How many times have you seen your perfect pet up for adoption? Did you try for them? Did you get them?
If you have seen your perfect pet, your dream pet and didn't get them, do you know why that is? Was your application great but someone else’s was better? Or was your application instantly rejected? Did you not even try because you didn't know how to make an application?
This guide goes over the basics of adopting. I can’t promise that after reading this guide you will get your dream pet, of course, but this guide was created to help.
Before You Start
Before you jump to make an application for your dream pet, let’s take a break and consider a few things. What is it that you like about this pet? The name? The color? The personality you see in him/her? More importantly, is this a pet you're ready to keep and take care of; a pet that you won’t get bored of? If the answer is yes, then great, let's get to the good stuff.
Read the rules. Whatever you do, just read them. You will appear careless if you don't bother, and honestly, you won’t get the pet. How will you know if the owner wants a neomail or petpage application? Also, be sure to look at the pet's gender and name. Call the pet a he or a she depending on what gender they are and never call the pet an "it".
There are, generally, two types of applications; neomail and petpage/webpage. Depending on how the owner views rules, applications, and their pet, they will decide between petpage or neomail applications (though, some owners do accept both). If an owner does accept both, I highly recommend making a petpage; it shows more effort, and is more likely to get your application considered.
Neomail application: A neomail application is a shorter (but still valid) application. With neomail applications, you usually send 1-5 neomails to the owner, containing information about you and why you want the pet (remember to include anything they specifically ask for, as well).
Petpage application: Petpage applications are done on petpages (go figure). They should have a nice layout (even if it’s simple) and a font that’s easy to read. These are longer than neomail applications and should keep the reader interested; if it’s boring, the fosterer probably won’t want to read it all.
What To Add: Neomail Application
Introduction: Something simple like: "Hello my name is ___ and I'm applying for ___." will do. If you roleplay (or story write), it’s often a good idea to do the introduction in story form; it serves as a good way to draw the reader in, and give them a feel for your application. Try to keep it relatively short (it is only an introduction, after all).
Example (this is a horrible example and I made it this way on purpose):
“A young girl steps into the pound searching for a new pet, she sees a flyer on the wall that reads "_____ the Asparagus Chia is up for adoption". She runs out of the pound excited and contacts the owner at once.”
That is a bad example, but you get the point; make a cute little introduction.
About You: Next you want to include some information about yourself; both on neopets, and in real life. If you don't want to tell them your real name, don't; there’s no need to give out any personal information – that stuff isn’t important. What you should include are some of your interests (both on and off of neopets). It’s important to show off your personality; most fosterers want to know what a potential owner for their pet is like.
About the Pet & the Future: Tell them what their pet will do once they are in your care. Be honest and make sure that you let them know everything; if you say that you’re going to roleplay the pet or give them a personality, it’s a good idea to talk about that. It’s also a good idea to give short examples; it’s always good to back up your words with actions.
Conclusion: Finish up with a sentence or two of a conclusion. Be sure to thank the owner for taking the time to read your application, and wish them good luck with finding an owner for their pet (these things are considered polite).
Final Note: If an owner only accepts petpage applications, don’t send them a neomail one; it’s a good way of getting yourself disqualified. Also, if an owner accepts both, you should probably consider making a petpage; a lot of people think that neomail applications take less time and effort. Making a petpage shows that you’re committed to their pet. Also, most owners will judge you on your account; make sure that your pets have lookups, art, and things of that nature – you’ll be respected more if they do.
1. G1mm3 ur p37! --- Numbers do not qualify as letters.
2. When are you pounding ____? --- Where's the application? Where are your manners?
3. I want ___!--- Ok, this is a really idiotic example, but it's very childish and it DOES happen.
4. Can I have _____? --- Common, plain, and unacceptable.
Things to Add: Petpage Application
Introduction and Conclusion: You should add an introduction at the beginning just stating that you are applying and maybe your name or a greeting to whoever will be reading the application. Some people add roleplaying intoductions or short story introductions to spice things up a bit. The conclusion should always be the last thing you put in your application to tie it all together and give it a sense of completion.
About You: Devote a section of your application to telling the owner about yourself, because most fosterers like to know a bit about the person they could potentially be giving their pet to. What do you do on Neopets? What are your hobbies outside of the site? It’s up to you how much or how little about yourself you’d like to include, but including this section is considered almost mandatory in the fostering community.
Why You Want the Pet: Put some thought into it.. Why are you applying for this pet? Do you think they’ll be a suitable roleplaying character? Were you attracted to their name? Be honest about it!
The Future: Talk about your plans for the pet you’re applying for if you are to become its new owner. Will you train them? Enter them in the Beauty Contest? Make them a petpage? Buy them a petpet?
About Your Pets: Give the owner a little bit of information on your current Neopets family.
Your Account History: Tell them about your history on Neopets. Talk about what accounts you have, your main, your sides, and if you have any, your lab accounts. Also, you should mention if you have ever been frozen, hacked, or warned. A vast majority of owners want to know your account history, and again, just be honest about it. People will not hold it against you if you have been frozen.
Art: If you can draw, by all means, put your talent to use! Owners love seeing art of their foster pets. Even if you aren’t exactly artistically inclined, you can always pop open MS Paint or take out some colored pencils and give it a try. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, as long as you make an effort, it will be appreciated!
Roleplay: Many owners want their pet to go to a person who will roleplay them. Add a little sample of your roleplaying skills onto your application, be it one you made from scratch or a previous one with another person. If you’ve never roleplayed before, trying never hurts!
Poems: Poems are tricky... But if you’re good with words, try giving it a shot. This is the one of the rarest things you’ll see in applications, but if you can do it right, it’ll be a rare treat to the owner.
Story: Make a story or history of the pet. Try thinking outside of the box and steer clear of the obvious clichés. If you’re pressed for time and cannot make a complete story, just a couple paragraphs to summarize your story will usually suffice.
Transfer Experience: If you have ever adopted a pet or adopted a pet out you should let the owner know. Have you been successful with them? Do you know the Quick Adopt Link?
Contact Information: You should give them some ways to reach you other than through neomail. AIM? YIM? MSN? E-Mail? A majority of fosterers these days will require you to have an Instant Messenger of some kind, so it’s best to have at least one.
Layout: A layout is considered pretty much necessary in the fostering world when making a petpage application. You don’t have to be a coding genius to make one though – there are many sites out there that can help you out with layouts and HTML, so have a look at those if you don’t know where to begin. Some owners will accept premade layouts, but many won’t, and they generally are frowned upon in the application world.
Have a layout? Add a background, and maybe soft music. A nicely made layout is easy to use to win over someone's vote for best application, anytime. Be sure to match everything and tie it with a theme. Themes are good to have in a petpage application. Mismatched backrounds and cursors can cause the owner to leave immediately. Music is good to have, but sometimes it is hard to concentrate on an application while listening to music. Some people prefer to have no music at all, some people can multitask and have no problem with it. Try soft music without words. Maybe something not so rocky. Base your decision on their decision. It's good to warn the owner that you have music on your page. When you send the owner the link of your application, tell them about the music (if any). Also, at the top of your page title it something creative and catchy that includes the name of the pet you want. Below it you should say "Now playing: -Name of song-" so that people can get a heads up if you have music on your page.
Humor: Okay, this isn't really a section, but adding humor is a good way to show off more of your personality, and keep the application interesting. This could also make the application more fun for you to write, and it’ll keep the reader drawn in; two things you probably want.
These are only a few examples of what you can do to make your application stand out from the crowd. Not all are necessary by any means, but they greatly add to your application as a whole.
Do's and Don’ts
- Beg for the pet. Most owners will ignore – or delete – your neomails if they see you doing this.
- Bribe the owner. Bribing is a terrible thing and you can get frozen for it. So don't do it. Plus, any decent owner will reject you immediately.
- Send multiple, spammy, neomails. You only need to send your link or application once. Furthermore, you shouldn’t bother the owner unless you have a real question.
- Lie. Tell the truth. If an owner finds out that you’re lying about something, you’re obviously not going to leave a good impression.
- Be pleasant. Humor is a good thing to have in applications. It shows the owner that you have a positive attitude and that you are ready to own any pet in Neopia.
- Use good grammar. Spell correctly and capitalize all necessary words. No chatspeak. Some people will allow a few "lol"s and maybe some smilies, but numbers do not qualify as letters!
* Use the correct gender and name! Very important!
1: Your pets. If you are adopting a pet, never have four pets. If you do, the owner might think that you’re abandoning one of your pets to adopt theirs, and that’s greatly frowned upon in the adoption world. Also, having pets with blank/pre-made lookups doesn’t usually give a good first impression – make sure you treat the pets you currently have well, or else the owner will have no reason to believe that you’d treat their pet any better.
2: Account age. You cannot adopt certain painted pets or any LE pet when your account is under the age of 4 months.
3: Presentation. You want your account to look as active as possible. Having a nice lookup, a high avatar count, trophies, game scores, sidebars and other such things can only help.
Taking The Farthest Step
If you really want the pet you’re applying for, there are other ways of showing your dedication. You can put up a layout (premade or custom) that is dedicated to that pet. You can dedicate your gallery or part of your gallery to that pet. Maybe put a toy in your trades and mention that pet's name or even link that pet to all of yours. Just use your imagination and have some fun! That's what it is all about!
If you don't get the pet, try again. You can try and ask the owner (politely) why you weren’t picked, but don't get mad if they don't have time to answer; foster parents are very busy. If they do respond, take what they have to say to heart and use it for your next application. If you’re unsure about where you may have gone wrong, you could always get some friends to look over your application for you. You learn from experience, and with some practice, you’ll be making wonderful applications in no time!
Most of all, you have to remember that Neopets is a game. It can be disappointing if you don’t achieve what you hope for, but in the end, it should all be in good fun!