Who’s that Doggie in the Window?

August 22, 2011

Marketing is everything.  I know we often think when operating a shelter, rescue, humane society, SPCA or the like that marketing is the last thing on the agenda; however, the reality is it should be the first thing on the agenda every day.  Marketing can make the difference in if or how fast an animal (s) is adopted out.

Dad just sent me an email about a very wise man, Mike Arms, President of Helen Woodward Animal Center in San Diego, CA.  Mike was speaking at the New Mexico Humane Conference and his topic focused a great deal on marketing the animals and using the media.  Yes, it takes some creativity and thinking outside the box.  As an example Mike’s shelter had been contacted to pick-up a 6-year-old Rottweiler and her 6 new born puppies.  When these wonderful canines arrived at the shelter, the volunteer said how are we going to adopt a 6 year Rottweiler?  Mike said, we aren’t, so the headline for these new mother and her 6 puppies read: 63-year-old gives birth to Sextuplets”.  Now that’s thinking outside the box.  Mike and his team are very good at this.  In another situation a few months back if you will recall, Charlie Sheen and his 2 girlfriends were all over the news and media.  Well a male and 2 female pups had been dropped at the shelter and the team decided to take advantage of the media hype at the time and named the male Charlie and the females after Charlie’s girlfriends.  The sent a news release to all the local media to the effect of “You had the stories on Charlie and his girlfriends, but we got to neuter Charlie”.  They even think outside the box when marketing their fundraisers and events from having volunteers dress as Santa around Christmas and deliver the new puppy or kitten to the home to a Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon.  Take a look at their website at www.animalcenter.org.

You need to also change the public’s perception of who you are and what you do.  This starts by not under valuing your services.  Many organizations charge minimal and sometimes nothing when an animal is surrendered.  We need to make the public aware of the cost involved in the shelter taking the pet and make them accountable.  One suggestion is to pull out an invoice and begin listing with values what they are asking of you when they surrender their pet to you:

  •  Love my pet                                                        $ Invaluable
  • Provide medical care for pet                               $ 150.00
  • Provide food for pet                                             $   20.00
  • Provide shelter for pet                                        $ 100.00
  • Screen potential adopters for pet                      $  50.00

Total Cost for services                                       $ 320.00


Special price for the love of animals       $ 200.00

Of course if they bulk at this, you don’t want them to walk away with the pet, so, now they know the cost to you, perhaps ask can you give some kind of donation to help offset our expenses?

Wow, and that is just from one session at the conference.  I can’t wait till dad provides some additional information on the others.

Oh, and by the way, Thanks for all you do for the animals!


Sky Barrick

One Response to “Who’s that Doggie in the Window?”

  1. Beats By Dre Says:

    extremely great !!! Maintain it up and Ill be back to read much more soon!

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