HYDE PARK, N.Y. --The Dutchess County SPCA has had 137 adoptions in 2017, thanks to some smart social media marketing.
The 145-year-old no-kill shelter has started dressing up their dogs and cats and posting the photos to its Facebook page. The photos are themed to a particular holiday like Christmas or Valentine's Day.
"The photos seem to get a lot of attention," Christine Bosco, adoption counselor for the SPCA, located in Hyde Park, said. "It seems to get people more interested in the dogs."
Bosco said the SPCA had a seminar on marketing its pets from HeARTs Speak as part of their Perfect Exposure Project. Soon after, dogs and cats started showing up with antlers and Christmas lights. For New Year's, dogs wore Happy New Year headbands and 2017 goggles.
For Valentine's Day, dogs are being photographed with red backgrounds while wearing heart bandanas or scarves with hearts and them. The SPCA is also set to debut a "Single And Ready To Mingle" promotion for dogs that do better alone.
Bosco said the dogs are "surprisingly okay" with getting dressed up.
"Almost as if they know it will help get them adopted," Bosco said.
So far, the initiative has been a success with only 15 dogs and 50 cats available for adoption at the shelter. As a no-kill shelter, animals remain at the shelter until they are adopted.
"We are actually pretty low on animals right now," Bosco said. "Our adoption have been high lately and we're really happy about that."
As an adoption counselor, Bosco said it was very rewarding when she finds the perfect home for a dog or a cat.
"You can't really describe the feeling," Bosco said. "You just know."
Bosco said people should consider their lifestyle and what they like to do before they adopt a dog.
"If you want someone to go hiking and be active with, we wouldn't give you a mellow dog," Bosco said. "Some people just want a dog to hang out on the couch with. People need to make sure they are ready to make the commitment and have the time, attention and energy."
For more information, contact the SPCA at (845) 452-7722.
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