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Putting pizzazz into pet adoption

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Courtesy of Found Aniimals Foundation

(Read caption) Aimee Gilbreath, executive director of Found Animals, which recently opened Adopt & Shop, an animal shelter with a friendly retail pet sore approach. 'We find that the animals in the shelter are fantastic, and if you can just get people to come and see them, they get adopted,' she says.

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Some 5 million to 7 million dogs and cats arrive at animal shelters across the United States each year. Roughly two-thirds of them never leave alive, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The problem is supply and demand: too many unwanted pets and not enough people willing to adopt.

A nonprofit group in southern California is trying to apply some innovative solutions to both challenges.

Idea No. 1: Employ a little marketing magic.

In April, the Found Animals Foundation opened what it hopes will be the first of many Adopt & Shop pet stores. Located in the Lakewood Center Mall in middle-class Lakewood, Calif. – near Costco, Target, Nordstrom, and a movie theater – it's an animal shelter disguised as an upscale "pet-adoption center and pet supply boutique," says Aimee Gilbreath, executive director of Found Animals.


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