25 June 2014

Alliance for Urban Animals - Allies Creating Healthy Communities for Pets & People

The urban animal industry is fractured. All too often, pet families discover negativity, judgement and mixed messaging from interactions with our industry sectors.  The sectors often work independently and and compete with one another for revenues, client loyalty and business.  While most care very deeply about animals, there is a tendency to compete to prove “we care more”, often at the expense of others’ reputation.

During the 2014 Urban Animal Regional Conference Tour, Dr. Drew Van Niekerk examined the impacts of animal sourcing on a positive pet experience. What he determined, is that pet families and communities are confused about priorities and issues, and skeptical of the urban animal industry. When sectors work against one another, pet families struggle to find trustworthy information and resources, which in turn leads to negative pet experiences.  Most pet owners don’t want to be embroiled in the controversial polarizing issues we often find so important.  They want to avoid the guilt, judgement and negativity associated with this.  The result is that they choose the path of least resistance and disengage, becoming reactive pet families.

Pet families and consumers are confused and bitter and we wonder why they’re not “responsible". We haven’t created an environment conducive to a positive pet experience. In order to engage these communities, we need to create an alliance of like-minded industry thought leaders. 

The Alliance for Urban Animals are individuals and organizations who:
1.  choose to communicate in respectful, open, positive ways
2.  are willing to suspend beliefs in favour of inspiration, evidence and new ideas
3.  who prefer collective intelligence and empathy over an individual win
4.  who collaborate in the development of resources to build healthy communities for pets and people, and
5.  focus on creating a positive pet experience

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