Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Robert Harrison

Second Advisor

Kelley O'Reilly


Dogs have always been something that attracts people’s attention. It is hard to decide whether it is their fur, their cuteness, or their personality that makes them lovable. The area I chose to conduct my research is in marketing. Since dogs are man’s best friend, what other better way is there to do a thesis than on something so lovable? This research entails marketing ideas that could increase adoption rates while reducing return rates of animals at shelters in the State of Michigan.

I chose this topic because as it is stated earlier, I am a dog lover. I have always had a dog growing up and I plan on having a dog in the future once my life starts to settle down. Part of the reason why this research was conducted is because people love seeing a dog happy. A smiling, tail-wagging dog brings a smile to ones’ face and brings about a pleasant feeling. There will always be a person who will go up to a stranger walking their dog with the intentions of petting it. With regards to marketing, it is an area that is interesting to many due to all of the creativity that goes into it. It forces people to think outside of the box to come up with ideas that have not been thought of or tweak ideas that already exist. This creative side of marketing brings a feeling of excitement, whereas the other areas of business, for example: accounting, or supply chain, or production does not.

The analyzes of this paper deals with marketing: specifically defining marketing and the purposes of it, nonprofit organizations and some reasons for them, statistics regarding dogs and shelters, a personal plan of marketing ideas that could help with adoptions and the returns of dogs. The ideas are: pup-of-the-game (a spin-off), a home like atmosphere for the shelter with basic training (an original idea), and using certain dogs from the shelters to travel to hospitals to visit patients (an original idea). These ideas were created after researching issues related to reasons for why people adopt and return animals as well as figuring out ways to target those reasons. Following this, the methodology of the study will be discussed with the results analyzed and then give my recommendations. I will also discuss what I have learned and what could have been done better.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Included in

Marketing Commons