Shelter Pros Say Food Quality Impacts Fate/Adoption Rates of Rescue Dogs & Cats
Cite Ellen DeGeneres’ Halo Spot’s Stew as “Definitely Helping” Adoption Rates
When it comes to feeding shelter pets, popular wisdom might assume quantity is more important than quality, but a recent survey of shelter professionals reveals that feeding higher quality food may actually increase adoption rates.
The survey, conducted by Freekibble.com and Halo, Purely for Pets, uncovered the voice of shelter professionals, many of whom have vast experience feeding shelter pets.
The 86 survey respondents – who have collectively fed over 450,000 shelter animals – were recipients of food donations from Freekibble and Halo, Ellen DeGeneres’ pet food company.
Halo and Freekibble.com regularly request feedback from shelters that have received their food donations.
“The group we surveyed began to tell us about the difference the quality food was making,” said David Yaskulka, vice president of marketing communications for Halo. “We noticed a common message: that having access to high quality food was helping with many health issues, and ultimately increasing adoption rates.”
The experts surveyed have fed an average of 5,000 pets each and have an average of 11 years’ experience in shelter work – 950 collective years of experience in working with and feeding shelter pets.
Of the shelter workers surveyed:
- 71% said that better food quality “definitely helps” dogs and cats to get adopted. An additional 19% said it “helps somewhat,” and 9% said, “It might help.”
- 75% said the quality of Halo Spot’s Stew “definitely helps” dogs and cats to get adopted. Not even one professional said, “it doesn’t really help.”
- 77% said they would choose Halo Spot’s Stew over any other brand. Other brands mentioned were Purina (3.5%), Wellness (2.3%), and Hill’s Science Diet, Natural Balance, Eukanuba and Blue Buffalo (1.1% each).
Freekibble donation recipients like Best Friends Animal Society agree that high quality food is paramount to adoption success.
“Best Friends Animal Society understands that feeding high-quality, nutritious and all-natural food contributes to the overall health of the animals, and healthy animals have a better chance of being adopted,” says Lisa Salvatore, Best Friends’ development officer.
Susan Daffron, the founder of the National Association of Pet Rescue Professionals, is happy to see this information brought to light.
“Does quality food make a difference in adoptability? I think it does. Animals that feel better and look better are more adoptable,” she said.
The survey reveals that many shelter workers say the pets on high quality food like Halo are healthier, happier, have more energy and look better. In some cases, pets who were sick or having troubles, after being put on a high quality diet, made strong recoveries and put them in the category of “adoptable” rather than “special needs.”
“Many of the dogs we take in are suffering from malnutrition or from allergies and other issues related to poor food quality,” says Shannon DeBra of Recycled Doggies in Cincinnati, Ohio. “We definitely see a difference in the health and vitality of our dogs when we feed super high quality food like Halo. And when our dogs look healthy, they are definitely more adoptable.”
These findings are encouraging for Halo, a company dedicated to making a difference for all pets, including shelter and rescue animals. In 2010, Halo donated one million meals to shelter pets in conjunction with the U.S. Postal Service Adopt a Shelter Pet stamps and, recently, sponsored “Shelter Me,” the PBS film featuring the positive impact shelter pets make on humans’ lives.
Also in 2010, Halo became Freekibble.com’s exclusive kibble sponsor, providing nutritious, high quality food to shelters across the nation.
Freekibble, started in 2008 by then 11-year-old Mimi Ausland, is a pet-related trivia site. Each day, visitors answer a question and, right or wrong, earn a donation of 10 pieces of kibble to feed shelter pets. When Mimi started the site, she committed to donating the best quality kibble possible. “Shelter pets deserve the best – in the shelter, and in their forever homes!” she said.
Today Freekibble has donated more than 8 million nutritious meals to shelter pets nationwide and is making a difference in the fate of homeless animals.
“Using Halo has helped our kitties have better coats, better health and in general better looking and feeling felines,” says Tammy Barker, of Cat House on the Kings, an all-cat rescue in Parlier, Ca. “Cats and kittens are more likely to get adopted if they feel and look great,” she adds.
For more survey details, please visit: http://www.halopets.com/sheltersurvey
About Halo, Purely for Pets®
For over 25 years, Halo, Purely for Pets® has created holistic pet products of uncompromising quality. Halo believes nutrition is the single most important factor in the quality of a pet’s life. Halo offers natural pet food, treats, supplements and grooming products – including the award-winning Halo Spot’s Stew, Dream Coat and Liv-a-Littles treats. Ellen DeGeneres – a long time Halo customer – became a part-owner of Halo in 2008. In 2010, Halo donated one million meals to shelter pets in conjunction with the U.S. Postal Service Adopt a Shelter Pet program. Halo is also the official kibble sponsor of Freekibble.com, a pet related trivia site that has donated more than eight million meals to shelter pets. Halo’s natural dog food, natural cat food, treats, supplements and grooming products are available at PETCO, Whole Foods Market, your local pet specialty and natural food store, and online at http://www.halopets.com.
Sixteen-year-old Mimi Ausland created Freekibble.com when she was 11-years-old, to help feed the homeless dogs and cats at her local animal shelter. Freekibble.com and Freekibblekat.com are two of the five most-visited animal rescue web sites in the world, with over 115,000 combined daily visitors. With the help of Freekibble’s 475,000 loyal monthly followers, they have donated more than 8 million nutritious meals to over 200 shelters, rescues and food-banks across the country. Freekibble is played in 137 countries