How It’s Being Done, Brilliantly: Pet Superstars’ Group Board on Pinterest (and why you need one!)

Rescue Pets in Wedding Photo from CharlieDog and Friends

Want to boost engagement of your adopters and rescuers? Try the marriage of Pinterest and a communal board, for after-they’re-rescued photos.

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.

Pinterest Communal Board for people who have rescued or adopted pets, including dogs and cats, from Lost Dogs' Home in Australia

Pinterest Board, community-style, for pets adopted from Lost Dogs’ Home.

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.

Indie, a rescue or adopted pit bull terrier, posted on the Pet Superstars Pinterest page

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.


How it’s Being Done, Brilliantly: Calgary Humane Society Applies a Little Peer Pressure

Calgary Animal Shelter Loves Their Rescue Shepherd, Tova

Recreate this photo, using lots and lots of people and that ONE, SINGLE DOG you’ve been trying to home!

One week after this photo was posted by Calgary Humane Society, Tova the shepherd was adopted.

And I wonder: is it easier to be a hero if everybody’s watching?  Do dogs that get that extra notice from a lot of people get adopted more quickly?  Or to put it another way, do we want to help more, if we know the thing we’re doing will be noticed for the good deed that it is?

This picture says to me, Here are all the good people who will sleep easier at night knowing Tova is home.

Calgary Humane Society’s Marketing and Social Media Coordinator Shandell Van Hell seemed to know this intuitively when she posed shelter staff and volunteers around Tova:

"It wasn't hard to get everyone gathered -- I just sent an all staff email
asking staff to join us for a photograph with Tova for our website and 
social media avenues.  At that point, staff would have done pretty much 
anything I asked of them if it meant getting Tova adopted!"

She shot the photo purposely leaving a nice clean background (the brick wall) where she could drop in giant text afterwards.  And who wouldn’t love that group picture?  It shows the staff of a shelter that looks fun and welcoming.  The precise opposite of the “territorial” shelter.  The picture went up on the Calgary Humane Society Facebook page.

By involving as many people as possible in this photo, she gives Tova’s social media marketing campaign an added boost: if there are thirty people in a photo, that’s thirty people who might post this picture to their Facebook page, Twitter feed, Pinterest page or blog (I know I did!).  That’s the chance for thirty more exposures to their friends.  (This group picture was shared 247 times).

Tova was adopted from Calgary Humane Society.

Adopted! Tova leaves Calgary Humane Society. Is it any surprise? This picture was posted on Facebook with the message: “Last night, just one day shy of the 300 mark, we finally matched Tova with her forever family. Last night, a lovely woman walked into the shelter, met with Tova, fell in love and will be taking our sweet girl home tonight! A HUGE thank-you to everyone who shared Tova’s story and never stopped believing that her pefect home was out there.”

The next time you’re thinking of using social media marketing for a particular long-term dog or cat, try this:

  • Provoke the hero instinct in potential adopters, and get a crowd that looks like they’d do anything for your dog or cat;
  • Compose the photo with a clean background, enough space to drop in great big text;
  • More people in the photo means more posting and sharing across social media platforms;
  • Put your dog or cat front and center!;
  • Make the textual message, above, as simple, straightforward, “in the moment” as possible.  No bummers.


I can’t tell you how happy I am for Tova.  Shepherds form a very special, strong bond with their owners and I hate the thought of a shepherd without a person to love and be loyal to.  Shantell, you and CHS are AMAZING.

Stuffed animal plush toy pitbulls based on real-life shelter rescues.  Pocket Pitties, from CharlieDog and Friends

CharlieDog and Friends’ “Pocket Pitties”, plush toy pitbulls based on real-life shelter rescues.

For this post, CharlieDog and Friends is sending Calgary Humane Society a collection of our “Adopt” collar bracelets and Pocket Pitties.

Do you know a shelter that’s doing it brilliantly with an innovative or unique approach to social media marketing for their homeless pets?  Let us know!: