Raising A Dog, Not All Fun And Games

 |  Dec 23rd 2008  |   6 Contributions


Owning a dog is more than just fun and games, it requires a lot responsibility. The American Humane Association wants to make sure movie-goers who see "Marley & Me" realize what goes into dog ownership.

They are running a new education campaign around the movie, along with adoption events in at least 15 cities.

American Humane Association and 20th Century FOX are working together to ensure viewers of this holiday's anticipated hit, Marley & Me, fully understand the responsibility and accountability that comes with owning a puppy. Their goal: to educate potential dog owners to find dogs that fit their lifestyles; to encourage adopting dogs from shelters; and to prevent owners from abandoning puppies because they got "more than they can handle."

Opening Christmas day, Marley & Me is based on John Grogan's best-selling novel and columns in the Philadelphia Inquirer. In the movie, Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston star as the owners of Marley, a high-strung Labrador retriever that teaches the couple about unconditional love.

Some things American Humane and 20th Century FOX have in the works:
1. FOX is arranging for a local shelter to put on an adoption day at each theater nationwide that will hold a special Marley & Me screening. American Humane will be working through its shelter network to provide potential shelters with which to work on creating the adoption event.

2. American Humane is providing dog training tips and important pet ownership information to FOX for an American Humane/Marley & Me pamphlet that will be available at each of the adoption/screening events.

Eleven years ago there was some media coverage concerning the staggering number of Dalmatians purchased and abandoned following the release of Disney's 101 Dalmatians.

Labs are already America's favorite dog, standing at the top of the AKC's list of most popular dogs for 10 years. As a result, there are many Labradors available for adoption. It also speaks volumes for the number of Lab puppy mills (not ethical lab breeders) that may be preparing to flood the market with cute Labs that carry some of the breed's genetic problems, such as hip dysplasia.

So many dogs are adopted and then returned, people adopt without thinking about the whole picture. They look at that cute fuzzy face and don't think about how much care, time, love, and money it takes to raise a dog.

Hopefully this campaign will raise awareness, giving a potential adopter all the information needed to make an informed decision.

* Allie Phillips, Sandi Buck and Tracy Coppola (of the Office of Public Policy) with Marley. Photo courtesy American Humane Association.

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