September 2012

Audience: Executive Leadership, Foster Caregivers, Public, Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers

Are you running dry on new ideas to promote the great pets in your shelter? Wondering how to inspire people in your community to take a second look at some of the pets who keep getting passed over? The Humane Society of Indianapolis (IndyHumane) shares a few promotions guaranteed to turn the spotlight on those harder-to-place pets.

Octopurr: Last October, donors were encouraged to "pay it forward" and sponsor the adoption fees of the 30 oldest and hardest to place cats. Twenty-five sponsored cats were adopted and donors felt great about their contribution. Said one donor, "I'm an animal lover and it hurts my heart to see these animals without a loving home. I'd take them all if I could, but I can't. So, I thought I'd try to help them get adopted at Octopurr."

Black Friday: Discounted adoption fees ($9.99 for cats; $69.99 for dogs) were offered for black or mostly black dogs and cats on the traditional "Black Friday", the day after Thanksgiving. Fifty-seven pets were adopted over the three-day event.

Naughtiest Cats: Fifteen of the most difficult cat behavior cases were made available for free. Eight cats got adopted, including some who disliked other cats, were super shy or particularly grumpy.

Valentine's Day $14: Twenty-five of the most difficult to place or long-term animals were available for adoption for $14. All of these plus 20 others were adopted at the $14 rate ( for a total of 55 adoptions).

$25 in FREE Retail Merchandise with Adult Cat Adoptions in June: Normally, adult cats are discounted in June. For this special they were full price, but the retail offering really motivated people to adopt. Since there is a decent mark-up on retail, the shelter came out financially ahead by offering the free merchandise rather than discounting the adoption fee. Combined with the adopt-1-Get-1-Free offer for kittens during the month of June, a total of 133 cats/kittens were adopted!

What are you doing to promote adoptions? Send us your best and we'll post them in a future newsletter.