How it’s Being Done, Brilliantly: Calgary Humane Society Applies a Little Peer Pressure

Calgary Animal Shelter Loves Their Rescue Shepherd, Tova

Recreate this photo, using lots and lots of people and that ONE, SINGLE DOG you’ve been trying to home!

One week after this photo was posted by Calgary Humane Society, Tova the shepherd was adopted.

And I wonder: is it easier to be a hero if everybody’s watching?  Do dogs that get that extra notice from a lot of people get adopted more quickly?  Or to put it another way, do we want to help more, if we know the thing we’re doing will be noticed for the good deed that it is?

This picture says to me, Here are all the good people who will sleep easier at night knowing Tova is home.

Calgary Humane Society’s Marketing and Social Media Coordinator Shandell Van Hell seemed to know this intuitively when she posed shelter staff and volunteers around Tova:

"It wasn't hard to get everyone gathered -- I just sent an all staff email
asking staff to join us for a photograph with Tova for our website and 
social media avenues.  At that point, staff would have done pretty much 
anything I asked of them if it meant getting Tova adopted!"

She shot the photo purposely leaving a nice clean background (the brick wall) where she could drop in giant text afterwards.  And who wouldn’t love that group picture?  It shows the staff of a shelter that looks fun and welcoming.  The precise opposite of the “territorial” shelter.  The picture went up on the Calgary Humane Society Facebook page.

By involving as many people as possible in this photo, she gives Tova’s social media marketing campaign an added boost: if there are thirty people in a photo, that’s thirty people who might post this picture to their Facebook page, Twitter feed, Pinterest page or blog (I know I did!).  That’s the chance for thirty more exposures to their friends.  (This group picture was shared 247 times).

Tova was adopted from Calgary Humane Society.

Adopted! Tova leaves Calgary Humane Society. Is it any surprise? This picture was posted on Facebook with the message: “Last night, just one day shy of the 300 mark, we finally matched Tova with her forever family. Last night, a lovely woman walked into the shelter, met with Tova, fell in love and will be taking our sweet girl home tonight! A HUGE thank-you to everyone who shared Tova’s story and never stopped believing that her pefect home was out there.”

The next time you’re thinking of using social media marketing for a particular long-term dog or cat, try this:

  • Provoke the hero instinct in potential adopters, and get a crowd that looks like they’d do anything for your dog or cat;
  • Compose the photo with a clean background, enough space to drop in great big text;
  • More people in the photo means more posting and sharing across social media platforms;
  • Put your dog or cat front and center!;
  • Make the textual message, above, as simple, straightforward, “in the moment” as possible.  No bummers.

TWEET THIS.

I can’t tell you how happy I am for Tova.  Shepherds form a very special, strong bond with their owners and I hate the thought of a shepherd without a person to love and be loyal to.  Shantell, you and CHS are AMAZING.

Stuffed animal plush toy pitbulls based on real-life shelter rescues.  Pocket Pitties, from CharlieDog and Friends

CharlieDog and Friends’ “Pocket Pitties”, plush toy pitbulls based on real-life shelter rescues.

For this post, CharlieDog and Friends is sending Calgary Humane Society a collection of our “Adopt” collar bracelets and Pocket Pitties.

Do you know a shelter that’s doing it brilliantly with an innovative or unique approach to social media marketing for their homeless pets?  Let us know!: info@charliedogandfriends.com

Charlie’s Checkbook: Our Plush Pet Gypsy Helps Potsdam Humane Society

Gypsy, a plush Australian Cattle Dog from CharlieDog and Friends, is based on a real-life animal shelter rescue from the Potsdam Humane Society

Our plush Australian Cattle Dog (rescued, of course!) is named Gypsy, after a real-life inspiration living in Upstate New York. This pinteresty photo first appeared on the pet photography blog, Daily Dog Tag; it’s styled and photographed by Alice G Patterson.

CharlieDog and Friends is some pretty purposeful plush toy.  We started our stuffed animal business just to raise money for homeless pets, and now that we have our legs under us*, we’ll be showing you Charlie’s Checkbook every Monday.

We started CharlieDog and Friends with four plush toys: Charlie, Murphy, Gypsy and Clyde, each based on a real-life rescued pet.  The point was to create these toys, try to sell them to raise money for their shelters or rescues, and maybe let people know: it’s OK to rescue your next pet.  It’s even preferable.  If you ask me, it’s the ONLY way to go.

This week we’re signing a nice donation check to Potsdam Humane Society, because the real-life Gypsy, a rescued Australian Cattle Dog, came from this Upstate New York shelter (which, by the way, just boasted that they are, for once, Guinea pig-free, having adopted their last guinea pig out this weekend!)

And we wanted to say: Thank YOU.  This is our dream, and slowly — very slowly — it’s moving ahead,  in the right direction — but not without the help of some very special and generous customers and friends.

A rescued Australian Cattle Dog is the inspiration for our plush australian cattle dog (ASD) named Gypsy, and benefits the Potsdam Humane Society, an animal shelter in Upstate New York.

Gypsy, a rescued Australian Cattle Dog from Potsdam Humane Society in Upstate New York, with her plush toy Gypsy. She’s an agility enthusiast and a wonderful, 100% rescued family pet. Now why on earth would anyone go to a breeder for their next cattle dog?

Do you know someone who’s thinking of bringing home a new family pet, and isn’t sure where that pet is going to come from — but you want a gentle, cuddly way to encourage adoption?  You can send them message by sending it in stuffed animal form.  Just drop by Gypsy’s little corner of the Internet.  Like all CharlieDog pets, she ships in a tissue-wrapped, colorful, crinkly nest of shredded paper, with a hang tag to tell her story and a collar that says all you need to say: “ADOPT”.

Tweet this for Potsdam Humane Society!

*Why did this take so long?  Well, we’ve made some donations along the way, but mostly we’ve been paying off our start-up costs, which have been lots!  But not unexpected.  We’re just happy we’ve gotten to the point where we can finally begin fulfilling our mission of giving.