Writing a good pet profile will help increase interest in your pet by potential adopters. The following tips will help you create an engaging adoption profile that, along with a great photo, can help your pet stand out!
1. Use a great photo
Adopters often tell us that they fell in love with their pet after seeing the pet’s picture. So, use a clear photo of your pet looking into the camera.
Petfinder shares some additional tips on how to get great pet photos. Things like lighting, where to hold the camera, timing and getting your pet’s attention are all things that contribute to a great shot.
2. Write an attention-grabbing first sentence
Starting with “Gamble is two years old and is spayed and vaccinated” may be true, but it doesn’t encourage anyone to keep reading. To write a catchy first sentence, look into Gamble’s eyes and write who she is, not what she is.
In this photo, Gamble looks loving, so you might say, “Gamble loves you already, and she hasn’t even met you yet.” That will certainly grabs people’s attention and make them want to keep reading!
Paul looks alert and ready for his marching orders, so you could start the profile with, “At your service! Paul is happy to be anything you want him to be . . . except a cat.”
3. Emphasize the positives
Next, provide the details and highlight the positives first! Is your pet a great snuggler? Good with other animals or children? A quick learner? Then say so. Now isn’t the time to list their bad habits. Doing so can make their problems seem worse than they really are, so choose your words carefully. Here are some examples of negative details and the positive details that could be used instead:
Negative – “Sara is leash reactive, so she barks and lunges at other dogs on walks. With some training, she could probably learn to stop doing this. She can live with other dogs as long as they’re submissive (she fights with dominant dogs). Sara is a sweet girl though and worth it!”
Positive – “Sara is so gentle that a cat could climb on her back, and we’ve seen this happen! When people speak, she cocks her head, trying to figure out what they’d like her to do. And if she can, she’ll try to do what they want. Except on walks. She’ll act up around other dogs when she’s on a leash. But the rest of the time she’s a snuggle bunny who will be right by your side.”
Negative – “Larry is an active boy, so he needs lots of exercise. Larry needs high fences. He also needs a family with someone home during the day. Larry needs your help.”
Positive – “Larry loves to run, so if you’re looking for a jogging companion or someone to take long walks with, then Larry’s your guy. He does need a secure yard with high fences, but his long legs make Larry a very handsome boy who receives lots of compliments. He’s also very loyal and will want to spend time with his family, so someone home for part of the day would be a great match.”
Negative – “Zach needs to be in a household without kids under 12.”
Positive – “Zach is a goofy bundle of enthusiasm, so he needs to join a family with adults or older children.”
4. Encourage readers to contact you
Don’t let ideal adopters get away! Encourage them to respond with a clear call to action. Tell them exactly what you’d like them to do next. For example, you can say, “If you think you have the perfect family home for Billy, we’d love to hear from you. Please call us now at 404-222-2222.”
Near the end, you also can write about any restrictions or requirements your pet has, but do it in a friendly way, so you don’t scare away potential adopters. Here’s an example:
Good – “Sarah wants to be the only pet in a home with a six-foot fence. And if you can give her that, then you’ll have a loyal friend for life. Please email us to learn more about her at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Bad – “Qualified adopters only. Must have a six-foot fence, a big yard and experience with big dogs. MUST HAVE NO OTHER PETS.”
5. Read it back to yourself
Read your pet profile out loud to yourself. Would it make you want to call? If not, go back over it, and write something that would capture your heart.