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ASPCA Encourages Obama Family to "Make Pet Adoption Their First Option"

Nation's Oldest Humane Organization Can Help New First Family Meet Their Match
November 5, 2008

NEW YORK, November 5, 2008 - The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today applauded the flurry of recent news reports that the Obama Family will consider adopting a shelter dog when they choose their new family pet for the White House.

"The unconditional love we get from our companion animals is one of the greatest gifts in life," said ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. "At the ASPCA, we are thrilled at the prospect that the Obama Family will 'make pet adoption their first option' and head to their local animal shelter or rescue group, where there are many extraordinary animals just waiting for a forever home. Whether their preference is dog or cat, small or large, purebred or lovable mutt, they could both find the perfect pet and help an animal in need, which would be an incredible opportunity."

One of the best ways the Obama Family can find their perfect pet is through the ASPCA®’s Meet Your Match™ (MYM) adoption program, which is being used by hundreds of animal shelters and rescue groups across the country. The MYM program assesses the "Canine-ality™" of adoptable dogs as well as the "Feline-ality™" of adoptable cats, and matches them with their perfect pet parents based on compatibility. Based on their assessments, the animals are assigned one of nine canine-alities or feline-alities which fall into three major purple, orange, and green color-coded categories. The descriptions are added to the animal's cage (or kennel) card, and the animals are ready to meet their human matches. Some examples include the relaxed and laid back "Couch Potato," the naturally playful, curious and trusting "Busy Bee," and action hero-type "Go-Getter."

The adopter survey is the second component of the process, which asks 19 questions of the potential adopter to determine which Canine-ality™ or Feline-ality™ best matches their expectations, experience, lifestyle and home environment. The adopter is given a purple, orange or green guest pass color coordinated to match the cage cards of the cats that best match them.

"The MYM program is a perfect fit for any family, especially the Obamas," said Dr. Emily Weiss, the ASPCA's Senior Director of Shelter Behavior Programs, and a developer of the program. "Potential pet adopters can easily be overwhelmed with choices of breed, size, and even coat color, but with the MYM adoption process, the Obama Family will be able to complete the MYM Adopter Survey together, meet all their four-legged matches, and choose the perfect pet for their family."

For more information on the ASPCA®’s Meet Your Match™ program, and how to find the perfect pet, please visit. www.aspca.org.