Listing tips to get your pets seen and adopted


“Gizmo hadn’t had one inquiry since I listed him in July. Then I changed Gizmo’s breed, color, and picture as your tips suggested and bam!!!! He got 6 inquiries in just 3 days! He went home today! So clearly the changes are what created interest!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!” - - Animal Outreach of Shelby County

We were recently asked for suggestions on helping a pet get seen and adopted, and the quote above was the response we got a few days later! Below are some of our tried-and-true tips we shared with Gizmo’s shelter, so you can try them with your pets too. Be sure that you’ve checked the checkbox to get your weekly Pet-View Statistics email on your Pet Publicist page. Those emails are the only way for you to compare each pet’s click-through rate week by week.

Q: Gizmo is getting a 1.2% click through rate. Any suggestions?

A: It’s so great you are looking at your weekly stats email and asking what you can do to help a pet that has a low click-through rate! Below are our suggestions, based on our research and feedback from shelters and rescues who’ve tried these tips and let us know what worked. If you’d like to see which tip has the most impact, you could try one of these a week, or try them all at once if you like!


1. Breed
For dogs and cats, if one of his breeds is one of our Most Searched For Breeds, change his primary breed to one of the more searched-for breeds. For cats, you can say he’s a ____ mix or “looks like a  ____ mix” in his story/description since we don’t offer mix or a 2nd breed on cats yet.

2. Color
You probably know this without us telling you: Black is the least searched for color. If the pet isn't solid black, consider the other color options for a different but still valid selection. 

  • Software tip: If you are uploading from your software and your has two color fields and the pet isn’t solid black, select a different (but still valid) 1st color value in your software, like “tuxedo” or “tortoiseshell” or “white with black” as only has one color field – the first one – that displays on each pet.

3. Story/description
Start your pet story with something positive. Adopters often read the first sentence and if it is negative, they will leave the page. Also our research shows that most adopters – unless they are searching for “special needs” pets — find a sad story not as compelling as we in the shelter/rescue world do. Talking about a pet’s past health or behavior issues makes potential adopters worry they will get a pet that will get sick again. Be honest, but focus on the pet’s current condition and positive traits.

4. Name
Try adding some descriptive words to his “name” field in your software. So like “Gizmo loves DOGS!” or “Fluffy Gizmo purring lap kitten”. Descriptive words in the name encourage more clicks in search results, but long names do get cut off so just a few words.

5. Photo
Try each of his other photos first for a week. Kitten photos that are clicked on the most are photos where they are held in people’s hands or look small (like taken from slightly above with the kitten looking up). Dog photos with part of a person or a toy in them seem to do best too. 

6. Video
Add a video! Even a 10 second clip of him playing, added to YouTube. Our statistical study of pet data an inquiries over one year showed that pet videos increased adoption interest by 135.3% and also our Tips for taking great pet videos.


Another testimonial email from a rescue who tried our tips:

Dear Adopt A Pet Team:
Thank you so much for your tips featured in last month’s newsletter.  Tried them all and two long term residents got more “internet love” because of it leading to their adoption into great families.  Adoption day pictures below of Copper (formerly Millie) and Sunny (formerly Brewskie).
While we tried all of the tips, the one regarding the “top breeds searched” helped us reframe our focus on our orphans from what we thought they might be to what viewers thought they might be, and it worked! We also found that the article itself served as inspiration to do some overall “Autumn clean up,” of our orphans’ profiles leading to an overhaul of their individual stories and pictures.
This “refresh” is now something we are going to put in practice to ensure their profiles don’t get stale.  While we’ve always known this is a good process to follow, sometimes people can get in a rut and this article was the “jump start,” to making things happen.
Thank YOU for all the great work you do, keep it up, it’s working!
Warm regards and happy holidays,
Martie Petrie and Ken Guild
Co-Founders, Ken-Mar Rescue
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