The true north for Best Friends Animal Society, our core guiding principle, is that we can save them all — that all lives are worth saving and all lives have intrinsic value. Whether it be Michael Vick’s champion fighting dogs or Riley the horse who needs a prosthetic leg, we will push the boundaries to demonstrate a new norm for the term “adoptable.”
So it’s no surprise that the unwritten rule our adoption team lives by is the right home is out there for every animal in our care. That means for every animal — no matter how quirky or different looking he or she may be, no matter his or her history — the right family is out there looking for them. It’s something we’ve successfully proven time after time. That was the basis for our latest adoption program, the Single and Loving It campaign.
At the Sanctuary, just like at many shelters and sanctuaries around the country, there are animals who are better off as loners. Just like people, they don’t really want to hang out in groups; they’d rather just fly solo. They love people, and they may love other species, but their own kind? Nah.
Knowing we had to create a demand niche for these loners, our intensely creative marketing team went to work. They took the notion viral by creating a sharing campaign for our fans, members and supporters — most of whom already have lots of pets but might know people looking for just one. Social media, email and the web were all used to feature these lovelies. Abby the dog was posted on Instagram and Facebook, and more than 6,000 likes, 1,800 shares and 300 comments later, we had an adopter (a woman who gave her phone number in a Facebook comment, by the way). She fell in love instantly!
Take Orlando, a very handsome black Lab and a very happy dog. He’s incredibly smart, knows basic commands, and is very treat-motivated. He’s a great candidate to learn lots of tricks. But he’s an attention hog and full of energy, and he likes all the focus to be on him. For that reason, he’s just better off in a one-dog home. But who knows, with the right home environment, and some good training from his new mom and dad, he could very easily get past some of those issues. Because of the campaign, Orlando is going to his forever home later this month to a great family who have adopted from us before. He’ll be a best buddy with cat Maxamillionaire, a former resident of the Sanctuary.
And let’s not forget about the cats. Many of us have met those cats and know exactly what we’re talking about. They’re the king or queen of their domicile, acting as if they run the joint. They’re people-friendly, but just not OK with other felines.
Vincent is a cat who is positive for feline leukemia, and he’s not really a fan of other cats. He could live with other kitties who share his condition, but he’d prefer not to. So with two strikes against him, we are thrilled to say he is now going to a wonderful home where he’ll be loved endlessly.
But the success didn’t stop with our more difficult-to-place Sanctuary animals. Almost Home Humane Society in Lafayette, Indiana, used the creative from the campaign to find homes for animals too (we made all the graphics and information available to our more than 1,000 partners). A family looking for their next member walked by the dog runs at their facility. They saw the cage card with the beautiful heart graphic and decided they wanted to know more. The appropriately named dog Valentine went home and has settled beautifully with her new family!
With some creativity, thought and effort, we can truly save them all!
Senior Director, Communications
Best Friends Animal Society