Proven Strategies

Woman in dark gray sweatshirt carrying pointer dog in black backpack

Successfully Marketing and Adopting Hard-to-Place Pets Town Hall

Most organizations have at least a handful of animals with behavioral, medical or public perception challenges that can make finding adoptable homes more difficult. And for many, that number of hard-to-place pets is growing. In this townhall, the panelists demonstrate how, with a little creative thinking, lots of transparency and some promotional efforts, even seemingly undesirable pets can land loving homes.   

In this town hall, you will learn how to break down barriers and build new possibilities for the pets most often overlooked. 

Moderator: Bethany Heins - Director of Strategy and Network Operations, Best Friends 


  • Caitlin Quinn - Director of Operations, HeARTs Speak 
  • Tori Fugate - Chief Communications Officer, KC Pet Project


  • How to successfully market & adopt hard-to-place pets- 2:55
  • What pets are considered hard-to-place- 6:00
  • Keeping pets in their home- 7:05 
  • Strategies – Images that build connection- 8:46 
  • Strategies – Craft your voice- 10:57 
  • Strategies – Refresh your bios- 14:41
  • Strategies – Videos- 17:01
  • Strategies – Take advantage of social trends and community events- 19:44 
  • How often to post and where to post on social media- 22:09
  • Strategies – Embrace the challenge- 24:37 
  • Promote them just as they are: Individuals- 25:27
  • Be ready if a post goes viral- 26:42
  • Presentation Look Book & Case Studies- 27:21

Audience Q&A

  • What is the best way to handle re-marketing a dog after you have already done a big push, the dog is placed and then returned?-  29:57 
  • I'd love to hear new ideas for networking those with disabilities. Potty issues seem to be the main hurdle.-  31:23
  • How we can better manage expectations about all our dogs - not just individuals – without projecting rescue dogs as damaged goods.- 33:14 
  • Any advice/suggestions on how we manage our internal teams when they recommend we market a dog who has behavior issues?- 36:19
  • What is alt text? How does that relate to SEO (search engine optimization)?- 39:57 
  • Can you share strategies to get fosters to give feedback?- 42:14
  • Do you have any tips or tricks for bonded pairs? 45:14 
  • Do you recommend shorter or longer posts on social? 46:03
  • Can you share suggestions for pets with a bite history? 48:14
  • Is there any research/data showing correlation on social media posts leading to adoptions? What platforms are most effective?- 50:10
  • Have you had any success finding homes for dogs that have stranger danger and that are not good with meeting new people? If so, what has worked?- 54:05
  • Do you have any advice on training staff from using so many technical/industry terms with the public?- 56:15