Melanie Anton, ASPCA
ASPCA INTERNET ADOPTION GUIDELINES
According to the 1999/2000 National Pet Owners Survey, only about 15% of people obtained their new pet from an animal shelter. Some don’t know you exist. Others won’t visit because of conditions or they “can’t look at all those poor animals.” Use these guidelines for your cyber-shelter on petfinder.com and your own site.
WHAT A CYBER-SHELTER CAN DO FOR YOU
Promote adoptable pets
Increase awareness of your group
Provide information and guidance to the public
Reflect your policies and procedures
Remember: Update at least once a week if your pet list is old people will stop visiting
MEET AND GREET A MUST!
Meet the new owners in person. It’s the best way to insure the pet/owner match is right, and travel is stressful for animals.
List off-site adoption opportunities these are especially helpful for those who wish to avoid the “in-shelter” experience.
Offer an on-line pre-screening form to streamline the process. This is especially helpful for off-site adoptions.
BREED I.D. FOR YOU AND ME
Proper identification of breeds will prevent questions, disappointment, and problems in the future. Calling a pit bull something else doesn’t make it so.
Mix breed dogs and cats should be identified by predominant breed (lab/pit mix, shepherd/akita mix).
Use a breed identification book. Bring with you to off-site events. Suggested reading: ASPCA Complete Guide to Dogs or ASPCA Complete Guide to Cats .
JUST THE FACTS!
Make sure you include this information on each pet you post:
Breed, sex, age, height/weight, general demeanor (frisky, shy, dominant), special need or temperament (likes/dislikes other dogs/cats/males/females), sexual status (intact/altered) and vaccinations. Include a photo whenever possible.
ALL ABOUT YOU!
Your shelter/rescue is a community resource. Even if you have no pets, provide your information for future reference: General adoption guidelines (ID necessary, references, etc)
Adoption fees Spay/neuter policy
Return policy (include restrictions)
Hours, including on and off-site adoption hours
Directions to your shelter or adoption site (you can suggest visitors use Mapquest.com)
Special Events Links to, or list of, other area shelters/rescues
HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY
Be realistic. Don’t fill your site with “special needs” pets. The impression could be that all your pets have problems.
Create a “special pets” page for those who have the resources and desire to help.
Courtesy of ASPCA National Shelter Outreach
424 East 92nd Street
New York, NY 10128