I manage a website for the Oldies Club, which is a UK based dog rescue charity specialising in older dogs, which also advertises senior dogs for other charities around the UK, and I also offer volunteer help with the websites of several other charities.

It can be difficult to decide which information about a dog should be provided most prominently on the website. I'm aware of research suggesting that a good quality photo is vital, but what other details are most likely to result in a dog receiving enquiries and home offers and should be prioritised?

Are there other factors that influence adopters when choosing a rescue to adopt from?


I volunteer at an animal shelter in the US, and we often get senior pets coming to us to be rehomed. We have found that a "biography" really helps to promote a pet in addition to appealing photos: As the volunteers and staff get to know an animal, someone will write up a paragraph about the animal: This will include some information about the animal's personality (e.g. likes to play fetch with a ball, is easy to walk on a leash/lead, like to cuddle quietly, etc.).

It is also very helpful to note whether a dog gets along with other dogs, cats, children as far as we can tell. We also pull the sympathy card at times: We had a 16 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback mix dumped on us during the summer of 2014. He was in good health, although somewhat feeble.

We put out a Facebook appeal and he was adopted within a week. (The last I heard, he is still doing well). I also know some shelters have "Senior for Seniors" program where the adoption fee is reduced or eliminated when a senior person (65 +) adopts an older pet.

So the key is to try and find something that a reader might identify with and find appealing. There are thousands of pets available on the web, so you need something to make yours stand out.

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A lot the same as jaylynn2 +1

A check list of basics:

  • OK with dogs
  • OK with cats
  • OK with children
  • House trained
  • Weight (many rentals have weight limit)

And a paragraph or two about the dog. Be honest about health issues.

Photos are great but don't have the photo in the same spot for every dog. It looks like a mug shot.

Cute bones for check boxes. You don't want it to look clinical.

There are also clearing sites where multiple shelters can post. For sure do that. Even if those sites are ugly.

Register with SEO to get your site searchable. The search engines have a free page on how to make your site more crawlable (searchable).

Screen adopters. Encourage them to test for a week with no obligation. You want the dog in welcome home.

And don't pick a stupid name for the dog. I foster a lot and they give me problem dogs. I am not mean but if the dog cannot comply in my home the dog is not place-able. I got this dog named Kitty because she was a scaredy cat. I did not change the name as she needed to learn it. So then after 10 weeks of foster they begged me to keep her as she made it very obvious she did not want to be any place else. Now I am stuck with a dog named Kitty. Her stage name is Miss K.

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