Waived adoption fees and two-for-one kitten deals encourage adoptions, but those stale strategies don’t stand out from the crowd. Here are three ways organizations have put a new twist on the process by giving adopters an unforgettable experience:
In Kauai, vacationers and locals alike are used to renting movies and books, but now they can borrow a dog for the day as part of the Kauai Humane Society’s “Shelter Dogs on Field Trips” program, according to the Santa Barbara Independent. The goal is for people “to enjoy the natural beauty of our lovely Garden Island and to get their dog fix by taking along one of our shelter dogs on their adventure,” says Penny Cistaro, spokesperson for KHS.
Whether a person merely wants a four-legged companion on his adventures or is looking to adopt and wants to see if the pet’s personality is a good fit, it’s a win-win for people and the dogs. The program has led to successful adoptions in more than 25 states and four Canadian provinces.
Employees spend too much of their time sitting, so The Lost Dogs’ Home, Australia’s largest animal shelter that cares for over 31,000 dogs and cats every year, hosts the “Human Walking Program.” The program reframes adoptions as saving humans — not dogs — while reducing the stress of Melbourne’s workforce. During the first program in April, 300 employees spent their Friday lunch with the dogs, according to The Lost Dogs’ Home.
“It’s a fantastic way to motivate people to get outside during their breaks and also meet firsthand some of the wonderful dogs up for adoption at the Home,” ambassador Mike Larkan says.
To encourage more adopters to visit their shelter, the Peninsula Humane Society hosted a pajama party adopt-a-thon, during which the center encouraged visitors to wear pajamas, played an animal-themed movie and served popcorn, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Since the adoption center stayed open until midnight during the adopt-a-thon, the pajama-themed event extended access to people who couldn’t stop by during normal work hours.
“Even from the shelter workers’ point of view, an adoption is always a heartwarming thing, but when you can do something with an event that creates enthusiasm among the staff, volunteers and people fostering animals, it puts good energy back into the work that we do in adoptions,” says Dan Hanley, adoptions director at the Peninsula Humane Society.
Adoption will always be about finding the right match for an adopter and a pet, but some organizations are setting themselves apart from the rest by innovating new ways for potential adopters to meet their perfect match
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