How To Host A Pet Adoption Event In Your Community

If you are affiliated with a pet rescue organization or humane society, you are always looking for forever homes for your adoptable critters. Why not hold an adoption event in your community to find the perfect families for those four-legged orphans? Here are seven basic steps to help you get organized.

Pick a Venue

The first thing you need to do is pick a venue and secure the date well in advance--at least a couple of months. Find an outdoor location with plenty of room; a park, parking lot, or clean vacant lot are perfect.

Fence It In

You'll want to fence in your adoption venue for the event. This serves two purposes:

  1. It keeps any pets from getting away or running into traffic.
  2. It allows you to corral your audience, so they have to pass through an official entrance where you can hit them up to buy raffle tickets, fill out surveys, etc.

You can rent temporary construction fencing for the weekend. The company you rent from will set it up and take it down, so you don't have to worry about it.

Get Sponsors

It helps if you can find sponsors to defray some of the expenses for the event. Local businesses are often only too happy to help with feel-good events like this, especially those related to the pet industry.

You can also sell vendor spaces to pet businesses, such as boarding kennels, doggy day cares, pet food companies, and pet groomers. Don't forget to ask for some donated items, so you can raise a little more money through a raffle or silent auction.


People can also make donations through publicity. Especially if you are an official nonprofit group, radio and television stations will be pleased to run your spots advertising the event. Try to get the design and printing of posters and fliers donated, and put them up at pet stores, grocery markets, and other family places around town.

Make sure you publicize your adoption campaign on social media too. It will be easier to get a big following if you can find a local celebrity to act as a host or MC.

Set Up

When you set up your event, keep cats, dogs, and any other types of pets in separate areas. Allow plenty of space for people and animals to walk around without bumping into each other. Don't forget to have a space where prospective adopters can introduce adoptees to existing family pets to see if they get along.

Offer Amenities

Having food on-site is a great way to keep people there longer and another way to raise funds. (Be sure to have some pet treats too!)

Have a couple of veterinarians on hand in case of any emergencies and to answer questions for prospective new owners.

Have clearly marked potty areas for dogs, and be sure to rent some portable restrooms for people too. Have easy-to-find trash and recyclable receptacles, and offer pet waste bags and separate disposal containers.

Clean Up After

For a large event like this you'll need to hire a professional garbage collection company like Quik Pick Waste Disposal at the end, so you don't overwhelm the municipal trash cans. You may have to engage a different company to handle the pet waste. In most municipalities pet waste should not be mixed in with regular trash.

If you hire professionals to help with your biggest cleanup chores, once your temporary fencing comes down no one will ever know you were there. No one, that is, except the happy pets and their new-found families! For them it will be a day they'll always remember.