Show Coordination

A major area in PAW is the coordination of the adoption shows. This pertains to regular shows at the pet stores, not to special events, festivals, or PAW participation in multi-group shows (although many items could apply to all).


The following sections, and tasks within, can be split among any number of people.

  • Show Committee
  • Evaluate Show Locations
  • Prepare Show Schedule
  • Show Setup
  • Show Kit
  • Between-Show Activities
  • Day-of-Show Activities


Show Committee

This unofficial PAW committee has the following purpose:

  • Develop and maintain the schedule of adoption shows
  • On an ongoing basis, evaluate the shows for their effectiveness
  • Decide whether to try new show locations and which ones


At a minimum, the committee consists of the show coordinator (chair) and the cat and dog coordinators. Other members could be the President or designate, the volunteer coordinator, the cat and dog transport coordinators.


Evaluate Show Locations

What makes a good store location? It’s the space, the management, Sat. versus Sun., the amount of public coming through, and the quality of the applications. This and other factors are subjective since opinions may vary among volunteers. The Board and coordinators may only hear negative feedback since people rarely bother to communicate positive experiences.


Also, the number of cat and dog applications is recorded after each show. The percent that get adopted is an indication of how effective the store is. However, it is difficult to gather these data since many apps are electronic or mailed and it’s hard to connect these with a particular show.


Prepare Show Schedule

Usually, the adoption shows follow a regular cycle each month. That is, PAW is at the same store on the first Sat. of the month, the first Sun., the second Sat., and so on. Based on input from the dog and cat coordinators, some shows are both cats and dogs, cats only, or dogs only. A month with five Saturdays or five Sundays would have non-regular shows on those days, and/or may have some other unusual scheduling. New locations or other experiments may be inserted in a given month to replace a regular location.


Note: any PAW decisions regarding show locations must be approved by store directors or managers. Call the store to discuss the proposed change before revising the schedule.


Show Setup

The Show Setup person for each show is responsible for working with the Show Coordinator to ensure the show is scheduled properly with the store and everything is ready to go prior to the show. During the show the Show Setup person is responsible for:

  • Bringing everything needed for the show and setting up the table.
  • Getting the area ready for the cats and dogs prior to their arrival.
  • Taking attendance when the volunteers arrive and immediately reporting any volunteer issues/no-shows to the Show Coordinator.
  • Providing Name Badges to all volunteers.
  • Assisting with answering questions from the public and helping the volunteers if any issues arise during the show.


Show Kit


  • Important
    • water bowls
    • paper towels
    • pens
    • name badges for the volunteers – peel off type or permanent in plastic holders
    • collars, leashes, etc.
    • dog toys
    • dog treats
    • combs, brushes, etc.
    • extra poop bags/plastic bags
    • hand sanitizer
    • first aid kit
    • donation box
    • clipboards
    • adoption applications
    • PAW brochures and brochure holder
    • PAW Shakes newsletters
    • PAW business cards
    • binder with dog pages from the website of available dogs
    • print-out of the Dog Show email listing which dogs and volunteers are expected at the show


  • ¬†Optional
    • trash can & trash bags
    • tablecloth
    • paper clips, scissors, tape, etc.
    • show signs
    • scratch paper
    • folding table (if the store doesn’t provide one)


Between-Show Activities

On a weekly basis, the show kit should be restocked for the next show. This usually means table handouts, forms, and show supplies. Make copies of forms and handouts for the table.


Day-of-Show Activities

1. Meet with the manager

Arrival time varies by store, by manager, by whether the setup person has help, by whether the setup person also brings a dog. Discuss where that day’s space is for cats and for dogs. Find out any rules or preferences, such as being in the center of an aisle or along one side.


2. Set up the table

Lay out the various handouts, adoption applications, etc. for the public along with pens, donation box, business cards, hand sanitizer, Dog/Cat book listing all our current dogs/cats, dog treats, etc.



3. Set up signs
Place the outdoor and indoor signs, that announce the show, in appropriate locations.


4. Set up the show areas

You may have to move a store rack or display to create space in the cat and dog areas. Fill the water bowls and place in the dog area. The store may have some extra folding chairs, usually in the employee break room.


5. Answer early questions

The public may arrive as early as 11:00. There may be phone calls. As the only PAW person on site, answer the calls and deal with the public.


6. Direct traffic
As volunteers arrive, direct them to the cat or dog areas and inform them of any rules given by the manager. Take attendance of the dogs and volunteers as they arrive.


7. Help the show team

As needed, perform table staff and floater duties. Help sign in the dogs. Keep the table straight as the public and volunteers tend to place clip boards and other materials anywhere. Refill water bowls. Find mentors for new volunteers. Enforce management rules about space, blocking certain shelves, whatever. Replace table items as they run out. Give any adoption or foster applications that are turned in to the Dog Coordinator.


8. Report to manager

At the end of the show, write down the number of cat and dog applications for the manager. It’s usually good to include the date, the name of the group, and the date of the next show.


9. Pack up

Put away the merchandise and volunteer items first since they are infringing on store shelves or whatever. While packing the table materials, make notes indicating which forms and handouts need copies for the next show. Don’t forget the water bowls, plus the indoor and outdoor signs.


10. Clean up

PAW has a special relationship with the stores because we leave our areas in the same condition in which we found them. Search the shelves and floor where our volunteers were to pick up trash plus any supplies that should have been returned to the volunteer station. Return chairs to the employee break room. Grab a broom and sweep the area for dog hair, etc. Move any displays back where you found them.


11. PAW This Week (PTW)

Write up the Thank-You for all the volunteers who attended the show, along with the dogs in attendance, to be mentioned in the next PAW This Week (PTW). Email it to the Secretary or designate.



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