Animal Shelters Get Creative

Sometimes you’ve just got to get a little crazy to get the attention you need.

Shelters and rescues have found creative ways to showcase pets in need of a furever home.

The Pre-Owned Cat

The Calgary Humane Society made a YouTube video, likening cats to used cars—we’ve got your short cats, your black cats, cats of all sizes and colors, come on down!

The Nevada Humane Society had a similar campaign, complete with these highlights: Standard Four Paw Drive, 100,000 purr or tail wag warranty, value increases over time and a multi-point inspection that includes vaccinations, spay/neuter and microchipping.

You’ve Been Warned

Humor is always welcome, especially when there’s a dog like Eddie the Terrible involved. Eddie’s a Chihuahua who has never attacked another dog, but hasn’t ruled it out either. He’s not fond of kids. He sees no point in sleeping in a crate when a comfy bed is available. The Humane Society of Silicon Valley decided honesty was the best policy where Eddie was concerned. They made a list of reasons “why Eddie’s not the dog for you.” It took fifteen months, but Eddie found his perfect, no-other-dogs, no-kids, sure-sleep-on-the bed home. He became an internet sensation in the process, bringing awareness that cute is not the only factor to consider when adopting a pet.

Who’s Your Daddy?

Like many breeds, once Hollywood has featured them in a movie or a company used a dog or cat in an ad campaign, purchases of the breed soar, followed by turn-ins at the shelter when owners realize the pet doesn’t fit their lifestyle. At the Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA in Burlingame, California, 25 percent of the adoptees are Chihuahua look-alikes, surpassing the long standing title-holders, Pit mixes. Mimicking the new “designer breed” names, the shelter came up with their own versions for the Chihuahua mixes, thanks to the creative thinking of Scott Delucci, the shelter’s senior vice president. DNA testing even showed some of the little brown dogs had no Chihuahuas on the family tree. Others gained clever breed names like Yorkle (Yorkie, Beagle), Kiwi Collier (Chihuahua, Australian Shepherd, Jack Russell Terrier, Collie) and Alaskan Chowzer (Chihuahua, American Eskimo, Miniature Schnauzer).

The DNA test gives adopters a peek into the family history of their new dog and a great story to tell. Everybody loves a good story. As a result, a dozen of the little guys were adopted within two weeks, faster than any before. The campaign is called, what else, Who’s Your Daddy?

The Photo Booth

Photographer Guinnevere Shuster took photo-booth-style pictures of adoptable dogs at the Utah Humane Society. It looks like there were plenty of “Wait, I blinked” and “Do another one, I sneezed” or “How’s this? It’s my best side” involved. See nineteen sets of four photos, just like the booth doles out here.

Puzzling Behavior?

Of course, it’s always a good idea to pass along tips and hints to the next generation of adoptees like this Beagle did. He’s puzzled by his new human’s behavior but he’s willing to go along with it.

Why Get Creative?

Of all the pets across the country, only 30 percent of dogs and cats are adopted from shelters. It’s creative thinking that brings attention to pets in need and gives them a second chance for a great home.

Looking for more tips and ideas? Check out the ASPCA’s Little Black Book of Adoption Promotion Ideas here.

Meet the Author: Sandra Murphy

Sandra Murphy writes magazine articles about all kinds of animals, pets or exotics, marine life too, eco-friendly living and weird topics that catch her fancy. In her spare time, she writes fiction, mostly mysteries with a twist. With all the research, her browser history is intriguing to say the least. She lives in St. Louis with two bossy cats and Ozzie, a very tolerant dog.

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