Finding good homes for your
rescued cats will be one of your organization's greatest challenges. Advertising will bring potential adopters,
but due diligence requires you to screen, interview, obtain references and do home visits. Always follow up on adoptions at
regular intervals. REALLY GET TO KNOW YOUR ADOPTERS!
Here are some
suggested means to find potential adopters. We anticipate more creative and original ideas coming forth with the networking of
rescue groups through Purebred Cat Breed Rescue. Be sure and share your
success stories as well as your problems
You will definitely need a digital camera to most effectively advertise your cats on the internet.
"A picture is worth a thousand words" certainly applies. Do bathe and groom the cats prior to taking pictures,
cleaning eyes and generally making them look their best... or at least show a "before" and "after"
picture if you showing them in worse shape makes sense.
You should definitely sign up for a
FREE Petfinder site so you can advertise your cats there. These postings become part of Petfinder's searchable
database so that anyone looking for a particular breed will have your rescue cat as one of the options listed
in your state. Posting your available cats to Petfinder also may provide each subsequent adopter of those cats
with a FREE month of veterinary insurance through the
Sheltercare Program in all
states other than Arkansas and Massachusetts.
You can also upload to the
on our Purebred Cat Breed Rescue Website after registering and logging in.
We strongly advise that you also set up a rescue Website for your rescue independently from
Petfinder, as well. This will give you the opportunity to add educational pages, pictures of your cats,
and a website store like one you can build on Zazzle,
or other sites. Having your own website shows visitors
they can expect "stability" and "responsibility". They are also far more likely to donate and
adopt if you have a professional site up. However, the down side of that is you may have to advertise the site.
This can be done with flyers placed at vets' offices and emails and by submitting the site to search engines.
Depending on your degree of expertise and whether you do not want popup ads and what money you can devote to hosting,
you may want to use such sites as
Griffin Web Design (free),
Pet Rescue Hosting, or
(three month free trial). o promote your organization in addition to placing the
cats in a professional manner and to include links to your petfinder site and facebook page.
If your group is or becomes a 501(c)3, you may also want to look into the programs offered by
Do not neglect Facebook.
A page on facebook can help a great deal if you post those pictures of
adoptable cats there and it costs nothing except your effort to make the
page and upload pictures and provide information. Then post animals that need
help, adoptions, happy tails, stories, requests for donations and fosters,
and even funny pictures. Tell your fans how much I appreciate them all the time, because
you can't do what you need to do without them. You can keep albums of every
comes into the rescue, and then transfer those photos to an "Adopted" album, to keep track.
Facebook is also an excellent place to promote events and
for fundraisers, and to recruit help for those as well. Promote your
rescue website and your petfinder page on your Facebook page, too. Do
also include a "like button" on your website!
Advertising in the
classifieds is an excellent way of finding homes for your rescue cats. Some newspapers may allow free advertising
if it is worded "free to good home for cost of spay/neuter, testing, & vaccination". Other newspapers
only need to know your group is a rescue; some require a proof you are a 501(c)3 charity to provide such ads for free.
Such advertising works especially well if you are fostering your cats at a store or grooming/boarding facility.
The proprietors particularly like this method because it affords them the opportunity to talk with a potential
customer. Keep in mind that if there is such an arrangement, they may also be getting a percentage of the adoption fee.
Even if the advertisements costs you money, these ads can really minimize your costs of further boarding and caring
for the cat. The ad does not need to be lengthy, just basically that there are "Purebred Cats Available" or
"[Name of Breed] cats Available" from your rescue and your contact information.
If you have cats in your program when a local cat
show is scheduled, you can arrange with the show manager to get a table or booth for your rescue.
The show manager may allow you to set up a booth with cages. Make sure the cages are where the cats
can be easily viewed. If there isn't going to be someone there to staff
the booth at all times, place a sign on each cage giving the name, age,
breed, and something interesting about each cat. It always helps to
leave note, so the people interested in adopting can find someone to
help them. For example, "If your interested in adopting one of our
kitties see Susan Smith at the announcer's table". If you don't have any
cats currently in your program, still set up a table with photos,
promotional information, and a sign up list for people that are
interested in a rescued purebred or in fostering.
Please DO NOT place cats directly from cat shows without veterinary references and/or home visits.
We recognize that this takes an extra step with your signing up potential adopters at the show, checking references
and/or doing home visits afterward, then meeting with those approved as adopters to place the cat with
them. However, placing cats through this venue is fraught with risk. Cats placed this way, especially with
long distance placements, often wind up returned or later relinquished to a shelter (contracts are not
guaranteed protection of the cat) or worse. If the potential adopter could get to the cat show and really
wants and cares for the cat, they can travel to your rescue or arrange to have the cat shipped counter-to-counter
to them after you have approved the adoption.
You also might want to include a sign-up sheet for people who are
interested in fostering cats for your organization. If this is a
direction your group is considering, remember to be brutally honest with
your potential foster homes, especially if they already have cats.