Cat, Dog Adoption Campaign Flips Angle

The Oregon Humane Society is urging residents to "end petlessness” in a new campaign aimed at boosting adoption numbers.

Shelter and humane societies across the country usually try to pull at heartstrings by sharing pictures and stories of homeless dogs and cats in an effort to place pets into permanent homes and combat pet overpopulation. This year, the Oregon Humane Society (OHS) is pushing adoption by shifting the focus onto those who don’t have pets – and highlighting all the positive experiences they’re missing out on.

Its mission is to “end petlessness.”

The campaign is the brainchild of advertising agency Leopold Ketel & Partners. The animated TV spot shows people in everyday situations – such as talking on a cell phone or working – when pets pop into the picture and instantly create a more joyful environment. The campaign also includes billboards and print advertisements.

“What we love about this campaign is that those guys really turned that on its head and they said ‘What about those poor guys who don’t have a pet at all?,’” said Barbara Baugnon, marketing communications director at the OHS.

Already boasting high adoption rates, Baugnon said the OHS wanted to continue their upward trend. And in the few weeks since the advertising campaign was rolled out, it seems to be working.

“In the last 3 weeks we’ve definitely seen a marked improvement in adoptions,” she said.

Last year, the OHS found homes for 8,671 pets, which represented 98 percent of their dogs, 85 percent of their cats, and 91 percent of other small animals (birds, rabbits, ferrets, etc.).

“This year we are kicking major butt,” she said. “We have 99 percent of dogs going home and 91 percent of cats … This year we’re going for 10,000 adoptions. We’re hoping this campaign opens new doors for us.”

Heidi Hatch, Associate News Editor for

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