The woman responsible for 25 million pet adoptions is on a new mission… to save the ones left behind

mama dog and pups

There are some amazing things that happen in this world – and some things that are just unfair.  Case in point – Betsy Saul.  Her story is simple really… Wanting to help shelter animals in her New Jersey community, Betsy went to her local shelter and asked if she could take some photos of pets to post online.  The shelter director thought she was bananas, but reluctantly, she let her.  Fast forward twenty years – Petfinder is the largest pet adoption website with over 15,000 organizations posting over 300,000 pets and facilitating over 25 million adoptions nationwide.  That’s the amazing part.

Here’s the unfair part… for all of the pets in shelters that are getting adopted, there are just as many that aren’t.  We all know that pets are euthanized, but why?  Simple math.  Shelters receive millions more dogs and cats every year than they adopt back out.  Not because they don’t want to, but because we as a community are irresponsible.  We don’t spay or neuter, we buy from pet stores (puppymill pets) and we drop of dogs and cats for reasons like “they don’t match our furniture color” or “I didn’t know puppies chewed so much”…. Yeah, these are real reasons we have received.  Now, obviously, we aren’t all like this, but enough of us are that we have millions of pets left behind every year.

What happens to them?  That’s the million dollar question.  Do you really want to know?  Remember, you may love the sausage you’re eating– but you definitely don’t want to see how it’s made.  Well, here’s your answer.  Shelters that are “open admission” (meaning they have to take in any and all animals that come through their doors) are completely over run most of the time.  They get animals turned in by their owners, strays off the street, and even animals from other shelters that don’t want to do the dirty work.  These employees are forced to line up dogs and cats in crates and pick and choose which ones they will have to euthanize because they have no more space to care for them.  In some places, this happens every day.  Many of these pets get 72 hours to be adopted, and then, they die.  These include healthy puppies, kittens, purebred dogs, cats, mutts, you name it…. We’ve seen it.  And it sucks!  And the employees… they get ridiculed on social media and are called murderers and worse – for something they can’t control.  They need our help, not our judgement.

This is a pretty dark area of animal welfare that people don’t like to talk about, but Betsy thinks she can make a change.  The woman who is credited for creating the pet adoption movement, is now betting that we as a community will step up, and make the change we need.  She’s betting there are enough passionate, caring pet lovers out there, that we can start a new movement… the pet foster revolution.  So, she and her team have created a new website –  The plan is genius…. Take all of these urgent animals on these euthanasia lists and get them to safety.  Let them stay at your place for a little while until they can be moved to a rescue group, a longer term foster family, or their forever home.   But the process is demanding, tiring, and really tough.  Betsy needs volunteers to take photos of the urgent animals and post them on the site.  And then, people have to step up and save these pets.  Are you ready?  Good… because we really need your help.  Put on your cape.  We need  foster heroes!

Go to to learn more.

Leave a Reply