Proven Strategies

A cat in a shelter looks out of his cage at the camera

The Best Friends Podcast Episode 149

Capacity Crisis Marketing
September 28, 2023

Animal shelters across the country have been in a capacity crisis for the past two years due to rising intakes and adoptions that are simply not keeping pace with the number of animals coming in.

At the 2023 Best Friends National Conference, speakers Tori Fugate and Misty Valenta told the audience during their session that by reframing the perspective to “never let a good crisis go to waste,” they allowed themselves the opportunity to try new and creative marketing that they never thought possible - and they say you can do it too.

This week, we’re sharing a session from this year’s conference titled “Capacity Crisis Marketing.” You’ll hear how Tori at KC Pet Project and Misty at the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter publicized their shelter capacity to their communities while still promoting their pets, programs, and services. You’ll hear unique ways to use different mediums to effectively communicate the current capacity of your shelter and engage your community to get involved. Through effective messaging on social media, email, text programs, and more, you’ll continue to see support from your community, obtain media coverage, and ultimately save lives.

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microphone icon Resources from this episode
guest icon This week's guests

Tori Fugate - KC Pet Project

Tori Fugate

chief communications officer, KC Pet Project

Tori Fugate joined the KC Pet Project team in March 2012 — shortly after the organization took over the Kansas City, Missouri, animal shelter in January 2012. Tori’s role with KC Pet Project has enabled her to build the organization’s brand and promote its mission from inception to what it is today. She oversees all marketing, web management, social media, retail sales, and media relations, and she recently served on the design and construction committee of the KC Campus for Animal Care, Kansas City’s new animal shelter.

She enjoys the opportunity to promote KC Pet Project and its pets through social media and in print, radio, and television appearances on a local and national level — including People magazine, The Dodo, The Huffington Post, CBS News, USA Today, Queer Eye, and The Rachael Ray Show.

Misty Valenta - Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter

Misty Valenta

animal services director, Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter

Misty Valenta is the shelter director for the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter. There she encourages a culture of compassion, hard work, and bold ideas to uphold and sustain the lifesaving mission. In past roles she has overseen marketing, media, fundraising, the volunteer program, the foster program, community events, and rescue/shelter partnerships. She has led conversations and presentations at events including Texas Unites for Animals, the Humane Society of the United States Animal Care Expo, and the Best Friends National Conference.

Misty lives in Austin with her husband, children, and two senior dogs.