Challenge shelters partner with Ad Council for Eighth Annual Celebrate Shelter Pets Day

December 5, 2017

What can you to remove barriers to adoption for first-time adopters that will take you almost no time, cost nothing, and be a lot of fun? Participate in the Shelter Pet Project’s Eighth Annual Celebrate Shelter Pets Day!

Now in its eighth year, the Shelter Pet Project is a public service advertising campaign of the Ad Council, sponsored by Maddie’s Fund and The Humane Society of the United States. Because the campaign’s first pro bono advertising agency, DRAFTFCB (now FCB Global), learned during their pre-design research that new adopters respond better to upbeat, funny messaging than the sadder, heartstring-tugging adoption messaging that was more common then, they focused on producing humorous, silly, and positive adoption PSAs. Their most popular ad, Sandbox, starred a cat (of course).

In the course of their research they also discovered that people who had reservations about shelters or shelter pets were three times more likely to visit a shelter or rescue group when looking for a pet if they spoke with a friend or family member who had adopted.

That fact was the inspiration for the first Celebrate Shelter Pets Day, which called on people to do one simple thing: post photos and stories of their adopted pets to their Facebook accounts, so their friends and family would see them and hopefully be inspired to adopt.

The event caught on, and is now in its eighth year. It will happen on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, with a whirlwind tour of shelters — every single one of them a Million Cat Challenger! — across the country coming to you via Facebook Live on the Shelter Pet Project’s Facebook page. The party will start at 8 AM Pacific/11 AM Eastern at the Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, DC, then travel to Humane Society of the Huron Valley in Ann Arbor, Michigan. From there it will head to Texas and Austin Pets Alive!, then up to Humane Society Silicon Valley in the San Francisco Bay Area, and then will end the day at the Seattle Humane Society. (We’re exhausted just telling you about it!)

Its basic message is the same today as it was in the beginning: Share the story of your adopted pets on social media. Tag it with #CelebrateShelterPets. Encourage your supporters and adopters to do the same. And above all, have a great time!

Learn more about the Shelter Pet Project at

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