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Advice or ideas?

Discussion in 'Dog Rescue and Adoption' started by j lindz, Nov 20, 2018.


  1. j lindz

    j lindz PetForums Newbie

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    Hey everyone!

    This is my first time in any kind of forum, but I was hoping to get some ideas. I have been volunteering at a shelter for a few months now. It is run by all volunteers, in a small county 40 miles from me. They only just got a part-time animal control officer there. We take the dogs to PetSmart every Saturday for adoption events, but beyond that the animals do not really get out in the community.

    There are a few dogs that have been there a while, but there is one in particular I wanted advice about. His name is Bobo and he is a terrier mix. Bobo is around 3 and has 3 legs. When he was rescued they think he was possibly hit by a car. He has been at the shelter for almost 2 years. He is an awesome and sweet boy but just does not mesh well with other animals and would most likely do better as the only pet. He is on medication for his hips, but can run and play just fine.

    He goes to adoption events, but is overlooked. Does anyone have any ideas for introducing Bobo to the right adoptees? I am trying to find ways to get these animals noticed and out in the community.
     
    dustofneptune likes this.
  2. dustofneptune

    dustofneptune PetForums Newbie

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    Aww, my heart goes out to little pups like Bobo. Two years... that's so f*cking sad.

    Does your shelter have a website? If so, how are his pictures looking? I feel that having a really awesome picture (or even better, a video, if possible) can really, really make a difference. If you haven't seen The Dogist before, go and Google them (I don't work for them - just love them!). They take pictures of dogs they meet out and about, and their images really pack a punch. I regularly wish this is how the pictures of shelter dogs looked - they are very engaging. If you have a smartphone, you could take similar pictures yourself. I see so many shelters posting dark, unclear or unflattering pictures of their dogs, and I totally understand this, but what you want is for people to see his face, look into his eyes, and melt.

    Does the shelter also have social media accounts? Facebook and Instagram? If not, maybe you could volunteer to set one up for them. If they do have social media, maybe you could offer to spend a weekend getting some traction for them by commenting on popular dog-related accounts, adding people, and so on. With the whole #adoptdontshop movement, I really feel that social media has made dog adoption "cool", which is a really good thing, in my opinion. But it only works if you can drum up followers and get people looking at your posts. I've seen a lot of shelters with just a couple of hundred followers, and it's a real shame.

    Another thing is that you could also look for large UK-wide dog adoption groups on Facebook and Instagram that already have a lot of followers, where you can share pictures of dogs that are available for adoption. The same for national dog adoption websites (such as DogsBlog). Basically, getting yourselves and the dogs on as many different corners of the internet as you can. :)

    One final thing on the online aspect - if the shelter does have a website, how are the descriptions of him looking? Is there a really engaging, moving story about him, but with lots of positive anecdotes? Also, listing little things like "his fluffy duck is his favourite toy" or "he loves having his ears rubbed" can help people to connect with him. Additionally, does it say that he's been in the shelter for two years and is overlooked because of his leg? Sometimes knowing that a pet keeps being overlooked through no fault of his own can really light a fire under people and trigger their "rescue" button. For instance, I recently saw a gorgeous black cat from a shelter in the US on Instagram, and he'd been in the shelter for TWO YEARS. Nobody seemed to want a black cat. I would have adopted him on the spot if I could have (he's now finally adopted!), and I was definitely influenced by knowing how long he'd been there. So this is something you could look at! :)

    In terms of offline community things, have you looked to see if there are any other places where you can hold adoption drives, alongside PetSmart? Maybe any dog shows or events too, particularly during the spring/summer?

    Is there any chance of him being fostered and perhaps socialised with other pets, which could increase his chance of being rehomed? Not sure if you work with fosterers or not.

    Could you connect with any larger local shelters and ask if they'd be willing to partner up in some way? Even if it's as simple as them referring people to your shelter when they don't have any suitable dogs for some of their visitors. And you doing the same for them. Mutual benefit, kinda thing.

    The other thing I'm thinking is - where is Bobo kept during the adoption drives? Are the pups all in crates, or are they out on leashes? If they are in crates, is there a way you can bring him out to play so that he catches people's attention and people can fall in love with him? I always feel that the more you can get adoptees to connect with the personality of a dog, the better. Maybe even create a special doggy throne or little area for Bobo with a sign saying "give Bobo a treat!". That could get people interacting with him and chatting to you. You never know where that could lead!

    Can you get permission to take him out for little trips to large, busy pet shops once in a while? I once worked as a fundraiser, and one time, I was on the train on my way home from a charity drive, and I just happened to have my fundraising folder with me. Someone noticed it and we got chatting. Turns out, she'd been looking at donating to that charity for a while. She made a massive donation right there on the spot. I wasn't even on the clock. I don't know if you're allowed to take any of the dogs out on walks. But if you are, this might be something you could look at doing, as people would be likely to comment if they can see him walking around being such a brave little sausage with his three legs!

    I think I've babbled your ears (eyes?! haha) off. These are the ideas I have as of right now! I hope some of them help!
     
    tabelmabel and Picklelily like this.
  3. dustofneptune

    dustofneptune PetForums Newbie

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    Damn, brevity is not amongst my strengths. Haha. ;)
     
    tabelmabel likes this.
  4. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    Such a great reply though - hopefully the OP will come back on here one day with an update
     
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