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.
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.”
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).
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
- Emergency Foster News Release and Social Media Templates
- Emergency Foster Online Course – Quick, online course on creating and marketing emergency foster initiatives
- 6 Tips for Using Emergency Foster Care as a Lifeline during Shelter Crises
- Communicating Urgency Without Negativity in Emergency Fostering
- How Emergency Foster Helped One Rescue Organization Avert Crisis
Featured Image Credit: Monica Wayne Photography