Monday, January 10, 2011

If the adopters won't come to the shelter .....

Some of them have just been listed .... some of them have waiting for quite some time.  Some of them have very well done pictures while others don't even have a picture to post.
There are chatty bios full of the personal details that will help prospective adopters recognize the kindred spirit they are looking for ... there are others where a picture has to be worth a thousand words as there is absolutely no other information to be had.
In some cases, even the basics are absent.  Is the pet housetrained?  Good with kids?  Cats?  Dogs?   Spayed or neutered?  Young adult or young at heart?
Others have bios clearly written by the fosters or volunteers who spend the most time with the pet and offer all sorts of appealing bits to engage the reader.
Do the pets listed below represent all the ones available for adoption in the province?  Not even close.
Why would that be?   Wouldn't rescues WANT people to know about all their lovelies?  Of course they do, but in many cases pets never see the light of Petfinder day when there are good preapproved homes waiting in the wings.  For instance, neither Miss Ruby nor Andy were ever listed on Petfinder because I was one of those darned preapproved adopters.
So the cute little dogs / the purebreds/ the puppies and the well behaved middling to young adults are never seen by the prospective first time adopters who are checking out the available pets.
Is that a problem?  Of course it is!  When potential first time adopters don't find what they are looking for on Petfinder, they often go elsewhere.  Not only do the rescues lose the potential great adopters, but many of these kind hearts wind up supporting the very venues that create such problems for rescue in the first place ... pet stores and the ads on Kijiji that allow puppy millers and backyard breeders "wolves" to dress in sheep's clothing.
Is it a bit of work to do up a Petfinder listing?  You bet!  But with the very cool tools that Petfinder has, not only can adopters share the link with their friends, but proud new pet parents can send free pet adoption announcement e cards that in turn help spread the good word about the rescue.
And of course, when potential first time adopters contact a rescue about a listing is the perfect opportunity to introduce them to the concept of the pre approved adoption.
Even better, once the listing is done, it is only the click of a mouse to covert the "for adoption" to the Happy Tail section.
Best of all, when rescues highlight their Happy Tail listing on the front doors of their sites and Petfinder pages, it lets the "newbies" see for themselves just how many wonderful pets really do come into rescue.
What time is it?  Its always time to make use of any 'free' advertising, hmmm?  To paraphrase the old saying, if the adopters won't come to the shelter,  to make sure that everyone in the shelter comes to the adopter.

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