07-15-2004, 08:44 AM #1Former Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2003
- In heels
Man writes great personal ads for lonely pets
In nine months, only one of the Peninsula Humane Society pets he's spotlighted -- a blind pit bull named Charlie -- was not adopted and had to be euthanized for health reasons.
There's no way of telling whether it's Delucchi's prose or the accompanying photo that does the trick. But after witnessing what spills out of Delucchi's brain and into his word processor during a recent afternoon, it's no wonder his Pet of the Week ads have developed a following.
His weekly ritual begins with the name. Considering cat candidates, he rambled through the list, dispatching Mikey, Chloe, Pearl, Mithril (``never seen `Lord of the Rings' ''), Topper and Pumpkin (``one of those overused names'').
Then he lighted on Mandy, a tabby. And the sarcasm flew:
``Oh, Mandy! If I hear one more visitor singing that crappy Barry Manilow song, I may hack up a fur ball on the spot. At just five years of age, I'm not old enough to remember the 1970s songster, but his music apparently lives on.''
This is what Delucchi, a humane society vice president, sends to a local newspaper. To print. Which they do, after taking out the word ``crappy.''
There are many philosophies guiding pet ads. Shelters once preferred the guilt approach: If you don't adopt me, they might kill me. Some liked it sugary -- I'll be your best friend and kiss you every night. The City of San Jose Animal Care Services also takes the talking-animal approach, but Humane Society Silicon Valley tells its volunteers to not pretend the animal is talking.
``Our organization wants to represent animals as they really are. They're not humans in furry coats,'' said Maureen Strenfel, that agency's animal behaviorist.
Delucchi, 37, sees it differently. The Peninsula Humane Society, where he brings his dog Cooper every day, is a place of sweetness and despair. They match families and animals. They also have taken in strays that have been beaten, burned and abandoned.
We ``see the best and the worst of humanity,'' said Delucchi. ``If we have a chance to have fun, we do it.''
Besides, the Menlo Park man believes his approach works. ``I really do feel that these slightly irreverent profiles grab people more than the standard ones,'' Delucchi said.