Steal These 11 Ideas! They’re Mostly Free. They Will Make a Difference. We Promise.

Would you like to learn how one animal shelter brought in $10k in donations from one TikTok video? How about how a lost and found texting program doubled a shelter’s return to owner rate, and a totally free fence-fixing program that’s keeping pets from getting lost in the first place?

For just over a year now, we’ve been sharing organizations’ best, most innovative, and most *replicable* ideas in our Steal This Idea blog series. 

Well, here’s a roundup of 11 of our favorites so you can Steal These Ideas—because the whole point is for good ideas to spread!

If you have any ideas for a Steal This Idea blog—or if you’ve implemented a Steal This Idea at your organization—reach out and let us know! Drop a line at

How KC Pet Project Raised $10k From One TikTok Video

Mugsy’s story captured hearts around the world. The TikTok star who makes incredible viral videos about shelter dogs explains how she did it.

This Shelter Started a Lost and Found Texting Program and Got Twice as Many Dogs Home

Greenville County Animal Care’s texting program uses autoresponders to help people get lost pets back home. It’s easy, cheap, and effective—and you can do it, too.

These Animal Service Officers Carry Bags of Fence-Fixing Gear, All Donated, in Their Trucks

Cabot Animal Support Services’s Fences for Fido program fixes fences and keeps dogs at home. Here’s how you can, too!

This Shelter’s Bonded Pairs Program Has Gotten 218 Pairs of Pets Into Loving Homes

Pima Animal Care Center’s PACC PALS program—created and run by volunteers—helps dog and cat BFFs stick together.

Not All Pets’ Owners Have Cars. These Free Pet Ambulances Will Get Them to the Vet

Organizations are starting pet ambulance services to make sure no pets lack vet care simply for lack of transportation.

Lost Dog? Volunteer Pet Detectives Are on the Case—From the Comfort of Home

Animal shelters are setting up pet detective programs so volunteers can help get lost pets home to their families, using the internet. You can too!

Shelter Pets Wear Pajamas on Sleepovers to Help Get Them Adopted

BARCS in Baltimore puts foster dogs in PJs. The pics are barketing—er, marketing—gold.

LifeLine Animal Project’s Nextdoor Ambassador Program

Learn how LifeLine Animal Project created an entirely volunteer-based Nextdoor Ambassador Army to spread the word about events, programs, and needs—and how your organization can do it, too!

Ruff Haven’s Emergency Fostering Program

This Salt Lake City-based organization started an emergency fostering organization from scratch, so people going through crises like eviction or hospitalization wouldn’t have to give up their pets. Ruff Haven’s founders walk you through how they did it, and how you can build your crisis fostering capacity to keep pets out of shelters and with their people.

Volunteer “Furtographers” Get Shelter Pets’ Best Sides, Then Get Them Adopted

Why use bad adoption photos? Dallas Animal Services’ “Furtographers” take the pics that get pets into homes. Your shelter can do it, too

This Understaffed Animal Shelter Threw Open Their Doors and Invited Everyone to Apply for Jobs

Welcome everyone to come talk to you about working for your shelter during an open interview event.

And as a special bonus, check out this Q&A with Cincinnati Animal CARE Humane Society’s foster coordinator about how they recruited 2,000 fosters in a year and a half!

Just to reiterate: We LOVE hearing from you about how your organization is innovating to keep families together and save lives. Please get in touch at with your tips, thoughts, and stealable ideas!


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