Shelter Pet Project

First 2010 ARS Shelter Challenge

What is the Shelter Pet Project?

The Shelter Pet Project is the first national PSA campaign on pet adoption! The Shelter Pet Project includes ads on television, radio, in print, outdoors and on the Web. The ads direct audiences to visit www.theshelterpetproject.org to find out more information about how to adopt a pet from a shelter. The Web site includes a Pet Personals section, where potential adopters are asked questions about themselves and are then matched with pets from a local shelter or rescue group using the Petfinder.com database (YOUR adoptable pets!).Shelter Pet Project Screen

Shelter Pet Project Campaign Talking Points

When asked about how your organization is involved please state:
What is the goal of the campaign?
Who does the campaign target?
Where do I find materials to help promote the Shelter Pet Project?
How can I get the Shelter Pet Project PSA to play in my area?


When asked about how your organization is involved please state:

  • (Insert name of your organization) is thrilled to be a part of The Shelter Pet Project, a national public service advertising campaign, with the goal of increasing the rate of shelter pet adoption.
  • The Shelter Pet Project is more than an advertising campaign — it’s a movement that can have a long-lasting impact for animals. Working together, we can make pet overpopulation a thing of the past.
  • Our hope is that the campaign will encourage millions of pet lovers to make shelters the first choice and desired way for acquiring companion animals.

| Back to Top |

What is the goal of the campaign?

  • The Humane Society of the United States, Maddie’s Fund and Petfinder are joining with the Ad Council on this national multimedia PSA campaign in an effort to increase shelter pet adoption by showing people that shelter pets are loving, well-adjusted animals who are homeless through no fault of their own.
  • The PSAs direct the audience to www.theshelterpetproject.org, a comprehensive Web site with a tool to help them find the love of their life waiting in a shelter nearby, powered by the hundreds of thousands of pets on Petfinder.com.

Who does the campaign target?

  • The primary campaign target is the “Swing Voter,” someone who plans on acquiring a pet within the next year, but has not yet decided where they will get their pet from.
  • “Swing Voters” believe shelter adoption is an acceptable option, but lack confidence in shelter adoption and shelter pets. They also tend to have negative stereotypes about shelter pets that we are aiming to change with this campaign.
  • The campaign also targets those people who are “Pro Pet Adoption” because engaging this group and having them join The Shelter Pet Project movement can help invigorate the movement and amplify the campaign message.

Where do I find materials to help promote the Shelter Pet Project?

  • To promote the Shelter Pet Project online (using Facebook, Twitter, etc.), visit www.theshelterpetproject.org and click on Pet Stuff, then The Campaign.
  • To promote the Shelter Pet Project both online AND offline, you can request (free) materials:
    1. Go to http://psacentral.adcouncil.org.
    2. If this is your first visit, you need to register using the link in the login box. Check the applicable boxes (you’ll be able to view all materials once logged in).
    3. Once logged in, you need to select Pet Adoption from the drop down menu and the type of medium you want (TV, radio, print, etc.)
    4. Radio, Print and Internet banners can be downloaded from the site; TV will be shipped.
  • Include the link, www.theshelterpetproject.org, everywhere, such as your email signature and outgoing voicemail message.

| Back to Top |

How can I get the Shelter Pet Project PSA to play in my area?

  • Please remember that Ad Council PSAs can only run in DONATED media.
  • Select stations (TV or radio) that have programming or editorial content that seems to appeal to the pet adoption campaign target or with whom you have an existing relationship.
  • Consider contacting community groups (school boards, small businesses, etc.) and ask for their support in reaching out to the community.
  • Identify the Public Service Director, Community Affairs Director, or General Manager at your media outlet as they are responsible for receiving, reviewing and scheduling PSAs as well as organizing community/public affairs programming.
  • Schedule your contact with media outlets during key times (such as kitten season, before your big fundraiser, etc.).
  • Don’t just mention the PSA – develop key points about your group’s position in animal welfare to tie in with the goal of the pet adoption PSA. Include local statistics and stories to personalize your mission. Prepare an informational kit you can leave behind for review.
  • Help them! In addition to asking them to play the PSA, offer something in return. Offer to promote any upcoming events or contests they have planned. Offer to provide a fill-in story about animals (or anything else!) when needed.
  • Follow up after your conversation, sending a thank you note and another follow up after a few weeks if you have not heard back.

Download the FULL Pet Adoption Campaign Toolkit (containing a helpful Fact Sheet, Interview Tips and more).

| Back to Top |