Tips on Writing a Successful Pet Adoption Profile

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      More Pet Adoption Profile Tips and Makeovers from Petfinder + Shelters United

      What does it take to write an eye-catching pet adoption profile? What kind of information should come first, second, and last? Pet marketing experts from Petfinder and Shelters United are here to help! We asked our community to submit their hard to place pets for profile makeovers.

      We selected 3 pet profiles for makeovers: Lana from Precious Paws Animal Rescue, Elk from Helping Animals Rescue Team, and Jesse Girl from Cuz i Matter Animal Rescue.

      It’s not an easy thing to write an engaging, inspiring, and provocative pet profile or story. We hope these tips help everyone improve their pet profile writing skills and provide you with a blueprint for success.

      📂 Download the Makeover Guide

      Lana’s Pet Adoption Profile Makeover, Precious Paws Animal Rescue

      Lana’s Profile Before

      A Petfinder profile of Lana

      Katie’s Petfinder Profile Tips for Lana

      1. Lana’s photos are beautiful – bravo! Sometimes photos uploaded to Petfinder will crop a little weird – we fixed that for you, but in the future, you can go to the pet’s profile, click the “crop” button next to their photo, and move it so those beautiful ears aren’t cut off!

      2. Great job utilizing the “good with” tags, even though she isn’t great with other dogs/cats/children. I recommend adding some further detail to her profile – is it all dogs, or does she just need a slow intro? is there a certain age of a child you think she could do well with? Even if she really isn’t great with any of those options, it’s good to call that out but follow that with traits that make her “only dog syndrome” desirable!

      3. I would try to add some additional photos to her profile – will she let you dress her up? Pose with a human or a ball? Posing her with a human allows potential adopters to picture themselves with her more easily!

      4. Try adding a short video to her profile! Even if it’s just a quick (no more than 7 seconds) video of her taking a treat gently, sitting, walking on a leash – videos are amazing for helping get pets adopted!

      5. Don’t forget to share her Petfinder profile on social media! You can utilize the “share” option in her profile and she will automatically be shared to your organization’s social media profile!

      Marcie’s Profile Writing Tips for Lana

      There is nothing inherently wrong with this profile, it only lacks a little sparkle to make a potential adopter want to slow down and learn more. A good practice is to start a pet profile with a hook, something that makes a potential adopter stop and want to read the entire profile.

      You can do that in a few ways: ask a question that makes people think, add some humor that draws attention, or tell a story that people want to know more about. (People love stories!)

      Precious Paws added this about Lana, “She loves to play ball. She can catch anything you toss her.”

      So, let’s start off with that fun fact to draw attention to those epic fetching skills, then we can go into a quick backstory, highlight her obedience skills, and outline the perfect forever family she’s looking for.

      Lana’s Profile After

      A Petfinder Profile of Lana

      What do these baseball players (Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Mike Trout) and Lana the adorable adoptable German Shepherd, have in common? They are epic athletes and can catch ANYTHING! It’s true! Lana loves to play fetch and there isn’t an object she can’t catch. Tennis balls, frisbees, Kongs, toys, you name it, she can catch it.

      Lana came into our organization’s care from an apartment where she didn’t have a lot of space to play or fetch. Now that this girl has a new-found love for play, she is looking for a family who loves to play, too.

      Lana has more skills than just fetch though. This super smart dog also has these obedience skills: sit, down, stay and can even go to her crate on command.

      Since Lana is a strong doggy athlete, she needs an adopter who has experience walking robust dogs and can be her leader. Yup, she needs a good coach so she can be the best “team player” ever! Lana is looking for an active family where she can be their one and only (no other pets) and older children to befriend.

      We know you will just love Lana! Click the Start Your Inquiry button to learn more about this special pup.

      Elk’s Pet Adoption Profile Makeover, Helping Animals Rescue Team

      Elk’s Profile Before

      A Petfinder Profile of Elk

      Katie’s Petfinder Profile Tips for Elk

      1. I have to give you 1,000 bonus points for using a photo with a human in it!! I always give that tip – it really helps potential adopters see themselves snuggling him! I would lead his profile with that photo.

      2. I always recommend adding a video to the profile! He looks like he has such a sweet personality – try to show that off with a short & sweet video!

      3. He has a great profile already but research shows us that adopters prefer to read the positive information first, followed by an explanation of his special needs & care requirements.

      4. Great job using the “good with” tags in his profile – if you think he might be good with dogs or children, don’t forget to specify that in his bio!

      5. Don’t forget to share his Petfinder profile on social media! You can utilize the “share” option in her profile and he will automatically be shared to your organization’s social media profile!

      6. Bonus tip – please get this kitty a bow tie!! How HANDSOME would that look with his suspenders?!

      Marcie’s Profile Writing Tips for Elk

      First off, HELLO HANDSOME 😻 Elk is a gorgeous kitty and HART has done an amazing job with the photos you have of him. Getting quality photos is sometimes half the battle and I want to applaud your team for such beautiful pics of him. Great job!

      Elk’s profile has tons of great information, and as I look through it I noticed the first piece of information that I encounter is a list of his health challenges. I think it’s important to remember that as we write pet profiles and stories, to write the profile in a way that invites further reading and learning rather than possibly overwhelm the potential adopter with too much information right off the bat.

      For example: when we first meet someone at a networking party, we don’t go all “too much info” on someone right away. (Or at least I hope I don’t do that!) Think of a pet profile as a way to invite potential adopters to keep going and read all the information.

      A good outline to follow:

      1. Write a good hook to attract attention

      2. Tell the reader all the ways this pet is amazing, wonderful, beautiful, special, one-of-a-kind

      3. Do they have obedience skills or fun hobbies? List all the cool things they know and love to do

      4. You can then give a little backstory if you know it

      5. Outline what kind of family this pet needs to thrive

      6. If your organization is offering support post-adoption for this pet’s adopting family, remember to include those support bonuses (ex: a free 6-week training course, free medication for 2 months, etc)

      Elk’s Profile After

      A Petfinder Profile of Elk

      Have you met Elk yet? Oh em gee, get ready to meet the sweetest and most-special lil orange tabby on the planet.

      It’s true. Elk gets 5-star rave reviews from his foster mom. In fact, she says Elk has one of the most loving personalities she has come across. He is an extreme cuddler! He loves to be on your lap and part of everything you are doing. He is social and playful with other cats, but always comes back to his humans for cuddles and snuggles.

      You may have noticed that Elk wears a diaper. When he was only 8 weeks old, Elk suffered from rectal injuries. He required surgery to repair the damage. He was so tiny (he weighed less than 2 pounds at the time) so we were all worried about him. After several weeks, his recovery seemed to be going well, but there are some lingering problems. We discovered Elk is incontinent. While we tried all the treatment available, the veterinarian believes there may have been some nerve damage along with the physical damage.

      But Elk doesn’t let his health challenges get him down! Elk is learning to wear his diapers like a champ. Being a manx (no tail), he needs a harness (and homemade suspenders) to hold his diaper in place. His foster mom keeps him crated at night, without a diaper, to allow his rear end to get some air and to help prevent diaper rash. Elk learned quickly the diaper lets him free roam, play and snuggle. He gets regular backside baths to keep his backend clean. He is not a huge fan of them, but he tolerates them like a champ, too.

      Elk would do best in a home with someone who works from home or is retired. He requires diaper changes throughout the day. He will require a pet sitter for vacations or we think he would actually be a great traveler. Can’t you just imagine him hitting the road next to his favorite human? (YOU!)

      We would love to share more information about Elk with you. We know there is a purrfect adopter for this one-of-a-kind kitty, and whoever that is will be adopting one special boy! Click the Start Your Inquiry button to get more information about Elk.

      Jesse Girl’s Pet Adoption Profile Makeover, Cuz i Matter Animal Rescue

      Jesse Girl’s Profile Before

      A Petfinder Profile of Jesse Girl

      Katie’s Petfinder Profile Tips for Jesse Girl

      1. Jesse Girl – what a beautiful lady! Great job adding photos – I would recommend mixing them up a little bit and seeing if you could get any props. How beautiful would she look in a flower crown?!

      2. Don’t forget to utilize videos – even if it’s just something simple like playing with a toy or taking a treat gently – this helps adopters picture themselves with her!

      3. I would probably recommend utilizing the “special needs” filter since she is HW+ and requires some extra special care!

      4. I love that you talk about her HW+ diagnosis in her bio, but would recommend first listing some of her unique personality characteristics and move the care requirements/diagnosis a little later in the profile – we don’t want any adopters to be overwhelmed! Also, props for covering the cost of the treatment! I love that!

      5. Petfinder has “good with” tags you can utilize in the profile to let potential adopters know if she is good with other animals/children. Don’t forget to use those! Or if you don’t know, you can specify that in her bio.

      Marcie’s Profile Writing Tips for Jesse Girl

      You have a great, solid foundation with Jesse Girl’s profile. Her photos are also really cute! Again, half the battle is won with this so kudos to your team!

      As with the other profiles above, we just need to put a hook on Jesse Girl’s profile and shine it up a little bit to further invite reading and learning.

      Now, this may be quite silly, but as soon as I saw Jesse Girl, my mind went straight to the song “Jessie’s Girl”… that I, of course, had to then re-write. Feel free to add to her profile or use it as a social media post if you want! 😊

      Jesse Girl (sung like the Rick Springfield song, “Jessie’s Girl”)

      Jesse is a fur-friend

      Yeah, she’s a good fur-friend of mine

      But lately something’s changed that ain’t hard to define

      Jesse really wants a family and I got to make her mine


      And she’s watching me with those eyes

      She’s playing fetch with that body, I just know it

      Yeah, and she’s snuggling on the couch, late at night

      You know, I wish that I had Jesse Girl

      I wish that I had that Jesse Girl

      Where can I find a doggy like that?

      (At Cuz i Matter Animal Rescue, that’s where!)

      Jesse Girl’s Profile After

      A Petfinder Profile of Jesse Girl

      Hello, my is Jesse Girl and after you meet me, you’ll be singing, “Where can I find a doggy like that?” (Just like Rick Springfield’s song, “Jessie’s Girl!”)

      My puppy and I, Rue, were taken in by Cuz i Matter Animal Rescue earlier this year. Playing and being a big ole derpy goofball is what I do best. There isn’t a backyard I don’t love to romp and play in and I will play with literally any toy ever created. And while I do love to play, I am also crate-trained for when I need a little downtime.

      I also get along with other dogs! But my, ahem, overexuberance sometimes gets the best of me. I just can’t help it, I love to play! I know, I know, it’s a little embarrassing. I would do best if my family had dogs my size or bigger to play and wrestle around him. I also know how to walk on a leash and would love an adopter who can help me learn even more leash manners. (I am willing to learn and know I will be great at it!)

      Cuz i Matter Animal Rescue also discovered I am heartworm positive, and they said to help me thrive in my new home, that they will pay for my treatment. That’s right, my forever family won’t need to pay a dime for my heartworm treatment.

      I would love to have an active, dog-loving family to call my own. Please send me an email via CiMAR so they can send you all the information about adopting me. You can also find the adoption application and more pictures of me on their website.

      Need more ideas?

      These ideas from directly from our joint webinars with Petfinder! You can find writing ideas and pet profile tips at our Tools to Help Hard to Place Pets Get Adopted seminar and more pet profile makeovers at Live Coaching to Level Up: Improving Adoption Outcomes seminar.

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