When The Star started buying Katz Tales and Dog Talk columns, the editor gave me a little space to highlight pets who need a home. There have been more than 150 Adopt Me boxes published so far, and I've noticed that the best results come from following a formula.
I've also noticed that when people rescue an animal from the streets, they tend to focus on the change in their charge. So they write about the broken paws/fleas/starvation etc at great length. This is a mistake.
Most people want to adopt a healthy pet, not inherit an animal that may be spending all its time in the vets. If they were in the market for an animal that needs such help, they'd step out of the house and pick one up themselves - it's not like Malaysia isn't full of such sad cases.
To get good results, consider that most people look at the picture first, and then the text. BUT they don't read beyond the first few sentences if the message doesn't feel right.
In order to get the best impression of your charge, put up a great picture showing the pet in action or smiling. Then keep the information short, to the point, and cheerful. Focus on name, age and character.
SAY: "Harry, aged 6 months, is a lively dog who loves to go on long walks and play frisbee."
DON'T SAY "Harry was left with a broken paw after a hit-and-run car accident..."
Of course you must be open with people who write/call/visit and disclose the animal's history. However, if the pet is 100% OK, then that's the thing you lead with to gain interest. The more people you get to show an interest, the better your chance of finding a good match.
Winning formula: great picture, short text with name, age, and character summary.
I just wish I could write every week and double the adoption boxes available. There are so many pets out there who need a chance. Like my two fuzzies: Au was a battered kitten when we got him from Dorothy, an animal lover in Malacca, and Target had been rehabilitated by Naemah, an animal rescuer in Subang Jaya, when he joined our family. They've brought us so much joy, it's indescribable.