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Marketing Shelter Pets

Do Directors of kill shelters do not think that their product is worthy and even superior to market? Directors of no kill shelters view shelter pets as desirable and deserving to work hard and spend time and money to find them homes. But unfortunately, the advertising of the shelters name continues and the animals are left behind. No kill shelters market their product – the dogs and cats. They market their individual qualities, special attributes, beauty and handsomeness, idiosyncratic uniqueness and exclusive appeal. A shelter pet is very exclusive. This type of marketing systematically debunks myths about shelter pets and attracts the public to the shelter more than advertising the shelter name. The best attributes a shelter has is the faces of the dogs and cats, not a 'trusted' name. Competition in the market place is healthy, but it is a myth that the best product will always win. Pet shop animals are a great example. Pet shop sales are still high, and a portion of the public still perceive the animals to be of a superior product. Oscars Law tells us otherwise. Marketing shelter pets needs to be revived to adjust the perceived notion that they are of a lesser quality and to increase sales. The first step is to transform a shelters advertising to product marketing. The second step is the replace the Directors who view shelter pets as undesirable and not worthy of finding them a home.

Written by Mia McKenzie July, 2012

Shelter pets are more than just shelter pets. They are individuals, they have different behaviours, they range from new born to seniors, they have a variety of intelligence and ability, some come with siblings or mates and they come in all shapes and sizes. But what these animals have in common, is that they are all seeking an owner. Marketing a product is about understanding what people want. Australians purchase over 600,000 dogs and cats every year, so Australians primarily want dogs and cats to buy. Advertising your shelter is not marketing. It is a small portion of what makes up marketing, but alone, it does not equal more sales. It does allow the public to be aware of your shelter, but if they do not trust your advertising, you are wasting money that can go towards life saving programs. Over decades, the RSPCA and AWL advertise their company names, but rarely do they market their product – the dogs and cats that are seeking an owner. As Australia's major animal welfare organisations, the RSPCA and AWL have a responsibility to correct fictitious ideals the public have about shelter pets, irrespective of how they were created.

Promoting Winograd's no kill equation in Australian shelters