As a one-woman-show in regards to running all business aspects of this foster-based pet rescue, the $100 coupon to 'try out Google Ads' caught my attention.
Most of us are at least aware that one can pay Google to have its business promoted on Google, having one's services and/or products 'show up higher' in the list of search term results.
-Don't worry, that's about as techy as my talk gets!
However, as with most of the general public, my understanding of this esoteric thing called Google Ads was, at best, basic.
That didn't stop me. I whipped out my credit, added several tags upon being prompted (animal welfare, pets in planning, pet care, pet caregiver, pet rescue, etc.), then defined the entire nation as my 'audience' since this is technically a nationwide service... and my website was officially being promoted on Google!
'Cool,' I thought. This is something I'd wanted to try for a long time. -And it didn't take long for the calls to start coming in.
Within a day I started receiving calls thanks to my Google ad! When a call comes in from someone that sees your ad, a recording comes on as soon as you pick up the phone saying something like, 'Google ads lead calling.' -It took a couple of days for me to even make that connection since deciphering the robotic message wasn't easy.
My first call came in from a young girl in Alabama.
"Hello, Paw and Feather Plan," I answered in my most professional voice.
"Hello. I need help with my cat. He got out, and ran to the woods behind our house and won't come out."
"Oh no," I said, having very recently put my own cat to sleep, "Have you gone back there and tried calling him?" I asked.
"Yes, I walk back there with pieces of hot dog and call him. He loves hot dogs, and I can hear him cry, but cannot see him," she said.
"OK, I'm sorry. You must be so worried," I said, "but I think your cat's probably just really scared. And maybe he even knows or thinks there's danger nearby, like a coyote, or a fox, and that's why he's not coming down, or out from his hiding place yet. I believe if you keep going back there every so often, calling him, reassuring him, he will be ok and come out, OK?" I said.
"OK, thank you," she sweetly answered, and that concluded our call.
I felt good when I hung up, like I had helped her feel better. And of course I sincerely hoped her cat would come out.
But then, for several days, I kept getting calls similar to this one, people needing help with pets, or even wild animals (one woman even called about a beached, injured sea lion on the coast of California), but it was the type of help I really couldn't offer, aside from giving some encouraging words or practical advice.
I was also getting a lot of prank calls from pre-teens that were inappropriate (several about poop!), and of course I was getting calls from random people looking for 'Husky puppies,' or needing to 'surrender their pet to the shelter' half way across the map. And believe me, I tried to help as many pets and people as possible, but this could've been someone's full time job!
|Image from Geeks Around Globe, best apps for prank calls|
Here I'll share one last story that had an impact on me:
The phone rang, a call from somewhere in Michigan.
"Yes. I'm looking for a humane pest removal service," said the woman in a polite voice.
I explained that this was not what I did, and that I was in Ky., but asked 'what this was in regards to please?'
"We knew something was living behind our garage in our back yard. We could hear something rustling around, and there's a hole in the wood back there, but we didn't know what it was," she explained, "Then, when my daughter was over the other day, she saw a family of skunks has taken up a home back there. And I have my grandkids over regularly, and they play in the backyard. I just need someone to come relocate them to a forest or something like that," she said.
Here I needed to take a deep breath, and quickly find my go-to place for tough topics in regards to animal welfare, which is, how would the animal feel? what would the animal want?
"So, for starters, these supposed 'humane' pest removal companies oftentimes have anything but a humane policy and track record. Typically there's no proof as to what they do with animals they trap. -It's impossible to trap a wild animal without an immense degree of stress and turmoil, and..." I went on...
"If you could imagine being that mommy skunk for a minute, having found a safe, comfortable place to raise your babies, with nearby access to food, water, shelter, only to be ripped from your home, and taken to a place completely foreign to you, dumped in the middle of nowhere, with your babies," you'll see how awful that would be.
"And these skunks are not going to bother your grandkids if the kids do not bother them. They will stay hidden, and grateful to have a safe place to live." I politely added, smiling through the phone as to not offend.
Ending on, "I have no control over what decision you'll make ma'am, and of course it's entirely your call, but I'm hopeful that now you'll be able to see the situation more from the skunks' perspective."
We said goodbye, and that was that.
So, food for thought it regards to Google Ads! If you're thinking about using it, tag carefully!
Or if you are an independent millionaire, that's animal-savvy, animal-loving, enjoys talking on the phone... there's a lot of work out there for someone like you (just unpaid work, that's all)!
Owner and Primary Pet Caregiver
Make a Plan for Your Pet