A good place to find creative ideas to increase homeless pet adoptions is the ASPCA Pro blog. You’ll discover how animal shelter contestants of their $100K Challenge increased adoptions as they competed for the ASPCA challenge grants. The goal: each shelter was to save a minimum of 300 more cats and dogs August 1 through October 31 2010 than the same months of 2009.
You’ll see a list of eleven posts. Note how often the shelters used Facebook and YouTube to announce their promotions and spread the word. Find more information by clicking on the “part” indicated after each idea.
Socialization, Training, and Photos. SPCA of Wake County in Raleigh, NC, used baseball caps, leather aviator vests, and even tutus when they photographed the agency’s pit bulls. The dogs attended specialized obedience classes, play dates, and, monthly glamour photoshoots. (part 1)
The Humane Society of North Texas hosted the 2010 Extreme Mutt Makeover, in which 15 HSNT dogs who needed help with their basic manners were hooked up with volunteer trainers who spent 8 weeks preparing them for competition. (part 4)
Special Deals for Less Adoptable Pets. Hamilton, OH’s Animal Friends Humane Society offered all “less-adoptable” pets — including all predominantly black animals and animals over the age of 6 years — for free on September 19. (part 10)
Two for One Adoption Fees. Capital Area Humane Society held a special two-FUR-one promotion. “Adopt two kitties and we’ll waive the lower of the two adoption fees!” posted the Columbus, OH, agency on their Facebook page, along with a photo of the dashing Kibbington and Winston. (part 7)
Community Involvement with Sports Fans. Western PA Humane Society in Pittsburgh for a limited time, offered dog and cat adoptions for half price for anyone showing up to adopt dressed in Steelers gear. (part 5)
The Greater Birmingham Humane Society pitted Auburn Tigers fans against Alabama Crimson Tide fans for an entire month during the Gridiron Challenge. All adapters were asked if they were Auburn or Alabama fans, and the winning team was announced at the end of September. (part 5)
Create clever videos as the focus of special adoption events. See the video from Tallahassee-Leon Community Animal Service Center, which was the first in the Pet-entertainment Tonight series. It featured fun tabloid TV-style coverage of the community’s Reaching for the Stars adoption event, in which the shelter’s animals were given names like Tomcat Cruise and Scarlett Johnson. (part 4)
Set up offsite adoption site at high traffic mall location. The Humane Society of Greater Dayton has left the building…literally. The Ohio agency set up an offsite adoption center, the MeowZa! cat boutique, at the Dayton Mall. Dayton residents can take home cats of all ages along with boutique merchandise items. (part 3)
Partner with local sports teams for offsite adoptions. The Maui Humane Society assembled a team of 10 dogs available for adoption and showcased them at the Wailuku for Pet Night at the Na Koa Ikaika Maui baseball game. Fifty percent of the ticket sales that night were donated by the team to MHS. See the video from this event. (part 2)
Professional photographers capture pets’ personalities. The Louisiana SPCA found three local professional photographers to donate their services to the New Orleans agency. The animals were photographed outside, inside, running, playing, and just being themselves (part 2)