The City of Los Angeles seems to be doing it right. If you drive up Sepulveda Blvd. in West LA where it crosses Santa Monica Blvd., you'll see colorful, attractive, banners advertising the benefits of adopting, spaying and microchipping. They also feature an easy-to-remember URL that people can go to if they want to adopt - www.lacitypets.com. Take a look at the LA Animal Service's site and the Long Beach Animal Care Services site side by side and the difference is remarkable. The LA website has animals up front and center. A photo of a smiling mayor with a dog and positive messages like "Adopt the Love of a Companion" immediately jump out at you. Helpful articles about how to deal with common behavioral issues are easy to find. (When people know how to successfully deal with issues that arise with their pets, they're more likely to keep them and less likely to take them to the shelter). What do you get at the Long Beach shelter's site? The law enforcement tone is unmistakable. No one is saying we don't need enforcement, but the enforcement aspect seems almost heavy-handed.
One of SALB's consistent messages is that if you engage in progressive, informed shelter practices, you can increase the adoption rate of animals. One easy way to do this is to make it easy for people to find the animals. An attractive, inviting website that highlights the benefits of adopting from shelters would go a long way to improve the plight of shelter animals in Long Beach. Come on, Long Beach - we can do better! Let the shelter know you support a more adoption-friendly website - it's a step in the right direction for the people and pets of Long Beach.