The temperature is not the only thing that rises in the summer months. In animal welfare, the number of animals in need rises right along with it. If your organization finds itself overwhelmed with the number of animals in need, try these tips to increase your foster and adoption numbers right now.

Use Urgent Language that Provides a Call to Action

To begin, every tactic below should convey an urgent call to help your organization. Keep things short and to the point by using language that gets across how urgent, dire, and crucial the need for fosters and adopters is. Be sure that every piece of content you put out in the world provides a clear call to action. A call to action can be a link to sign up, an email they need to send, or a call to be made. Be sure to provide clear steps of how this person seeing or hearing your message can help.

Alert The Press

You need to get the word out to your local community and reach people who may not even know about the need your rescue or shelter has. Write a press release and use your contacts at the local news stations or newspapers to run a story about the animals in need. Most local news stations will be more than happy to help get the word out about how the community can help animals.

With the press, be sure to include HOW the community can help. This could be anything from “come in and adopt now”, “sign up to foster on your website”, or “all of the above”. Just make sure you are clear about how the local community can help save animals’ lives. Check out tips here for writing a press release.

Email Your Whole Contact List

This is not time to be subtle, so grab your email list and send out a call for help. We’re talking volunteers, previous adopters, dormant fosters, everyone. You never know who you have lost touch with that may now be available over the summer to help foster or may be ready to adopt.

Enlist Your Current Fosters to Help Recruit

Ask the fosters you currently have to help recruit additional foster homes or adopters. When they come to pick their foster pet, ask them if they know of any friends or family who may also want to foster. If you really want to get their help, create a quick flyer they can give their family or friends. Again, include language like “Emergency Fosters Needed NOW” or “Save a Life TODAY”, with a clear call to action. You want their friends and family to know that they can help foster or adopt right away.

Provide Perks to Adopting NOW

Cut adoption fees in half, heck, drop them all together for a short amount of time, provide spay/neuter coupons. Do what you need to do to allow people who may be hesitant to adopt to be able to adopt now. If the goal is to move animals out of the shelter and into homes during these high intake summer months, ask your board members or leadership team what can be done to perk interest in adopting.

Post On Social Media Multiple Times A Day

If the need is there, your social media should reflect this. If you need fosters, post about this. Share a foster’s story or a pet who is in urgent need of a foster home. In that same post explain how the person reading it can help. Use photos to draw attention to the post. Don’t shy away from using words like emergency or urgent to grab attention and convey how crucial it is that people help your shelter or rescue.

Drop your Biases

If your rescue or shelter has been talking about becoming a more inclusive organization, now is the time to do it. The more inclusive you can be, the more lives you can save. Slim down your foster or adoption out and put them out into the world. Reach out to organizations within your community that you may have not worked with before and see if they would be willing to help spread the word about fostering or adopting.

We’ll make it through this heat wave together!