Catching Up with

To celebrate 20,000 adoptions as part of the “Homes for Dogs Project,” we checked in with the executive director of

At Coldwell Banker, we love pets – and especially dogs. You may have heard about our “Homes for Dogs Project,” a campaign to find homes for 20,000 adoptable dogs in 2015 – which we launched in February in partnership with

Last week, we were excited to learn we completed our goal in less than eight months! To celebrate (and to hopefully find homes for even MORE pets) we caught up with Abbie Moore, the executive director of about why fall is a great time to adopt a pet, what some of the biggest misconceptions are about pet adoption, and more.


Coldwell Banker: Why is fall a great time to adopt a pet?
Abbie Moore: At, we think any time of year is a great time to adopt a shelter pet – but fall is an especially good time to make the leap for many families. As children return to school for a new year, families are actively establishing new routines to manage their day that can make integrating positive pet-care behaviors easier to make habit. Pets thrive on routine, and consistency is perhaps the most important aspect of training, especially when it comes to housetraining a dog. When we, their humans, are on a routine, waking up, leaving the house, and returning home at the same times each day (and trying to approximate that on the weekends), it makes it that much easier for our newly-adopted family members to get used to feeding, walking, and playtime routines.

CB: What is one of the biggest misconceptions about pet adoption?
There are two big ones: One is that pets in shelters are somehow faulty. Some people feel that the pets in shelters must have serious behavioral issues or that they’re not trustworthy or healthy. That couldn’t be further from the truth.  When you think about it, that sweet, loving, loyal dog cuddled up on your couch right now could easily become a dog in the shelter with just a bit of bad luck – if something were to happen to you, say, or if a door gets left open and your dog gets lost.

The second myth is that you can’t find the kind of pet you want at a shelter. Whether you want baby or adult, big or small, adorable mutt or chi chi purebred, they’re out there at shelters and rescue organizations.  In fact, some estimates tell us that over 30% of dogs in shelters are purebred. On you can even sign up for New Pet Alerts, so we’ll email you when the exact type of pet you want comes into a shelter and is posted on

CB: What’s the best piece of advice you have for someone adopting their first pet?
AM: Three words: Prepare, prepare, prepare.  Adopting a pet shouldn’t be an impulse decision. I’d suggest that anyone who is considering adding a pet to their family really take the time to get prepared before making the commitment to care for a pet for his or her entire lifetime. It’s easy to act on a whim when seeing the adorable face of a cat or dog who needs a home, but it’s a decision that will impact your life – and theirs – for the next 10 or more years. Start by reading up on the subject and getting a factual understanding of what pet guardianship entails. Also, the best time to learn how to train your dog or acclimate your cat is before you adopt; that way you’ll know exactly what to do from the moment your new family member enters your house for the first time. The blog has a ton of content on all things pets. And our first ever book, The Total Dog Manual, which is the essential crash course in dog ownership, is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

CB: What’s in store for for the rest of the year?
AM: Oh, we have so much in store I don’t know where to start! We’re always working on new features and products that help good people connect with great pets. There’s so much I can tell you about, but one thing I’m especially excited about is a new process we’re putting in place to help new adopters tell us when they’ve adopted so we can help them through this exciting, new phase in their life. No matter how experienced the owner, no matter how great the new dog or cat, there’s a period of adjustment right after adoption in which everything feels a little chaotic.  We want to help people through that time and prevent pets from being returned to shelters. Everyone knows that is the search engine to find the best pets to adopt and now we want to help people keep those pets, too. It’s all very fun and exciting!

Senior Manager, Public Relations & Giving for Coldwell Banker. Grew up in Sarasota and attended college at Western Carolina University. Athena wanted to wake up in that city that doesn’t sleep so headed to Madison Avenue to start her marketing career. She has been with this awesome brand for more than 15 years and can be found generating buzz about CB in every way possible. Athena helps to grow the brand’s position as the most storied real estate company within the industry and has led many high-profile endeavors; she was at the forefront of the brand’s pioneering smart home campaign, raised $6 million in two years to build 130 Habitat for Humanity homes, and led the Homes for Dogs program in partnership with that resulted in tens-of-thousands of dogs finding their furever home. She currently leads the CB Supports St. Jude program, which encourages the Coldwell Banker network’s 96,000+ real estate agents to make donations to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital for every real estate transaction they represent. In her spare time, you can find her either digging up a new area in her yard for another flower bed or planning her next travel adventure. She's the proud mom of three cats Jolene, Ziggy and Lucy.

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  1. Vernell Green
    April 24, 2017

    My website is
    I’m not sure if it can be reached yet.
    I am a lady who is disabled and home, and began paying closer attention to how animals are handled in shelters. I was so moved, and determined to help eradicate this problem. I am a former paralegal, and worked on several political campaigns. I’ve befriended a hundred people on FB, and watch them fight day after day, dog after dog, cat after cat, and the next day, there’s more. I call my FB page “Liberty and Justice For All Animals.” I’m seeking to do several things, such as form investigative councils, appeal to voters in elections to block vote certain candidates, enforce compliance issues, and approach different ways, other than petitions and letters, said stories, all of which accomplish nothing substantial. I can’t do it all, so I do what I can, slowly, but prodding on. I was very excited to see your program. I want to ask if there’s anything I can help with, even the smallest thing. I want no money. I want no paying members. I want no grants. I cannot take these things anyway, because of my disability income. I don’t want them, money, grants, or other financial gain. I would tell anyone who wants to give me money, to donate it to a local shelter or rescue in their town.
    Your program is wonderful, and I love the fact that you mention that choosing a home includes making sure it’s great for the family, including the pets.
    I WOULD LOVE TO PARTICIPATE IN ANY WAY I CAN. I wish more people in animal welfare could understand the politics, the methods, the marketing, and other things of that nature. They don’t understand. The few that do are neck deep just as I am. That’s what I’m working on, things that take years, that people expect to be done in 90 days, let alone 2 or 3 years.
    I would be happy to donate something that would help your program.
    I bring things to our local animal shelter, and donate often to New York Rescue Rocks, and Angels Among us.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Sincerely, Vernell Green, Fort Wayne, Indiana
    Liberty and Justice For All Animals.

    • Lindsay Listanski
      April 26, 2017

      Hi Vernell!

      Thank you for connecting with us! I highly suggest your check out the “How To Get Involved” page on and specifically look at the 2nd and 3rd ways to support. The best way someone can get involved without adopting or volunteering is to help drive awareness of the animals that need adoption!


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