Marketing Harder To Place Pets

You work hard to place the adoptable pets in your care into loving homes. As you may often find, some pet types are adopted fairly quickly, while older pets or those with certain health issues may stay in your care for a longer period of time.

This can often be attributed to a problem of perception. Potential adopters may feel that they’ll have to invest more time, money and emotion, all of which can be barriers to adoption. An adopter may worry that a pet will be hard to train, may be expensive to care for because of a chronic illness or could be more difficult to connect with because of his or her age. How do we move past these barriers and help increase adoptions? These marketing tips can help you promote your pets in their best light!

Through their dedication to research, Purina sought to learn more about what might prevent adopters from considering a senior pet or a pet with a chronic illness. Through quantitative research, they tested a variety of pet profiles that focused on the emotional reward of adopting these types of pets. After surveying 600 potential adopters, here’s what they learned.


Based on these findings, below are three easy tips that can help you market harder-to-place pets and help increase adoptions:

Determine a course of action for hard-to-place pets at intake:
Look for the pet’s positive traits and behaviors so that they can be shared in his or her online pet description.  The earlier you identify these pets and promote them accordingly, the better chance they may have of getting adopted quickly.

 Highlight the positive! Emphasize the positive personality traits in the pet.
Traits that may be perceived as negative can be talked about in a more positive way.  Instead of saying “She is timid when you first meet her”, try “She’s a cuddler once she gets to know you.”
Instead of “In his golden years”, try “A devoted companion.”

Highlight the benefits for the adopter, not what’s required of them.
Focus on the differences that make each pet an individual and a wonderful companion.
Senior pets are often well-mannered or house-trained; pets with a chronic illness are often happy, healthy and just as playful. Instead of “She can longer eat dry food, so you’ll have to feed her wet food”, try “She really enjoys her wet food.”

Try these easy tips when writing your Petfinder pet profiles! Seeking to alleviate potential adopters’ concerns upfront can help your pets find loving homes more quickly and help increase adoptions.


Click for more tips and information on highlighting positive qualities in your harder-to-place pets!