Dallas shelter uses playgroups to help promote adoptions

Dallas Animal Services is using playgroups and social media to help find homes for pets in their shelter.

A few weeks ago, the Dallas shelter hit 106 percent capacity thanks in part to an increased effort to combat problems with strays. And in an effort to also increase adoptions, DAS came up with a program that allows dogs to get out in the mornings, play and stretch their legs.

The playgroup program also helps to de-stress the dogs, which makes them more adoptable because they behave better in the kennels. Shelter workers can learn more about them and know what to tell potential adopters, said Whitney Hanson with DAS.

“When people come in and say, “I have a really active German Shepherd at home and I’m looking for a playmate,’ this helps to really point them in the right direction because we know more about the play style of each of these dogs,” she said.

Hanson said shelter workers learn about the dogs’ personalities and whether they are more people focused or dog focused, strong-willed or gentle and even if they’ll be very active or a couch potato. It helps to make better adoption matches.

“We want our adoptions to be successful matches and in a kennel, it’s not always a great representation of what a dog is going to be like at home. You may have a dog that’s really high energy and they’re in the kennel all day so they are bored even with toys or occasional walks and so they don’t show well when someone comes in,” Hanson said.

Videos and photos from the playgroups are shared on DAS’s Facebook page and other social media sites to show off just how fun the dogs really are. 

To watch some of these videos or get more information about DAS’s adoptable pets, visit www.facebook.com/dallasanimalservices or dallascityhall.com/departments/dallas-animal-services/.