When I used to volunteer at a dog shelter, I had to drive off the main drag, down into the "municipal-zone". The shelter was located next to the waste water treatment plant, across the street from a large gravel and construction company, and near the court house. It was easy to miss, only a small brick sign indicating its presence. I used to think it was a silly spot for a shelter that needed to attract people for adoptions. It's almost a miracle the adoption rate was 40%. A couple years ago, I attended the orientation of a county run shelter. And I never went back - it was located in a highly industrial, sketchy neighborhood (it was also an hour away, which is the bigger reason for me not returning).
Which is why I love Kansas-based Animal Haven's program of renting a retail spot (you can get your book shopping done too) in a mall. Brent over at KC Dog Blog writes that 69 dogs and cats found new homes over the weekend!
I love this idea a lot - bring animals to the people and do it in a high-traveled, well marked spot. I'm sure there are pitfalls, but it's still smart marketing. It should be a year-round thing, in my opinion. :)