Posted February 17, 2019 at 04:48 PM Under "Adoptions & Adoption Programs"
Marketing for animals

Hi, Charlotte NC here. I have a question about marketing fosters and older animals. Does anyone have ideas on training ideas for foster parents and volunteers regarding write ups on animals. Not just "it loves to be petted" " this kitten likes to purr" the struggle is real.

  • Aunt Nikki Vet Nurse    May 07, 2019 at 06:02 PM

    We have two different bio templates. We do a funny bio with accurate stuff like "loves to be petted" and funny stuff like "dislikes ghosts". We are phasing out our last bio type which was tinder profiles for the dogs. I use Canva to make the bios. You can check it out. Public Animal Welfare Services on Facebook. We are in Rome, GA.

  • JaneN    March 23, 2019 at 01:24 PM

    I suggest that you request 3-5 descriptive words about each kitten/puppy that are not 'fuzzy, fun, active, etc'... More specific to the individual animal than 'general'. And to ask the foster what type of family/person would this animal thrive with or could they imagine this animal living with... We had one kitten last year that was:

    'a great shoulder rider and climbed up to get there! She would have been great company to someone who traveled for work or pleasure or for a trucker!'

    While a kitten climbing your legs is NOT my idea of a great thing, we absolutely couldn't seem to break her of it - so we just learned to work with it. She actually goes to work with her new Dad now - every day! He drove 5 hours to see her when she was almost ready for adoption & then came back when she was ready (after her surgery) to take her home... He also harness & leash trainer her & it has been a great match for both of them - she is his constant companion, gets lots of activity & visits well with others & then settles down at night with him, sleeping through the night.

    I guess my point is when you get good descriptive info from the foster, it is easier to write a bio... I have found that in some cases it is hard not to repeat info, though. I mostly bottle feed which means our kittens are:

    'more like 'little dogs' than cats & they almost never have 'cattitude' like a regular cat. They will meet you at the door & are constantly following you around, coming when you call their name (etc, etc) & will always want to lay on you - in your lap, on your chest or next to you in the bed. They don't know to protect themselves like other cats so you have to be prepared to keep them indoors only or provide a very safe and protected area for them if they will be an indoor/outdoor cat. They have been exposed to adults, children & adult cats, but will do well with other cat-friendly animals'.

    Believe it or not I have had folks call who didn't want a cat that was a lap cat - but that's what bottle babies become... The more you know, the better you can serve the public & the animal!

    Another thought - I know people re-name their animals & I think that's fine, but I try to make sure that all my babies know their names & are 'treat' trained - in other words, they come when I call 'TREAT'... This is a good thing for new animal owners because a new home can sometimes be overwhelming to a kitten/cat & if you call 'TREAT' they will (eventually) come for it (usually)... It has worked for a few 'new' homes that we placed our kittens in... It also helps if your foster 'parents' (or a foster) are open to talking with folks AFTER the adoption - new parents sometimes text me at 10pm wanting to know 'is this okay?' or should I take her/him to the emergency vet? is this 'normal'? When they have someone to ask it can sometimes help them feel much more comfortable & I think it helps with animal retention...

    Good luck!!!

  • Carmen    March 10, 2019 at 06:01 AM

    We do electronic flyers like this and they are really effective. Within one day of posting this Tater had a home. These are dogs to adopt, not fosters, but it might work. This was a little boy who was given $50.00 to sponsor one dog but he split it between this one and a senior. The flyers really seem to work. We put them on our Facebook page and also under a featured dog section. Hope this idea works.

  • Cameron Moore    March 09, 2019 at 11:57 AM

    You're getting some good responses, the one thing I would add is to share a couple of cute creative bios with your fosters and explain that this should really like their online dating profile and needs to stand out from the crowd. Boring (I'm sweet) or sad (I was abandoned) just don't cut it anymore, no one wants to see that. The bio should be upbeat and funny, even if we're pointing out a behavior that some might find annoying (remember the ad for the cat that wen't viral that joked he was a 'jerk cat') People loved it!

    Don't be afraid to borrow ideas from other shelters too. There are definitely way more creative people in the world than myself, so if I find something cute or funny from a shelter I like to save it for future use with my own adoption candidates.

  • MPA Administrator   Maddie's Fund Staff  March 08, 2019 at 09:44 AM

    Here are some questions you can use to guide pet bios, attached. Hope it helps, even a little! :)

  • Live Love Animal Rescue    March 07, 2019 at 09:24 AM

    Yup. The struggle is REAL! We have a few volunteers/officers that we send these bios to for a re-write and these guys tend to be our adoption team. We have tried educating fosters on this but success is limited. It really does help when you practice often. A rule of thumb we use is less is more, and more of a Tinder approach. Taking out a lot of the detail that fosters tend to put in bios that we can use instead in conversations with potential adopters. We want to write enough to elicit interest by the adopter. Since the adoption team is doing a lot of the re-writes, they will have the information at their fingertips. And if the adopter isn't a great fit for that dog, we try to match them with another rescue dog or we keep them on the roster when we get a dog that comes in that would be a good fit. I've done a few and I find a glass of wine really helps. =) I'll stare at pics of the dog and try to have a conversation with him or her and see what sparks.

  • EmmeH    February 18, 2019 at 01:33 PM

    HeartSpeak has some great printable cheatsheet-type resources, like synonyms for over-used words and bio templates. Those might be a good first option:

    • TerriD    March 08, 2019 at 04:40 PM

      There is also the application named: Grammarly which corrects grammar, spelling mistakes and makes suggestions for word improvement. And it's free.


      Grammarly is an online grammar checking, spell checking, and plagiarism detection platform developed by Grammarly, Inc. The software was first released in late 2009. Grammarly's proofreading resources check against more than 250 grammar rules. Wikipedia

      • bxrmom    March 09, 2019 at 10:49 AM

        I have been using Grammerly for almost a year (free version) and I LOVE it! Catches a lot of spelling mistakes, wording errors, etc!