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New ad campaign aims to dispel myths about shelter pets

Sure, some people say that Super Bowl ads are the best commercials out there (though PETA might disagree).  But for our money, a new advertising campaign called the Shelter Pet Project gives those high-profile, often-high-concept commercials a run for their money.

The ads -- which were created through a partnership between the Humane Society of the United States, Maddie's Fund and the nonprofit Ad Council -- are designed to dispel common myths about animals in shelters, and Humane Society president and CEO Wayne Pacelle describes them as part of the largest advertising campaign ever launched by the animal protection movement.  "There is a nagging perception on the part of some Americans that there is something wrong or defective with animals in shelters," Pacelle wrote on his blog. "But nothing could be further from the truth. Most of the animals in shelters would make great pets, and they are often well socialized, vaccinated, sterilized, microchipped, and primed for a wonderful new home."

It's easy to say that shelter pets aren't defective at all, but the new ads make the point with humor -- and they're all the better for it.  In one (above), an innocent-looking terrier mix plays against type by calling his owner a "total loser" after being abandoned -- and then makes a mess of the man's dropped wallet.  In the other (which aired for the first time on Animal Planet last week -- if you missed it, you can see it after the jump), a Boston terrier owned by a finance wizard accused of fraud laments that he's about to end up in a shelter because "I like tennis balls; he likes insider trading" before confessing to having once stolen a cheeseburger.

In addition to the television spots, the newly-launched Shelter Pet Project website has a flashy design and offers visitors the opportunity to search for adoptable pets through Petfinder and send e-cards to friends and family reminding them of the importance of adopting.  (You can also connect with the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.) 

-- Lindsay Barnett

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This is awesome! Hopefully many people will be made aware of all the great animals looking for homes in shelters!

This is AWESOME. I love it. So many wonderful pets are in shelters because of circumstances beyond their control!

Lady is an American Eskimo who was abandoned by her owners last March. I found her in a shelter in July. She is housebroken, sits patiently while she's leashed for a walk, will catch the ball, was spayed and up to date on her shots, and loves to snuggle and kiss. She's the best dog I've ever had and I can't believe how lucky I am.

One myth IS true; a shelter dog knows it was YOU who set them free from that cage and they love you for it!

As far as I'm concerned, they don't show commercials like this enough. They should run them ALL DAY LONG. The best pets are shelter pets.

I think it is great for peple to buy their pets from shelters if that is what they decide to do. I think it is just as great for people to be able to buy from a breeder. Freedom of choice is the American way! However, I really have to wonder how some of these shelters take in animals from raids and 'puppy mills' where we hear what awful condition they are in, diseased, deformed, etc., and then turn around and tout them as healthy wonderful pets! That just doesn't make sense to me. And for heaven's sake, let's stop using the term adopt when you get a shelter animal. Selling pets is big business for most (not all) shelters. Do the math.

Mr Pacelle would not know a 'wonderful" home if he saw it. Mr Pacelle does NOT own a pet. NOT ONE.. while no one says shelter pets are "defective".. (that seems to be Mr Pacelles latest diatribe) if people would buy their pets from breeders who have "return no questions asked" policies.. and there are MANY of them.. shelters would be close to empty.. however in trutht most shleters in Ca and in the norterhn cities and states are BEGGING for animals to sell .. yes SELL.. they don;t give them away and many charge as much if not more than some breeders..
pet finder is a BUSINESS folks.. not a feel good place.. they MAKE MONEY... lot of it...
if you want a pet i suggest you FIRST try a good breeder.. or pick a breed and try that breeds rescue.. that way you will be confident that your purchase ( not "adoption) was made with the best intentions and most knowledgeable way. Your chance of getting a happy healthy dog will be greater if you go this route.. it will also help keep animals OUT OF SHELTERS.
Friends Don't Let Friends Donate To the "Humane" Society of the United States..


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