Ways to Increase Your Adoption Numbers

August 12, 2015

Every animal shelter’s main goal is to connect animals with people to give a pet a loving “forever home.” Sometimes, obstacles get in the way of creating that connection. With a little ingenuity, shelter operators can make some simple changes that will result in more animal adoptions that will give pets a second chance in life.

Highlight a Few Animals at a Time

Walking into a shelter and seeing hundreds of animals at once can be daunting for prospective adopters. Too many choices can overwhelm people and make them reluctant to make any choice at all. By limiting the number of animals in view, adopters will feel like they have meaningfully interacted with the available pets, resulting in an increased chance of animal adoptions.

Put Less Adoptable Animals Closer to the Entrance

A lot of people come into the shelter with one goal – to adopt the cutest puppy or kitten they see. By giving higher visibility to adult animals, people may just find an animal that steals their heart. Additionally, some shelters are putting puppies and kittens in a separate area near the back of the shelter so that people have a chance to view all of the animals before seeing the babies.

Use Elevated Crates

Placing cats and smaller dogs in elevated viewing areas makes it easier for people to interact with them. Not having to bend or crouch makes the viewing experience more comfortable for a potential adopter and allows them more time make a connection with a particular animal. Also consider putting toys in crates to motivate the animals to be more active.

Groom and Accessorize

A well-groomed animal is more attractive to a prospective adopter than one that is less maintained. Adequate brushing is a low-maintenance step to keeping animals’ coats healthy and shiny. Adding bright-colored hair bows or bandanas is another way to up the cuteness factor and grab the attention of a would-be adopter.

Mix Different Breeds in the Same Crate

Pairing common breeds alongside more exotic breeds is an effective strategy in getting all animals noticed. Someone who is drawn to an English bulldog will also get a chance to interact with a black lab or dachshund, two breeds that are over-represented in shelters.

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