My friend and fellow rescuer Mary O'Conner-Shaver of Columbus Top Dogs wrote an exceptional response to her solicitation...
Solicitation Letter from Ohio Pet Directory...
My name is Karen Butcher, I am contacting you today with regards to the Ohio Pet Directory, brought to you by the Cleveland Canine Magazine. We are looking for pet friendly companies to advertise through this specialized directory which will cater to the pet lovers community. We have special rates for rescue groups $20 for a two line add, per year. And I'm hoping that advertising your pets for adoption through the Pet Directory will help those lovable animals get forever homes. I have attached the media kit.
Please contact me within a few days, at your earliest convenience, to place your order.
Dear Karen Butcher:
A number of individuals have forwarded your e-mail regarding solicitation of special advertising rates which you are extending to animal rescue groups. Given our group's dedication to raising awareness of Ohio dog auctions, puppy mills and the entities that support and keep them in business, it is our practice not to participate in any media advertising which promotes pet stores.
As you may already be aware, Ohio ranks among the top three states in the country with the highest percentage of puppy mill breeders. The sad truth behind the friendly facade of pet stores is that there often lies a puppy mill. The documented problems of these mass breeding facilities include overbreeding, inbreeding, minimal veterinary care, poor quality of food and shelter, lack of socialization with humans, overcrowded cages, and the killing of unwanted animals. To the unwitting consumer, this situation frequently means buying a puppy facing an array of immediate veterinary problems or harboring genetically borne diseases that do not appear until years later.
Take a look at the financial impact of Columbus Petland - http://petland.com/FindPetlandStores/Ohio.htm - stores on Franklin County, OH (statistics provided by the Director of Franklin County Animal Shelter, Lisa Wahoff, in November, 2006):
7-10 Petland dogs per day are admitted to the shelter. 80% of those dogs are:
*are in very poor health and/or mental state
*have no microchip reigstered to anyone other than the broker, and no owner can be tracked. Petland takes no responsibility.
*are not an appropriate match to the owner, resulting in owner release within one year of the purchase.
A low-end average of $30 per day for each Petland dog (if the dog is healthy) X 7-10 dogs = $210-$300 per day!
It is my firm belief that until the public truly understands and appreciates the cruel aspect - not to mention the consumer fraud - connected with "dealing dogs", Ohio pet stores will continue to generate millions of dollars for their breeders and distributors. Thanks in advance for your consideration.
P.S. Given the shoestring budgets many of these rescue groups currently operate under, I would recommend to your senior management team that they extend FREE advertising space to help expedite the placement of animals needing safe and loving homes.