ASPCA Public Relations Department
Adopt A Shelter Dog Month Promotional Opportunities
Adopt A Shelter Dog Month is a perfect opportunity to launch promotional opportunities that you may continue to use throughout the year. Our goal is to provide you with ideas to educate your community about humane treatment of animals, raise additional funds for your activities and increase pet adoptions at your shelter.
- Promote an Adopt a Shelter Dog Month “October Adopt-a-thon”
Offer specials to those who adopt a dog from your shelter during the month of October such as free collars and leashes, food and water bowls, pet food, I.D.’s, discounts at local groomers, obedience training classes, t-shirts. Raffles for gift certificates at pet supply stores. Check with your supply company to see if you can get items donated or at a discount and ask local businesses to donate supplies.
- Organize a Kick-Off
Organize a fun event to launch the month. The ASPCA hosts a “Dog Walk” in Central Park, NYC to raise funds and awareness. Entrants sign up sponsors, or people who agree to pay a small fee for every lap completed. Ask local businesses to donate prizes or “coupons” for services.
One of the most effective ways to increase animal placement while gaining exposure for the shelter is through advertising. Shelters can advertise at many levels — in the classified section of their local paper, in magazines or newspapers, on billboards, or mass transit, or through a regular advertisement featuring “pets of the week.” Local businesses are often interested in sponsoring adoption advertisements.
- Create Adopt-Me Flyers!
Ask a volunteer to take photos of available animals and create simple, one-page flyers featuring one pet available in need of a home. Tug at heartstrings with catchy headlines such as “I Need a Home!” Write a short summary outlining the wonderful qualities of the animal and include your shelter’s name and phone number. Make copies and ask volunteers to distribute to local stores, churches, synagogues, etc.
- Pursue a TV/Radio Pet Segment
Work with a local TV or radio station to develop a regular feature that answers viewer’s pet questions and promotes an animal on each segment.
- Give Away Bumper Stickers
“Eye-catching” bumper stickers that promote adoption can be given to all adopters and sold at a nominal fee for the public. Bumper stickers adorning cars promote adoption all over the community. Bumper stickers can also be underwritten by
- Distribute Newsletters
Contact a local high school, college or newspaper or find a volunteer to write a newsletter for your shelter. Newsletters can include heartwarming adoption success stories, lists of items needed by your shelter and pet profiles available for adoption.
- Launch a Pet Food Drive
Place donation boxes at the shelter, supermarkets and pet stores and encourage customers to donate pet food for your shelter.
- Sponsor a Pet Contest
Invite pet owners to submit photos of their pooches for judging and prizes. Possible categories include: smallest, largest, ugliest, oldest, pet-celebrity and pet-owner look-alike, and best trick. Participants have fun and compete for donated gift certificates while the shelter promotes its adoption program and raises money.
- Plan Community Outreach Events
Don’t wait for the public to come to you — bring your animals to the public. Providing animals at convenient locations can mean increased adoptions and decreased overpopulation. Many of the major pet supply supermarkets or specialty stores encourage in-store adoptions.
- Initiate Pennies for Pets
Work with a nearby school and organize children to collect pennies (or spare change) for your shelter. Art teachers or a parent can be a great help in collecting materials to construct a colorful ‘donation box’ for the children. Invite the media to a school presentation of the collected funds to your shelter.
- Host Essay/Poster Contest
Partner with local schools and ask children to submit work based on animal-friendly themes. Ask a local pet store, bank or supermarket to display the winners.
- Have a Neighborhood Dog Wash
For some scrub-a-dub fun, organize a neighborhood dog wash. Post signs and distribute flyers advertising the event and donate all proceeds to a special project or fund.
© 2000 ASPCA
424 East 92nd Street
New York, NY 10128-6804