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Media Contact: FOR RELEASE FOR FEBRUARY 16 AT NOON
Baltimore Woman Adopts Dog After 18 Denials from Northeast Rescues and Shelters
Leslie Miller will pick up her new furry friend this Friday from the Animal Adoption Center in Lindenwold, New Jersey
(Baltimore, MD. February 16, 2022) — Retired police officer Leslie Miller has always loved dogs. After being denied multiple times and looking for more than a year, the Baltimore resident finally found the Great Dane of her dreams at the Animal Adoption Center in Lindenwold, New Jersey, just outside of Philadelphia. Miller will travel to the shelter to pick up Buddy, a two-year-old brown Great Dane with a black mask, at Berlin Road North in Lindenwold this Friday, February 18 at 1 p.m.
Being in law enforcement, Miller’s days were often stressful, but her dogs were always a source of happiness. After her last pet died, she immediately knew she wanted another furry friend to keep her company during retirement. What she did not expect, was how difficult it was to adopt, even though she was an experienced dog owner.
Miller, who is African American, filled out 18 applications to adopt an animal. She was denied repeatedly, even though there are so many animals that need permanent homes in shelters all over the Northeast. She was surprised at the questioning:
Do you rent?
Do you have a fenced-in backyard?
Are you married? Do you have kids?
Do you work full-time or part-time?
After denial after denial, she reached out to the national nonprofit, Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity (CARE) for assistance in finding a dog. The staff was able to help Leslie find a Great Dane and helped facilitate the adoption after calling multiple rescues and shelters.
For BIPOC communities, adoption of an animal is often a challenge. The questioning shelters and rescues use can put people of color at a disadvantage, with requirements like fenced-in yards or home ownership. CARE has often found that some animal welfare organizations use a discriminatory line of questioning that they don’t realize is biased and puts up barriers to those in lower-income communities.
CARE has done extensive research on animal welfare in BIPOC communities, and recently completed an implicit bias test with the University of Harvard’s Project Implicit Project. The organization also recently released an article on animal welfare from a racial justice perspective. Their ongoing BIPOC-led research is the first of its kind, ensuring the trust and wisdom of communities of color.
CARE’s philosophy is that if more animal welfare organizations would lift barriers to adoption, the country’s pet overpopulation could be more easily solved, as fewer animals would be in shelters.
CARE staff is available for interviews, as is Miller. We invite the media to come see the retired police officer pick up her new best friend, Buddy the Great Dane.
Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity is a 501©3 nonprofit that addresses organizational and personal biases within animal welfare. The mission is to bring diverse voices to the industry while also advocating for a more inclusive path to pet adoption. CARE believes in using evidence-based tools, narratives, and insights to inspire organizations to be more inclusive and less biased. It is all an effort to save more companion animal lives.