A shelter is only as good as it is affective. If you have a small turnover rate in dogs, your shelter can suffer—both financially and in reputation. Increasing your dog turnover is an essential part of judging your shelter’s success. Below, we have detailed several strategies for increasing visibility and enjoyment for both the dogs and visitors.
Decrease the number of pets up for adoption. This may sound counterintuitive, but it helps visitors. Having too many options can allow potential pet parents to become overwhelmed, thus preventing an adoption. If you have a variety of dogs but fewer up for adoption, the overall turnover rate will increase.
Have an open viewing pen. Nobody likes to observe dogs in a crate, and, if they’re in a confined area, a potential adopter won’t be able to assess his full personality. In having an open backyard or large, indoor playpen, visitors can interact with the animal before making a decision.
Find ways to highlight certain animals. Whether it’s through a newsletter or a corkboard photograph, spotlight one animal each week. Include information about their personality, temperament, and breed. This type of attention will allow visitors to understand how special each animal can be, facilitating an increased opportunity for adoption.
Groom the dogs. This one might seem obvious, but many shelters don’t provide grooming services for their furry friends. Grooming a dog can make them more appealing, as can adding a bandana, a bow, or a colorful collar. Additionally, partnering with local groomers can increase their visibility, and they may offer services at a discounted rate.
Make your viewing areas comfortable. Have plenty of dog toys for visitors to use with the animals. Add chairs, stools, and even a coffee machine. Do everything you can to keep visitors there as long as possible; the longer the pet exposure, the more likely they are to adopt.