At Pawsitively Humane, Inc., one of the top issues we deal with are the daily emails and calls we get inquiring if we could take in a kitten, cat, dog, or puppy. The stories surrounding the situation vary, but most nonprofits like Pawsitively Humane, Inc. simply cannot take them all in.
Why? As a no-kill shelter we are all limited in space and funds. We have to find homes for our current rescue cats and dogs before accepting new ones and there are just not enough shelters to take in the literally millions of homeless pets.
But there is hope--in you! Yes you! Individual contributions make a difference and that is why we have developed this list of sure fire ways to help find a good home for that rescued cat, dog, puppy, or kitten that you may have found yourself with for whatever reason so that animal does not have to end up in a shelter to be possibly euthanized.
Proven Techniques to Find a Home for that Cat or Dog!
Step One: Ideally, it's best to take the animal to a vet for an initial exam and vaccinations. If the animal is more than two months old, please get him/her spayed/neutered. This is critical to prevent unwanted litters and more homeless animals. Check for a local organization that offers low-cost spay/neuter.
Step Two: Photos! Lots of photos! We don't mean five or six snapshots. Take at least 50 photos!
Half the trick is marketing or advertising. ALSO, take the time to stage the setting with solid and contrasting colors and fun accessories. If the animal is black, use a solid white or bright background or even a pattern. If the cat or dog has a pattern or stripes, then use a solid background. By taking 50+ photos this gives you the opportunity to take photos in different lighting, changing the props, capturing kitty or puppy in cute, funny and adorable positions and poses. JUST GET CREATIVE!
Step Three: Brainstorm to create a clever story and name for the animal. Observe the personality of the dog or cat and give him/her a fun name that connects to a popular movie, book, or TV show.
Step Four: Create a nice flyer with one or two quality photos, the name of the pet, and a brief description. Be sure to include your contact information.
We encourage you to ask for a fee especially if you invested in veterinary care for the animal’s initial checkup. Giving the cat or dog away for free means the animal has no value and there is higher risk they will become unwanted in the near future.
If the dog or cat’s story is sad or heroic, share that story in one or two paragraphs. Please describe more than the cute and adorable attributes and HUMANIZE the pet.
Post the flyer in every single veterinary office and pet store with public bulletin board in your city. Share the flyer with all your friends, family, and colleagues via email, Facebook, Pinterest and all social media.
If you are not able to keep the cat or dog for an extended period, you can always invest in a newspaper ad. This will cost more but you will reach thousands of readers and increase the rate of adopting sooner than later.
Step Five: If someone contacts you to adopt or claim the pet, remember that it is for a LIFETIME commitment and you must be careful who you adopt to. If you need assistance with the interviewing and homing process, please contact one of your local nonprofits for assistance.
Above all, time is of the essence. Because pets are harder to adopt the older they get, quick steps must be made to find them a good home.
Why are cats and dogs without good homes in the first place?
For whatever reason, there are literally millions of cats and dogs on the streets and in shelters across the country. Some of the reasons are preventable, some are due to misinformation, some are because of tragic circumstances, and some because of blatant irresponsibility:
- Sometimes a beloved pet finds itself without a home in a situation where an elderly person has to move to a nursing home or has passed away. Sadly, no definite plans were made for the continued care of their pets.
- People develop allergies to a pet and rather than find a way to manage the allergy, they bring the pet to a shelter or abandon it. It is easy to misdiagnose an allergy and often a pet is relinquished rather than finding the root cause of the allergy or effective ways to manage it.
- If an animal has behavioral problems, rather than trying to correct them, often a pet is abandoned or surrendered to a shelter.
- If a pet is not spayed, she may find herself with an unexpected litter and often these puppies or kittens are dumped on the streets or brought to a shelter. The best and most effective solution is to always have your pet spayed or neutered.
- Sometimes people move and rather than find housing that allows pets, they will leave them behind.
- Many people who decide to have children fear having a pet in the house and will bring them to a shelter. More times than not, pets and children can get along if managed properly.