September is a good month for cooler weather and promoting animal awareness events. September awareness events encourage pet adoptions for less-popular animals.
Supporters can use creative social media to help special needs pets gain attention. The month ends with a day to remember homeless animals around the world.
September 16-22: Adopt-a-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week is the third week each September. PetFinder.com created Adopt-a-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week to bring awareness to shelter animals “who may get overlooked for a variety of reasons” and encourage people to adopt shelter animals.
Why are “less popular” pets ignored? Because of puppies and kittens. In the spring, I volunteer for a local cat rescue group during their busy kitten adoption season.
Kittens were most popular, then adults and older cats. Some people only wanted an older cat. But other people thought they wanted a kitten and realized that an older cat was the best choice for their family.
Animals in the “less adoptable pet” group are:
Dogs with behavioral issues. Dogs not well socialized or not house trained can be trained to be adoptable. Many shelters will have a dog training professional on site. Behavioral issues can be resolved.
Older dogs. An older dog is a gem for any family. Many older dogs are experienced, house trained, well socialized and great companion pets for families or individuals.
Older dogs already know basic commands and love to have you teach them new tricks! As I walk around the city, I notice more pet parents with older dogs. And many are happy to tell me they adopted a rescue dog!
Dogs with medical conditions. Sometime in our lives, we all have to take medication. Shelter dogs are no different. And some may have lifelong medical conditions.
A family with patience and understanding about the dog’s medical condition will find a pet who is forever grateful. Dogs teach us many things and TLC is always a good thing to learn.
Black dogs. Loving companions at a shelter come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes black dogs are overlooked. Potential adopters should be looking at the dog’s personality for a good fit for the family. The dog rescue group I volunteer for always has black dogs and many are quickly adopted.
Dogs that shed frequently. Dog hair can end up anywhere in the home, no matter how much you clean your house. You can cut or shave your dog’s hair but with some breeds, the hair grows back differently.
Talk to a professional groomer about your dog’s breed and what’s best for your pet. Good nutrition can also give your dog a healthy coat with less shedding.
Helping a shelter dog stand out is easy with creativity and marketing. Use your social media to help dogs stand out and find their forever homes.
Avoid names with a negative connotation that support breed stereotypes – Trigger or Dagger for a Staffordshire Bull Terrier are some examples. Instead, choose a popular name for cities, cartoon characters, vacation spots or nature.
Positive names can make a big difference. I recently met Lilly, an older Staffordshire Bull Terrier at the rescue shelter where I volunteer. She is a sweet, loving dog even though she was recently rescued from a attack situation. Staff and volunteers love her gentle soul!
Use social media and put some fun in your puppy photos. Add cute sweaters, hats, colorful collars and toys to capture a dog’s “smile” and capturing the eye of potential adopters.
One great example, is Mr. B, a popular 26-pound homeless cat who captured the interest of 3,000 potential adopters! Humans are visual creatures and we love browsing social media looking for a new furry pet. Shelter animals with appeal make a great impression.
Other creative social media ideas include special days to promote shelter dogs. “Fido Friday”, “Wag Wednesday”, “Dog of the Week”, “Meet the Dog/Cat Monday” are some examples. These types of promotions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be very popular.
Videos of shelter animals are always popular. Feature specific dogs while they play, take daily walks or enjoy time with volunteers. Videos can build interest in certain shelter animals and people can follow them on social media.
Remember to promote fundraising events, off-site adoption events, volunteer and donation needs and shelter wish lists. Volunteers or shelter staff can create fun and popular videos to promote shelter animals.
Write a unique bio or kennel card about each shelter dog. Spotlight their personality traits, fun things they enjoy, and maximize the adoptability of any breed. If you spend time with a specific dog, you’ll learn her best traits and habits.
Many older and adult dogs are generally well socialized and know basic commands. Focus the bio on the dog living in a home, and avoid any neglect, abuse or sad circumstances that brought them to the shelter. Choosing a pet should be a happy time for the potential adopter. Make the dog’s important qualities stand out.
Spend some one-on-one time at the shelter. Meet different dogs with personalities that make a good fit for your family. Adopt-a-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week is a great time to visit local shelters and give a pet a loving home.
September 21: Puppy Mill Awareness Day is the third Saturday in September. Puppy Mill Awareness Day was created by animal rescue and shelter organizations. The goals are to encourage people to adopt pets and avoid buying animals from puppy mills that keep cats and dogs in horrible living conditions.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has a national effort to ban puppy mills. California is the first state to officially ban puppy mills. And check out this link to puppy mill laws by state.
September 22-28: National Deaf Dog Awareness Week is the last full week in September. Deaf dogs are trainable, friendly, and make wonderful pets. Many deaf dogs are white and born without cells for hearing. The common breeds include:
- West Highland white terriers
- Australian Shepherds
- Boston Terriers
- Cocker Spaniels
- Jack Russel Terriers
- Toy and miniature Poodles
- German Shepherds
September 26: Remember Me Thursday is an international social media awareness day to recognize orphan animals. Pet adoptions are the answer and animal rescue and shelters groups organize events to help animals find their forever homes. Remember Me Thursday wants the world to “shine a light on all orphan pets waiting in shelters and rescues right now.”
Thanks for stopping by! 😎
Dr. Pet Mom
“It takes nothing from a human to be kind to animals.”