Feeling the financial pinch during puppy or kitten season? Host a baby shower for your new litters to bring in some donations, highlight spay/ neuter programs, bring in foster families, and encourage adoptions of older pets to make room for the new babies.!
Basically, it’s a baby shower for pets! A kitten or puppy shower is similar to a baby shower except you are welcoming unwanted litters into the world and introducing them to the public in hopes of adoption. People in the community are asked to bring a few small gifts (such as money, gift cards to Walmart, kitten chow, KMR or kitten milk replacement, kitten bottles, old towels, old pillows, new collars, toys…) to help welcome the kittens and puppies in your adoption program. It’s also a nice way for your nonprofit group to mingle with the public, and for the public to learn about pet behavior, learn about your shelter/ rescue, and possibly adopt a pet.
Make the event FUN! Provide a cake (donated by a bakery if possible!) and some punch and cookies. Decorate with pink and blue balloons and streamers, maybe a stork with a kitten in the sack. Make it a HUGE media event by sending baby shower invites to newscasters, weather personalities, your local mayor and newspaper editor as well as to the prominent members of society and all of your regular donors. A good way to get prominent members involved is to name a kitten after them!
Hold the event somewhere that can accommodate close to 100 people. You want to have a lot of space to mingle around and for people to talk with YOUR volunteers. Have brochures, fliers, any paperwork possible that they can take home to remember you by.
You can also host a naming contest where the public helps come up with names for the new litters based on their bios. And, the animals can also be fostered by a family until adoption! Most places don’t allow early adoptions, under 8 weeks. So, if you have some relatively young animals that need some help (like URI or just abandoned by mom), then they can get a foster family until they are ready to be adopted.
Your group can also sell kitten artwork, which are paintings done by the kittens. Dip their paws in some finger paint (non-toxic) and have them walk across the paper! It turns out beautiful and is a great seller when matted and framed. You can charge about $25 for them, or name them something special and charge a little higher, like $45 to $65. That is also a big media attraction for those talented little pets!
Be sure to sign your animal rescue up for your very own baby registry at Target and Walmart! That’s another great media tie-in… and possibly a connection with Target and Walmart for you! They may be able to set up a donation box out front where people can drop off gifts for the baby kittens! Register for items your group needs to care for the new litters, such as food, collars, treats, toys, cleaning supplies, trash bags, and office supplies.
Anytime you want to do an event, think of a few ways to make it Bigger and Better! Start with a basic cake and punch kitten shower, then add in some media personnel, a paw painting sale and a gift table… and you’ve got the makings of a great event!