How Ugly Sweaters, Elves, and Lots of Singing Can Help Dogs Find Homes

The winter holidays provide lots of opportunities for shelters to get creative with their adoption marketing. If you’re having trouble brainstorming some ideas, don’t worry! We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite holiday promotion ideas to help your shelter’s dogs find homes this season.

Dress Up Those Pups!

Source: Austin Animal Center/Facebook
Source: Austin Animal Center/Facebook

Serious question: Can you resist a dog in holiday head gear? You can’t, right? Potential adopters won’t be able to either. Have your dogs don some gay apparel (sorry if that song is stuck in your head now) and take some photos for social media.

These cute pics will make adopters want to get to know your dogs better.

Get Crafty

Source: NOVA Pets Alive/Facebook
Source: NOVA Pets Alive/Facebook

This month, NOVA Pets Alive is inviting its community to bring some joy to themselves and to their dogs. Like their adorable ad says, a $10 donation gets a shelter dog a delicious treat and community members get to hang out, do some crafts and enjoy their own delicious treats from the bake sale.

AND there will be dogs and cats to cuddle with! What’s better than that? Nothing, right?

Be Completely Goofy

Source: Fairfax County Animal Services/Facebook
Source: Fairfax County Animal Services/Facebook

Discounting adoptions around special times of the year isn’t unusual – but what is unusual is getting your staff and volunteers to dress up in ugly sweaters and then ask your potential adopters to do the same!

That’s what Fairfax County Animal Services did on December 10th. It was a huge hit. This might seem silly, but it’s great marketing. Don’t underestimate people’s desire to have fun, and yes, be ridiculously silly.

Dress Up Yourself

If the thought of dressing up in an ugly Christmas sweater embarrasses you, well, get ready for an even more embarrassing suggestion: In the past, the people at Fairfax County Animal Services also dressed up as elves to deliver dogs to their new homes!

So sweet! It’s worth the embarrassment of having to wear elf ears!

Start Singing

Source: Austin Animal Center/Facebook
Source: Austin Animal Center/Facebook

Picture this: You, your shelter’s staff, volunteers (all wearing ugly Christmas sweaters), and your dogs (and cats!) wearing “adopt me” vestsĀ and santa hats. Now, picture all of you going out into your community howling – er, singing carols!

Spread some cheer, raise awareness for your shelter and maybe inadvertently introduce a shelter dog to his new family!

Got any other adoption marketing ideas? We’d love to hear them! Let us know our Facebook comments!