Market your adoption ready dog or cat. Yes, market them, we live our lives through the lens of media. More screen time than family time! So ‘market’ your adoption ready animals where they are visible. Every road we travel is littered with a seller of services and products, charitable organisations are no different. Make no mistake if you learn How to “Market” your Adoptable Dog- you’ll see success.
We’ll walk through the tried and tested, most Googled, approaches to get your shelter cats and dogs into homes. Shelters, organisation or one person foster facility are companies looking to sell a product. Companies do not market products hesitantly- they do so with confidence. Market your adoption ready cats and dogs with confidence and unapologetically. Always stand by your product, with a full refund policy, it lowers the anxiety levels for all concerned and produces a higher success rate.
Your product is both tangible and intangible.The tangible dog or cat, must appeal to the intangible emotion of the adoptive family. How you “Market” your Adoptable Dog or Cat is the difference between extended days in a shelter v/s finding a forever home.
How you raise a foster kitten or puppy impacts the rest of its life. First time fosters, and families looking for a part time pet are not a ‘bad’ idea, just be certain they can deliver a well raised pup or kitten. No one remembers or publicises the tireless work of the rescue community- they remember the missteps and mistakes.
We’re tripping over ‘adoptable” dogs and cats. Bombarded everyday with appeals of foster or adoption we’ve entered adoption overload. Because families and individuals have come to believe pets are a pass time. Discarding pets of all shapes sizes and persuasions have become epidemics to rival the dreaded COVID- 19.
A Crowded Market Place
Your market place is crowded, how to market your adoptable dog or cat becomes more important that which dog or cat! What do you focus on? Your product is a living breathing being. And the success of your sale is the number of years the cat or dog remains in their new forever home! Your goal is for a life well lived -to the end of their days in the same home.
You will never be achieve that goal unless you tell the truth! Don’t try and invent breeds. Genuine families and adoptive or foster families have little interest in ‘breeds’. Their interests lie in the welfare of a dog or cat. Market the fact that they are adoption ready and that you’ve done the work of rebuilding a broken animal.
Market the skills of your shelter and fantastic volunteer base, once you’ve built your shelter brand use it to help your shelter garner volunteers, donations and good will. Make your adoption ready dogs and cats- the best on the market! This forces every other shelter and foster to raise their standards and the winners are – dogs and cats!
How to Market your Adoption ready dog or cat – a quick guide
1. A decent camera – most of those are on your phone
2. The great outdoors, or at least out of a kennel or a shelter.
3. Clean well groomed cat or dog – appearance matters
4. Your skills, to write a few simple unemotional facts about the animal
Let’s break each one down
A decent camera, you do not have to be a professional or spend countless hours getting the ‘perfect’ photo of your adoption ready animal. Clean them up, take them outdoors (the best outdoors you have access to) and take a couple of photos. Real photos, not super professional runway model photos! Make sure you have plenty of good light- daylight and you are more than half way there! Adoption ready photos are not perfect photos – they’re honest photos.
The great outdoors, or at least out of a kennel or a shelter. A shelter or kennel no matter how well maintained and run, is not a natural setting for a cat or dog. Body language, facial expressions and behaviour differ when cats and dogs are in confined spaces. It is not appealing to a potential adopter to see a scared, uncertain animal.
Clean well groomed cat or dog – appearance matters, like it or not few people are eager to adopt a dog or cat who look like they have been freshly plucked off a street. Human beings like pretty things, we like what pleases the eye. Bow ties and pretty collars will not eventually get your dog adopted. But well groomed confident looking dog will be most likely to find a forever home.
Your skills, to write a few simple unemotional facts about the animal, keep it simple. Do not gush, and do not emotionally black mail. Adoption camps which allow same day adoptions rely on emotional blackmail and manipulation. The return rate, or worse the abandonment rate is higher than a well planned, structured adoption process which has a long term goal. Your goal is permanent placement of a dog or cat. Keep it simple, stick to the facts.
Know your audience. The adoption audience is broadly made up of two kinds of people. One looking to get a ‘breed dog cheap’ And the other, a genuine “I’ll take anyone who needs a home.” Within those two ends of the spectrum is the new pet parent, well intentioned, often a first time pet owner. These are the adoptive families who need the most time and counselling before passing the adoption test.