Clear the Shelter Day is around the corner—let’s get all the pups adopted! In an effort to make this the most successful Clear the Shelters Day yet, here are some tips about how you can help get your own local shelter cleared on August 17th!
1. Make Flyers for Your Favorite Shelter Dog
If you regularly volunteer at a local shelter, now is a great time to make fun flyers highlighting your favorite shelter dog’s features. Getting dogs adopted is as much about publicity as anything else, so pinning up your pup’s flyer at local cafes or schools will really do wonders.
If you can get several posters up before August 17th, it will also give potential adopters at least one dog they know they’ll want to visit when they come in for Clear the Shelters Day!
2. Foster a Pup in Need
Many dogs get stressed by the shelter environment and end up having their behavior deteriorate as a result. You’d be surprised how many mouthy, jumping, pulling dogs become perfect angels as soon as they are in a quiet home as opposed to the loud, overwhelming shelter environment.
Since many dogs show vastly improved behavior in foster homes, they become much more eligible for adoption when potential fur parents come for a meet and greet.
Consider opening your home up to a foster dog and showing them the ropes of what life is like in a loving home. You just may be the one to help a shelter pup find his or her forever home!
3. Photograph Local Shelter Pups for Some Canine Re-Branding
While we aren’t all master photographers, those who do have experience in photography can have a huge impact on the lives of shelter pets.
Most shelter pets don’t have the best online profile pics. Many times a shelter dog’s photo is taken when they first come in—they’re scared, dirty, and sometimes all skin and bones. These photos definitely don’t capture the dog’s best side!
If you’ve ever had to engage in online dating, you know that photos really, really matter. Getting a professional photo with the right lighting and angles can turn a swipe left into a swipe right!
Which pup would you be more excited to visit at the shelter?
Professional (or amateur) photographers can use their photo skills to capture shelter dogs in their best light, showcasing their charm and personality! The right photo can drive potential adopters to come in and meet the pup they connected with online.
Don’t have photography experience but want to help? There are guides on how to become a pet photographer and plenty of online courses that can show you the photography basics.
4. Volunteer at Your Local Shelter on the Weekend (But Especially Aug 17)
Most shelters are pretty short staffed, so it can be difficult for shelter workers to give hands-on attention to every potential adopter that walks through the doors. This is really too bad since individuals are more likely to adopt a dog when a volunteer is there to help answer questions.
Shelters can be stressful, overwhelming places for dogs. But they’re stressful spots for humans, too! You can keep things much calmer by helping to direct visitors and guiding would-be adopters around the shelter.
Even better, ask visitors what kind of dog they are looking for and help direct them to a few favorite candidates! Try to keep track of dogs that are kid-friendly, dog-friendly, and house trained, as these are often the most requested pups.
The choice paradox theorizes that humans are actually more stressed when they have too many options! When you help a potential adopter narrow the huge pool of dogs, you are taking a big step in helping a dog find a forever home.
Local shelters will greatly appreciate the extra hands on Clear the Shelters Day, but if you have the time to regularly volunteer on the weekends, that’ll be even better! Most shelters have the highest number of visitors and potential adopters on weekends and holidays, so your presence as a volunteer on those days is sorely needed!
If you have some experience dog training or are curious to learn, volunteering at a shelter is a great opportunity! Many shelters offer basic training classes for volunteers, so it’s a good way to learn. Or, you can simply start watching free dog training videos online and apply what you learn in the videos with the shelter pups.
The amazing thing is that by working on training with shelter dogs, you are potentially saving a life. Potential adopters will be a lot more interested in a pup who can sit, can stay, can give paw, and knows how to make eye contact with humans than a dog who doesn’t know any of the basic commands.
5. Spread the Word on Social Media
Lots of us spend huge amounts of time on social media, and posting pics of your favorite shelter pups on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is a great way to get the word out.
Let your friends and followers know about Clear the Shelters Day and make sure you tag your local animal shelter (or heck, even post the address of your local shelter yourself online) to make it as easy as possible to get potential adopters in the door and out with a pooch!
Will you be visiting your local shelter on August 17th for Clear the Shelters Day?