Barriers to adoption
While most seniors and pensioners can manage the standard ongoing costs of pet care, forking out a large adoption fee has been shown to be a barrier to pensioners who are traditionally more careful with money.
Research has also shown that some senior citizens would dearly love a companion, but they are so concerned about the future of their pet, that they would rather live without one, than live with the fear that their pet would be abandoned if their circumstances were to change - if they are hospitalised, their health declines or indeed if they pass away.
There are so many good homes staying empty due to these barriers, and we want this campaign to help change that.
Breaking down the barriers
For most rescue groups, a vital part of the adoption contract is the requirement that, should the owner’s circumstances change and they are no longer able to care for the pet, the pet must be returned to the group.
By highlighting this policy and pitching the shy cat program as a ‘long-term care’ or ‘permanent care arrangement’, our hope is to alleviate the concerns many seniors have about what might happen to the cat, if something were to happen to them.
And being part of a community and feeling useful are strong drivers for senior citizens, so our campaign asks the question, ‘Can you help a cat, by providing a long-term safe and caring environment for a shy cat?’
Nothing changes in your adoption policy, it’s just the way we communicate the message to our senior audience.
To overcome the adoption fee barrier, this campaign will be promoted to senior citizens with participating cats available at a reduced fee of $25, with PetRescue providing subsidies to groups involved, to go towards vet and care costs.
So, if you are willing to adopt your shy cats to a senior citizen at $25, you will get:
$25 adoption fee + $50 subsidy = $75 per cat.
The subsidies are thanks to our wonderful partner Woolworths, and a newly-forming foundation with an interest in the human-animal bond.
This is a pilot program, and subsidies are limited to the first 300 participating cats adopted. However, if the program is successful, we hope to expand it and continue this extra support for shy cats.
How the campaign will be promoted and managed
Senior adopters may need some extra support with finding the right match, and with completing paperwork. We want to make sure participating rescue organisations are aware of this, and are willing to help seniors on their journey.
We are hoping that the groups keen to trial this program will be flexible in their approach. We also want to hear about any obstacles that you might face during this test program.
PetRescue will be heavily marketing this campaign, and we are looking into media that’s accessible to senior citizens, including print media and radio.
This campaign is being conducted in conjunction with the Pet Helpline Research Project. This will involve following up with adopters via phone at set intervals over a ten-month period - to measure pet retention rates, identify potential areas of support, and to gauge the overall success of the campaign.
To be a part of this campaign, and eligible to receive the $50 adoption subsidy, you’ll need to complete your full registration details and agree to the campaign terms and conditions (see below), including agreeing to provide contact details for adopters to be interviewed as part of the Pet Helpline Research Project.
How to get your shy cats involved
On each cat profile there is a new checkbox which, when selected, will include the cat in the Shy Cats program. You can select this when adding a new cat, or by editing an existing listing.
- Complete your group’s details and agree to the T&Cs via the sign-up link below.
- Go through your existing cat listings, click ‘edit’ and select your participating shy cats, using the ‘Include this cat in the Shy Cats $25 adoption campaign’ checkbox on the pet listing form.
- Your usual adoption fee can be advertised - you don’t need to change it to $25 on the PetRescue listing. This reduced fee only applies to senior citizen matches that have come as a result of our marketing campaign.
- PetRescue will be in touch with you once a potential senior match is sourced! From that point it’s over to you for your usual adoption processes.
Got a question about the campaign? Please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to read the full Shy Cats and Senior Citizens program terms and conditions? Find them here.