Last updated: 22 Jul, 2019
Published on: 30 Jan, 2017
Five ways to make a world of difference to homeless pets
If we are to be the voice of homeless pets, then we need to choose our words carefully, and really sing it from the rooftops - rescue pets are the best!
So are your words and actions showing the world that rescue really is the best option for choosing a new furry family member?
A potential adopter might only spend a few seconds glancing at a particular profile or Facebook post, so use every precious bit of space to promote each pet’s most lovable features, and to present a professional front to the pet-seeking public.
Dwelling too much on the past, or sharing explicit details of abuse doesn’t help connect pets with new families. And these pets deserve more than most to move swiftly forward towards the brightest of futures.
Keep those positive profiles coming, roll out the welcome mat to prospective adopters, and ensure you’re the best public relations rep any rescue pet could wish for!
Not getting a response to enquiries is the number one reason potential adopters turn away from rescue and buy a pet from a non-rescue source such as a puppy farm, pet shop or breeder.
We know it can be a real struggle to keep up with emails and phone calls, so this is a hard one - but it really is SO important for all the other rescue pets out there awaiting homes, that potential adopters aren’t lost from the bigger picture.
You might be the first group that hasn’t responded, or you might be the eighth group that hasn’t responded - you just don’t know. It really can be make or break when it comes to keeping people engaged in the rescue process, or them giving up and going elsewhere to find a pet to love. And if a prospective adopter has been ignored several times, it’s understandable that they would walk away.
So this year, we challenge you to make a commitment to respond to ALL enquiries and applications. Check out our quick and easy guide to adoption enquiry responses, and find out how we can help you recruit a customer-service savvy volunteer to help manage the load.
Time is a bit like a Labradoodle puppy - there’s just not enough in rescue to meet demand. But setting up a short and sweet email autoresponder can really help.
Not only does it help reassure eager adopters that their enquiry has been received, it’s also a good opportunity to give pet seekers a friendly and welcoming heads-up on what to expect during the enquiry/application process. Once a prospective adopter understands it might take a couple of days for a response, you’ve already made headway into managing their expectations about the adoption process.
And while you’re at it, why not add a call for donations at the bottom of your autoresponder? Let people know how they can support your rescue, whether it’s by donating money, food, bedding, volunteer time etc.
Make sure you have a stash of saved replies, also known as ‘canned responses’ - templates for your most frequently used replies, so that you are not wasting your precious time by typing the same responses over and over.
Then you can answer the bulk of enquiries in just a few simple clicks, it makes a world of difference when it comes to keeping prospective adopters engaged in the rescue process, rather than heading elsewhere for a pet.
If you need help setting it up autoresponders on your mail system, get in touch and we can talk you through it.
Can your adoption application form afford to shed a few questions?
A trim, taut and terrific adoption application form is a summer slimmer winner - no spandex required.
Aim for an application that gets all the basic deets you need, minus the Spanish Inquisition.
We love Maneki Neko Cat Rescue’s adoption application form - striking the right balance between gathering information, without making a prospective adopter feel like they’re a criminal undergoing an interrogation!
For more inspiration on how to get all the information you need without scaring away potential adopters for your rescue pets, have a look at the ASPCA’s Open Adoptions program.
Do you have a long-termer in need of some extra publicity? We have feature opportunities on our website and social media pages, reaching 30,000+ web visitors daily, and 120,000+ social media followers.
Are you struggling to write an engaging profile for a hard-to-rehome pet? Get in touch and our team of writers can help.
Need help recruiting a volunteer to help manage your enquiries? Let us know - we can assist with advertising.
And if you’ve got a curly issue or dispute with an adopter, get in touch with us and we’ll do our best to help.
So don’t be shy - put your paws up if you need a hand. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if there’s anything we might be able to help with - or just to say hi!
1. Scrappy from The Animal Protection Society of WA Inc. by K9 Kate Pet Photography
2. Harriet Potter from Maggie's Rescue Co-operative Ltd
3. Tommy from Luv-A-Lab Rescue
4. Honey from Little PAWS Rescue Perth by K9 Kate Pet Photography
5. Sophie from Jedimals Animal Rescue by Justice Cameron Photography