Two cat groups in different states had adoption events this weekend in the form of ‘Open Days’ with usual opening hours and their usual prices; one rehomed 11 cats for the whole weekend, the other rehomed 12 in a day. While they declared these events a ‘success’, unfortunately when you’re taking in 20, 30, 40 or 50 cats a day, this does little to lighten your load.
By comparison this weekend, the RSPCA QLD made a big deal out of their shelters opening for adoptions after being closed because of flood damage. They offered ‘discount’ adoptions for two days – cats and kittens costing $85 and dogs and puppies $145.
Their result? 139 pets adopted from Fairfield (their major shelter), and 254 adoptions state wide.
Also this weekend, the RSPCA NSW ran a price based campaign. They began with a call to action;
“(we) are overwhelmed by the sheer number of cats and kittens that need homes or face being euthanased. In a desperate attempt to save as many feline lives as possible, the organisation is waiving cat adoption fees at five locations throughout the state from 17th – 21st February.
Instead of an ‘adoption fee’ new owners simply had to buy a $60 pack of cat goodies from their online store.
On the *very first day* of their 5 day ‘free’ cat adoption promo, the RSPCA NSW has issued this notice on their FB page…
“UPDATE: Please bear with us. We are overwhelmed with the response & we thank everyone for their support. Our facilities are very busy at present and your patience and understanding is appreciated”
They had been overwhelmed by people wanting to adopt a cat. Which is funny, if you ask most in the industry they’ll tell you ‘people just don’t want cats’.
While the campaign is running for one more day and the results are yet to be tallied, I’ll let you know as soon as they release their final adoption count.
Leading the way for these clever adoption promos, in November last year, the RSPCA Victoria offered three days of free cat adoptions and extended trading hours. Over the three days, 110 cats found new homes and probably most tellingly… they ran out of cats.
The long held myth that the public simply don’t want to adopt pound animals and that shelters are just ‘doing the dirty work of an irresponsible public’ is finally being recognised as the furphy that it is. It is possible to adopt your way out of killing, and positive, proactive marketing by compassionate shelters finds pets homes.