Dog Adoption Campaign: Because I’m A Grown-Ass Adult

Campaign implores “Get a dog who gets you. Adopt adult.”
By Karen B. London PhD, April 2018
Shelter Dog Adoption Campaign

Convincing people to adopt a puppy is an easy sell. At most shelters and rescues, puppies fly out the door immediately. Often, there are not enough of these little balls of fluff to meet the demand for young dogs in the community.

Finding forever homes for adult dogs is much more difficult, but a recent ad campaign by the Animal Protective Association of Missouri (APA) is doing a great job with this challenge. With a series of print ads and the hashtags #grownassadult and #adoptadult, this organization is educating people about the many advantages of adopting grown-up dogs.

Each image pictures a fully-grown dog with a brief message highlighting a reason to adopt an adult dog rather than a puppy. At the bottom of every ad is the line, “Get a dog who gets you. Adopt adult.” I applaud the APA for this influential awareness effort, and I’m thrilled that the response to it has been so big and so positive. It’s hard to choose a favorite from this campaign, but here are my top three picks:

“I’m mature enough to know the difference between a tennis ball and cashmere because I’m a grown-ass adult.”

“I like to sleep through the night. I’ll bet you do too. because I’m a grown-ass adult.” 

“Oh, you mean all your furniture isn’t made out of fire hydrants. Just kidding. I knew that. because I’m a grown-ass adult.” 

There are so many benefits of adopting an adult dog that go beyond doing a good deed and giving a home to a dog in need. Though there are no guarantees, many full-grown dogs are already housetrained and well past the typical hassles of puppyhood such as destructive chewing, accidents in the house and waking up multiple times during the night. Adult dogs typically require less exercise and they may not need you to come home from work during the middle of the day for care and attention. It’s common for adult dogs to be spayed or neutered already. You know what size dog you are getting, so there’s no chance of ending up with a 100-pound dog when you were told she would probably be “about 40 pounds”.

Perhaps the best reason to adopt an adult dog rather than a puppy is that they often appreciate you and your kindness. Because many have come from less-than-perfect situations, it is not unusual for them to act as though they are truly grateful. As a result, many become strongly attached, highly affiliative and loving members of the family, running counter to the outdated idea that the only way to develop such close a relationship is to get a puppy.

Please share your story of adopting a “grown-ass adult” and the joy that came into your life with that dog.

Karen B. London, PhD, is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer who specializes in working with dogs with serious behavioral problems, including aggression. She is the author of five books on canine training and behavior.

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