Animal rescue community backlash cancels puppy giveaway
Haughton Adventure Weekend is a 4-day faith based family friendly event open to the entire community spanning May 1-May 4.
Haughton Adventure Weekend canceled their puppy giveaway after pressure from the animal community
Haughton Adventure Weekend posted this letter in response to the puppy giveaway protests
HAUGHTON, LA (KSLA) -
The animal rescue community in the ArkLaTex turned to social media Thursday to convince leaders of the Haughton Adventure Weekend to cancel one of their giveaways, a free lab puppy.
"This event brings to the table a little bit of everything," said Jay Lowder, a speaker and one of the event organizers.
The Haughton Adventure Weekend organizers promise 4 days full of fun, food, and giveaways. But one giveaway, a free lab puppy, caught the attention of the ArkLaTex animal rescue group immediately.
"I thought it was a very bad idea, because free pets often times end up right back in the shelter," said Reed Ebarb, the executive director of the Shreveport-Bossier Animal Rescue.
Ebarb and dozens of others from the animal rescue community took to social media to speak out against the puppy giveaway. "The rescue community is like a sleeping giant, when something big comes up, you're going to see a lot of people come out of the woodwork. They will yell and scream and say, ‘you can't do this' and there will be a strong backlash," said Ebarb.
It didn't take long for event organizers to take note. "The community spoke out and we respect the community," said Lowder and explained they quickly canceled the puppy prize and posted a letter to their Facebook page, saying, "We have heard you loud and clear."
"We are here to support the community so we jumped on board with them 100%," said Lowder.
The swiftness of the decision surprised Ebarb. "I think all of us in rescue are extremely pleased in how this turned out," said Ebarb.
The Adventure Weekend group has given out puppies in the past across the U.S., but Lowder defends the way they've done that, saying a detailed screening process and set of requirements is involved. On top of all that, he says they even offer to buy the dog from the winner. "That way we know if someone says hey I want to keep this dog, its someone who really wants one," Lowder said.
Still, Ebarb says, puppies should never be offered as prizes. "We see a lot of animals die in shelters because of that thought process," he said.
Adventure Weekend organizers have invited the animal rescue groups out to their event on Saturday, to educate about their cause.
Haughton Adventure Weekend. Several churches, volunteers and big name guest speakers are coming together to share the gospel and all the positive things happening in Haughton.More >>
There's a big 4 day event going on in Haughton this weekend, it's called Haughton Adventure Weekend. Several churches, volunteers and big name guest speakers, including Duck Dynasty's Willie Robertson, are coming together to share the gospel and all the positive things happening in Haughton.More >>