Last week I wrote a blog previewing Best Friends’ partnership with Zappos to implement their Home for the Pawlidayz Black Friday through Cyber Monday pet adoption promotion. Based on last year’s success, it didn’t require prescience on my part to tout this year’s prospects, so no points for anticipating success, but even my expectations were blown out of the water!
The premise of the promotion is that instead of offering Black Friday merchandise discounts, Zappos throws its considerable resources into driving fee-waived adoptions across America through Best Friends and our network partners.
Last year, the Zappos partnership covered adoption costs for more than 6,200 adoptions around the country, resulting in some wonderful stories about shelters emptying out. The target for this year’s promotion was an ambitious 9,000 adoptions — and coincidently, more than 9,000 dogs and cats are killed in U.S. shelters every day.
Well, hold onto your hats, folks, because the early returns for the Zappos Home for the Pawlidayz event show more than 11,000 adoptions (and climbing!). The great stories and feedback from our partners are covered on BestFriends.org. The stories are heartwarming and inspiring. They are the face of the individual animals and the people who saved them.
For a moment, however, I want to take a look at the big picture, of which all these beautiful animals and dedicated people are a part.
Every day, more than 9,000 animals die in our nation’s shelters. The mission of Best Friends is to lead our movement in bringing that number to zero. It’s an ambitious goal and one that we know we cannot accomplish on our own and cannot accomplish without a clearly defined strategy and benchmarking goals.
Partnering with civic-minded companies to benefit not only Best Friends but our partners, our movement and, of course, the animals is an important part of our strategy. We know that the sustainability of our progress and success depends, in the final analysis, not simply on scaled-up programs and enlightened shelter operations. It depends more than any of that on the public — the animal-loving consumer — and what better way to mobilize the consumer than through the powerful channels of a public-facing business such as Zappos.
When Best Friends began in 1984, the no-kill movement was regarded by mainstream animal welfare organizations as an eccentric fringe idea. In fact, it reflected then, as it is known to reflect now, the sentiment of the American public — that healthy and treatable animals, regardless of age or appearance, should not be killed in our nation’s shelters.
The public is our biggest ally and advocate in achieving our No More Homeless Pets mission and last weekend’s Home for the Pawlidayz fee-waived adoption promotion is a great example of how we can partner with business to empower the public to do the right thing and save the lives of pets in shelters.
Together, we will Save Them All.
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Chief Development, Marketing and Communications Officer
Best Friends Animal Society