program currently offers 300 vouchers on a first come-first serve basis from July 1 - June 30 of the following year. If you or someone you know is interested, please call our Voucher Hotline at: (707) 544-5713.FAIRE's I.D. Tag Program
Other Spay/Neuter Programs in the North Bay
This year thousands of stray pets will end up at our local animal shelters. The majority of them will arrive without any way to identify their owners. FAIRE realizes there is a very simple answer to this very big problem. Every pet should wear an I.D. tag. With this in mind, FAIRE offered low- and no-cost I.D. tags to any resident of Sonoma County requesting them from 1996 to 2009.
Update: In 2010 our supplier unfortunately could no longer donate his services for this program. The good news is that since we started our free ID Tag program all our local shelters now micro chip adopted pets and many offer low-cost microchip clinics. If you still want an I.D. tag, please visit your local pet store.
FAIRE's Adopt-A-Teacher Program
FAIRE feels education of our youth that encourages environmental awareness and compassion for animals
is a very necessary part of their schooling. Children raised with this awareness will more likely become responsible pet owners as adults. For this reason,
FAIRE sponsors classroom subscriptions of the
Humane Society of the United States "Kind News". Any (K-6) Sonoma County teacher wishing to receive a subscription of this monthly newspaper
need only contact us at (707) 538-9098 and we'd be happy to add your classroom to our list.