Live from Los Angeles, it's the Super Adoption!
I'm sitting in the shade of a tree watching a huge crowd of people at La Brea Tar Pits park circulate among the kennels and booths at Best Friends Super Adoption. This is at least the 26th of these events that we've hosted in L.A. since the first in April of 2000 that took place at this very location.
Back then, it was Silva and me, and a small crew of volunteers with E-Z UP canopies that they’d borrowed from one of the local companies that lease production supplies to independent film productions. It was a bit crazy and chaotic, but we accomplished the goal of getting the rescues and their animals and the city shelter animals together in one place for the public to meet and fall in love with. We also had a ventriloquist, fire juggler, homeless balloon artist, face painters, troupe of giant puppets, and bunch of psychic readers. I'm not sure what logic went into assembling that collection of collateral talent, but it sure was a lot of fun, and we found homes for a couple hundred homeless pets, which was a great first outing.
Like the five-star restaurant that began as a food cart, the 2012 Super Adoption is a world apart from that humble and rather odd first outing, but the purpose and the results are the same — saving lives — and the greatest pleasure today is still watching beautiful animals head out to loving homes. Lots of them! One of my favorite pit bull terrier mixes, Miranda, a sweet, long-legged gal went to a great couple who felt lucky to land such a beautiful and well-behaved girl. It's one of those occasions where there is an “aww” moment every time you turn around.
However, there's a lot more to a super adoption than just a collection of homeless pets in a park, and the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. Fifty-plus groups gathered with a common purpose is a de facto coalition, and a super adoption is a great stepping stone for more significant collaboration. It is also a community's celebration of its love for pets.
We've had crews at this L.A. Super Adoption representing four television network affiliates and two Internet broadcast operations. Footage of all the fun, along with interviews about pet adoptions, will be featured on the evening news, spreading the word to millions of viewers in the L.A. market and beyond. The public also loves to see animal groups working together to help homeless pets. The occasional factionalism among groups that people bump into is a turnoff and sends the wrong message about our commitment to the cause.
This is a highly produced event, but super adoptions can be put on for a modest amount when measured against the lives saved, awareness generated, and volunteers engaged. There are four shifts of 150 volunteers working this event for Best Friends alone, plus at least that number for the shelters and rescues in attendance.
Best Friends didn't invent super adoptions, but I do believe we perfected and popularized them and have had a hand in mentoring hundreds of organizations around the country in how to put them on and how to use them as an important lifesaving tool.
You can do this in your city, and we'd love to share what we've learned to help you. For information about how to put on a super adoption, save lives, and have a blast doing it, see the resource "Super Adoption: Finding Homes Hundreds at a Time."