I have been managing social media for a small volunteer only rescue for about a year now and it was just brought to my attention that we haven't been posting the dogs on petfinder for quite some time (I think everyone was under the assumption we were). The volunteer who used to manage this commented that Petfinder was no longer the predominant place to post dogs for adoption and that social media was far more effective. I'm not sure I agree, but haven't been doing this long enough to have much of an opinion so I wanted to ask here.

What sites are you using and how effective do you feel they are at driving traffic and attracting potential adopters? Does anyone have any resources or research they know of that shows where potential adopters are going for information?

Searching google just takes me to the websites and doesn't give me any real solid info as it's mostly marketing and as a marketer...I don't trust a lot of marketing.

Our resources are limited so I would want to make sure that the channels we would potentially pursue are worth the effort and extra coordination.

  • October 24, 2019 at 11:12 AM

    I think most of these sites are connected to a variety of others and social media in one way or another so there's probably no wrong answer as long as you are getting exposure for the animals. BUT, it's vitally important that you post very good pictures (at least three with different poses)...color, contrast, clarity!...and short videos are most helpful...along with creative and truthful bios. Doesn't matter where or how much if the posts don't engage people on the other side of the keyboard. Information should also be updated frequently to prevent disappointment if inquirers ask about animals already adopted. Follow up with inquiries is vital! Many of these sites are also connected to corporate donors who offer grants, contests, etc so be sure to take advantage of those opportunities.

    Here's one for holiday campaigns: https://animalcenter.org/home-4-the-holidays

    GOOD LUCK! <3

  • October 14, 2019 at 08:00 PM

    Wow, this is all such great information. THANK YOU! It's really great to hear from those actually using the different services. Would love to continue the conversation and hear what others use, other experiences with those already mentioned, or other platforms being used to share adoptable dogs. Thank you!

  • October 14, 2019 at 10:49 AM

    I highly recommend RescueGroups.org for marketing pets. From their Pet Adoption Portal, photos and descriptions are sent to AdoptaPet.com, Petfinder.com and a whole bunch more. You only have to enter your data once in RescueGroups. You will still need an account with AdoptaPet.com and Petfinder.com but the Pet Adoption Portal will automatically upload your data frequently. Computer code is provided to have your pet list on your webpage and Facebook as well. Best of all, IT'S FREE if you only use their Pet Adoption Portal for distributing your pet list to all the adoption websites.

    We are a small animal rescue in Montgomery, Texas. We don't have a facility, all our animals are in foster homes. In addition to the Pet Adoption Portal, we also use the Data Management and Online Forms (yearly cost $130) to keep track of the medical information for our animals and process adoption, foster and volunteer applications.

    I can't recommend RescueGroups.org enough.

  • October 07, 2019 at 09:47 AM

    We have PetHarbor linked to our website. It updates once an hour!

  • October 07, 2019 at 06:48 AM

    Adopt a Pet is better than Petfinder these days. People can very easily set it up to be notified if a certain kind of pet they are looking for becomes available. We post a Maine Coon kitten for example and get applications within 24 hours. Rescuegroups exports out to 100's of sites and can generate a website for you if you want. Very affordable. We love it.

  • October 07, 2019 at 05:49 AM

    100% disagree with the statement about Petfinder. We include the question "how did you find our organization" on our adoption applications (and foster and volunteer applications) and at least as many people find us through Petfinder as they do social media (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook combined!).

    Petfinder also is included in the "ads" algorithm with Facebook, which your organization isn't paying for (I see random Petfinder ads for specific animals in my area on my Facebook feed all the time, haha).

    We have our Petfinder linked to our website, so we add the animal on Petfinder and they automatically show on our website. And we link our Instagram with Facebook and Twitter, so you can share those posts directly as well (wider range with less effort). I don't recommend sharing every Instagram post to the others, as I think it's helpful to use the different mediums in different ways, but in a pinch - that's better than nothing!

    • October 07, 2019 at 06:03 AM

      I actually just ran my report for 9/1/19-10/6/2019 because now I'm thinking about it :)

      45% of applicants during that time period found us through Petfinder.

      32% found us through social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or NextDoor)

      18% found us through word of mouth (friend is a previous adopter or volunteer with us).

      5% other or unclear from their reply.

      • October 14, 2019 at 03:44 AM

        Great feedback.

        How many entries have you had for this data?

        • October 14, 2019 at 06:16 AM

          If I recall, for that timespan (approx. a month) we had around 40-45 applications.

          My organization is fairly small (300-400 animals a year) and primarily TNR (less than half of those are adoptable).

  • October 06, 2019 at 04:30 AM

    We are a small no-kill brick and mortar shelter, and also post on Petfinder. We also use our Facebook page to help network, but Petfinder is our main source of online exposure.

    • October 06, 2019 at 08:28 PM

      Thank you for the reply!

  • October 05, 2019 at 04:54 PM

    We are a national rescue (Blind Dog Rescue Alliance) and we use Petfinder and Adopt a Pet. Most of our applications come through from seeing the dogs on those sites. We also post on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

    • October 05, 2019 at 08:50 PM

      Thank you Simone!