Furkids Animal Rescue and Shelter

Furkids Animal Rescue and Shelter knows secret to pet adoptions

Furkids Animal Rescue and Shelter

Bringing pets to adopters is a key strategy for Furkids, an Atlanta-based rescue group who partners with local shelters to save more than 4,400 dogs and cats every year.

As the largest cage-free cat shelter in the Southeastern United States, they house 900 cats – 275 cats at the animal shelter and 725 cats in 400 foster homes, at six Petco cat habitats and at other off-site adoption centers around town. In addition to a separate dog shelter, they also host off-site dog adoption events at Petco stores.

"The secret to getting pets adopted is to be out and present in the community. Every pet needs the right adoption venue to stand out and shine."

Location, Location, Location

Since the majority of Furkids’ pets are located out of the public eye in foster homes, showcasing pets in Petco stores, located in the neighborhoods where people live and work, is vital to their adoption success.

Being out in the community is what changed everything for Chloe and Freckles. The 13-year-old orange tabby cats arrived at the Furkids Animal Rescue and Shelter in Atlanta, Georgia, when their owner passed away. Furkids put the senior cats in the lobby to greet visitors and hopefully make great first impressions with potential adopters.

But nearly a year later, Chloe and Freckles still waited for a home.

“Everyone loved them, but as senior pets, they just weren’t anyone’s first choice,” says Shelton. “The staff didn’t want to part with them, but it was time to find another way for these cats to shine.”

That’s why Shelton eventually sent Chloe and Freckles to one of the Petco cat habitats. “They needed a less competitive location than the shelter in order to be appreciated,” says Shelton.

The new strategy worked. An older couple adopted Chloe and Freckles three days later.

Planning for every adoption event

To further grow their adoption program, Furkids participates in Petco’s National Adoption Event Weekends.

During Petco’s 50th anniversary last year, the Petco Foundation offered $50 adoption rewards for the first 100 pets adopted and then $100 for every adoption over 100.

“We worked intensely to make this an amazing event,” says Shelton. “We set a goal of 100 adoptions, invited foster families to bring their foster pets, and maximized our social media outreach to attract as many people as possible.”

The result? Furkids found homes for 151 dogs and cats – the most adoptions of any group participating that weekend across the U.S.

“We now plan every adoption event with that same level of intensity,” she says.
Partnerships make everything possible

Furkids says community partnerships make everything possible. Hundreds of foster families bottle-feed neonatal kittens and take in sick and injured dogs and cats every year. “They expand our shelter capacity three times over,” said Shelton.

Petco Foundation investments totaling $106,000 also provides Furkids with the resources for foster care and expansion of their off-site adoption opportunities.

“Furkids gives every pet every opportunity to find a new home,” says Susanne Kogut, Executive Director of the Petco Foundation. “They are an example of what can be done when you engage the community in your lifesaving efforts and capitalize on partnerships to expand your adoption opportunities.”

Since 2002, Furkids has rescued and found homes for more than 15,000 pets, including two senior cats named Chloe and Freckles who certainly got the attention and time needed to find their new home.