Marketing your Adoptable Pet Videos

Sara Lippincott, Manager, Shelter Outreach, Petfinder

If a picture says a thousand words, how many does a video say? We’ve compiled dozens of helpful tips from Petfinder members to help you get the most out of pet videos.

Keep in mind that these don’t have to cost any money contact local advertising agencies for ad space donations or ask for sponsorships from local businesses.

Tips on filming interesting videos:

Make videos that people want to watch 3060 seconds is a good length to keep people’s attention.

  • Show the pets in action playing, showing off a trick or even purring.
  • Show off special training, such as Canine Good Citizen graduation.
  • For cruelty or neglect cases, capture the transformation of the animal as he/she gets fixed up for adoption.
  • Show the pets reacting and interacting with adults, kids and other animals when appropriate (such as your pet therapy program, a dog walking well on leash with a volunteer or cats playing together in a free-roaming room).

Tips on advertising ABOUT your videos:

Let people know that they can logon to to see your pets in action!

  • Add a sticker to your donation cans and be sure to feature it in your newsletters.
  • Add a tagline to your email signature and outgoing voicemail.
  • Use networking sites like Myspace and Ebay to link to your videos on Petfinder.
  • Post flyers or signs at the dog park, Internet caf, library etc.
  • Send media alerts to local papers, magazines, radio and television stations.
  • Alert organizations like your Chamber of Commerce and dog or breed clubs.
  • Don’t forget to advertise IN your shelter for people already in your door.
  • When it is time for new organization t-shirts, mention video in the artwork or text.
  • Not time for new shirts yet? Have pins made that say, “Ask me how you can see adoptable pets in action.”
  • Advertise on dog t-shirts or Adopt-Me vests (“See me in action at”).
  • Send out mass mailings like coupon packets.
  • Think big: Mall advertising screens and billboards.

Tips on advertising WITH Your Videos:

Find opportunities to show off the videos that you’ve taken!

  • Directly connect to Petfinder at off-site adoption events with WI-FI available**.
  • Think viral great videos spread like wildfire email links to everyone you know.
  • Offer them for video marquees in banks, grocery stores, veterinary offices and anywhere else people have to wait what better way to spend that time?!
  • Broadcast them on local cable/public access television.
  • Show them at town or city council meetings and before/after board meetings.
  • Get them shown on big screens at college/high school sporting events.
  • Offer them to local theaters to show before the movie trailers.

**This is a great way to show off the pets that are shy or not able to attend adoption events.


These ideas take a little finesse and planning, but are a really fun way to involve your community in a totally new way!

  • Best Director have staff, volunteers or the public compete to film the best video you can even turn this into a fundraiser by asking the “directors” to pay for a chance to win
  • Video contest a simplified version of the above idea – have visitors (online or in person) vote on their favorite video
  • Film Festival gather staff, volunteers, adopters and donors together to watch videos of your adoptable pets (you can serve popcorn and have lap cats on call)