Sure, Pinterest is full of boards and pins of adoptable pets. But what happens to these pets after they find their forever homes?
I searched high and low for a communal Pinterest Board of “happily ever after” pins, where new pet owners could post pictures of pets living with their families. It was tough. Pictures of the pets in shelters abound. So do “farewell” pictures of the pets, with families, leaving the shelter. What I wanted to see was a group board of pets on the “outside”, fulfilling their dreams, living out their days with all the love and care they deserve.
Pet Superstars Nails It.
I had to go all the way to Australia to find Pet Superstars (a project of The Lost Dogs’ Home), and their super communal board.
The Lost Dog’s Home is an Australia-wide animal welfare organization that could be the model for what a rescue organization is doing right in social media, and it doesn’t stop once the animal is home. Their program, Pet Superstars, has a website dedicated to celebrating the family pet, from the moment he leaves The Lost Dog’s Home:
"Each dog and cat that is adopted from The Lost Dogs’ Home is a Superstar in our eyes! All pets that find their lifetime home through adoption share a special story as well as a unique bond that connects them to their new family for life. Finding the ‘one’ is a mix of chemistry, timing, the right circumstance and a pinch of luck – but when it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be!"
Pet Superstars has set up one of the ONLY Pinterest group boards dedicated to pinned photos of adopted cats and dogs. Note this is not the same as pinning a shelter photo after the pet’s been adopted. Nope. It’s the pet on the couch, or being hugged, or swimming in the lake, or on a playdate, or lazing in a sunbeam. Or in a wedding party.
We always talk about how important it is to be able for potential adopters to envision, not the dog or cat before them in the shelter, but the potential in the dog or cat. The dog or cat as they’re meant to be, in a family.
Start Your Shelter’s Own “Happy Tails” Board — Adopted Pets Only!
Stand out and boost engagement with your adopters and foster families. You can take advantage of this gap in rescued animal promotion by starting your own group Pinterest board. You can set it up like any Pinterest board, and then invite your followers (and they must be following you on Pinterest to be invited, because that’s how Pinterest has set up group board pinning). You will use the drop-down menu to invite your followers; you don’t have to type the names individually, because Pinterest will “suggest” them.
Just make sure the purpose of the board is crystal-clear: you don’t want pins of animals in general, or “Adopt Me” pictures. And you definitely want to know from which rescue the pet came (yours!).
Check out the Pet Superstars website for even more inspiration for your social media strategy to get more dogs and cats home. And, for their continued brilliance, CharlieDog and Friends is sending Pet Superstars our complete Pocket Pittie collection for their next fund-raiser.