HSUS gears up for national pet adoption campaign


A massive public-service advertising campaign will be unleashed Sept. 21 to spur pet adoptions.

Portland, Ore.

- A massive public-service advertising campaign will be unleashed Sept. 21 to spur pet adoptions.

Campaign organizers believe the media blitz will be so effective it will impact "every animal hospital, every clinic and animal shelter in the United States."

The Shelter Pet Project, spearheaded by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), brings together the Ad Council, Maddie's Fund and Draftfcb (a consumer advertising firm) with one goal -- improve adoption rates from the nation's animal shelters, reports HSUS Vice President John Snyder at the recently concluded Banfield Pet Industry Summit.

This is the first animal-related campaign for the Ad Council, which has created slogans like "A mind is a terrible thing to waste," "Only you can prevent wild fires," and "Friends don't let friends drive drunk."

Maddie's Fund is kicking in some $300 million and pledged another $700 million to drive the message home.

The target will be to adopt out some 3 million animals that are destined for euthanasia in U.S. shelters. The ad campaign will target an estimated 41 million people in the United States deemed to be on the fence regarding pet ownership, Snyder says.

One of the underlying messages will be to encourage veterinary care, Snyder adds. "We want pet owners to establish a relationship with their veterinarians early and maintain it for the life of their animals."

The campaign will be pushed to 34,000 media outlets in the United States, and campaign organizers also will use social networking to communicate the message to the public.

This public-service campaign adds to the list of activities for the animal rights/welfare group this year, including much more controversial campaigns targeting agricultural housing (factory farming), anti-fur, equine slaughter and puppy mills.

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