Emergency Tactics: How to Write an Urgent Social Media Plea for Adopters and Fosters

Knowing how to create and publicize an emergency initiative is the key to getting many pets into homes quickly. Use the following guidelines to ensure yours is successful.

1. Prioritize foster just like adoption. 

In all messaging during an emergency, make clear from the beginning you’re looking for adopters AND fosters. Fostering should not sound like an afterthought. Include the links to foster and adopt so people can sign up quickly.

2. Show photos or videos of puppies, kittens, and other attention-grabbing pets. 

Even if you primarily need foster or adoption for medium and large dogs and adult cats, get peoples’ attention by showing them pets that will stop them from scrolling and read your post. 

3. Give a call to action in every post. 

Make it easy to help. Always include direct links to your fostering sign-up page in your posts, and links to adoptable pets. 

Screenshot of Dallas Animal Services Social Media Post - "Why, YES -- We do still need adopters and fosters! We have seen such a great turnout of people stopping by the shelter during our in-person adoption hours (11 am-6 pm daily) the past couple of weeks and we are so thankful for all who have adopted or become fosters for DAS! However, we're still taking in 70-100 pets each day! 🙀 🐶 
Currently, we're most in need of fosters or adopters for large, adult dogs like Mark (#A1121201) who is pictured here and of fosters for orphaned kittens!
To adopt, just stop by our shelter 11 AM - 6 PM or adopt a pet online! View available pets and learn more at BeDallas90.org/pets.
To foster, apply online at BeDallas90.org/foster.
Thank you for helping us #BeDallas90!"

4. Use details to help your community grasp the scale of the crisis and why you need them now. 

Explain, in detail, why you need help now. People will be motivated to act if they can picture the crisis you are facing. For example, say, “All of our kennels are completely full and 55 new pets entered yesterday. Without your help, we cannot save all the pets who are entering our doors.”

Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation Social Post - "🚨🚨EMERGENCY REQUEST: TROPICAL STORM BARRY🚨🚨
This afternoon, we'll begin transferring in dozens of dogs and cats from flood-prone shelters in coastal Louisiana in anticipation of the landfall of Tropical Storm Barry. ⛈ We're transporting in pets currently available for adoption in these shelters in order to make room for pets displaced during the storm and expected flooding.  In order to help as many of them as possible, we need your support.
There are so many great ways you can help! Here are just a few:
1) Adopt. We're having 5 adoption events this weekend for the pets currently in our care. You can find a list of adoption events at https://lostdogrescue.org/events/
2) Foster. We need dog and cat fosters for 1 week or more in order to make space in our kennels for incoming pets. The more fosters we have, the more pets we can save. To learn more and apply, visit https://lostdogrescue.org/foster/what-its-all-about/
3) Donate. We will need a lot of supplies to care for the pets and we would very much appreciate any help you can give. You can donate at https://lostdogrescue.org/donate-now/ and view our wish list at https://tinyurl.com/lostdogwishlist
4) Share, like and comment. Please help us get the word out by engaging with our posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
Stay tuned for more information! We'll be posting updates throughout the day on all of our social media channels.
Thank you so very much for your support. We couldn't do this without you!! 💜"

5. Introduce the pets who need help the most. 

Showing pets’ faces and telling their stories will facilitate an emotional connection, and help pets find foster homes and adopters. Bounce between posts that feature individual pets and those that show a lot of animals in need (the whole picture). 

Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA - We are on site at Prince Edward Animal Control. Due to a recent influx of animals, they have 21 dogs in 10 kennels. 
This is a part of the lifesaving work we every day at CASPCA. Help us save more animals by coming and adopting one of our current pets or by joining our foster team. Adult dogs can be adopted for $18 until February 1st. 
View our adoptable pets at CASPCA.org.
Fill out a foster app at>>> http://caspca.org/spca-foster-application/

6. Be specific. 

Give the specific number, type, and size of pets who need foster care. For example, “We need foster caregivers for 30 adult dogs who weigh 40 pounds or more.”

7. Keep it simple.  

Your organization may allow for a host of different fostering programs, like field trips, overnights, and more. In an emergency, don’t overwhelm the public with options. Say, “We need dog fosters for two weeks.” 

Resources and Templates

Featured Image Credit: Monica Wayne Photography


Sign up to our