We love our pets – dogs, cats, fish, birds, rabbits – and we have a lot of them. But dogs are the most popular animal in American households. According to a recent survey by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), about 90 million dogs are kept as pets in the United States, in 60 million households. Yet, many animal shelters remain overwhelmed and more than half a million dogs are euthanized each year because they don’t find a home.
Ahead of Animal Planet’s annual Puppy Bowl, which airs on February 4, the network has forged a series of brand partnerships to raise awareness about adoption, and encourage people to donate to shelters.
The Problem: Each year, 6.5 million cats and dogs enter animal shelters in the United States, 3.3 million of which are dogs according to the non-profit American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Of this number, 1.6 million dogs get adopted, others are strays that successfully return home, but the remaining 600,000 dogs are euthanized each year because they can’t find owners. While the ASPCA estimates that the total number of annual animal euthanizations has decreased from 2.6 million since 2011, raising awareness about pet welfare and adoption is crucial to supporting city shelters.
The Approach: This year, Animal Planet teamed up again with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Tinder, Baublebar, Georgetown Cupcake and Southwest Airlines to raise awareness about pet adoption and animal welfare.
Tinder users can find puppy dating profiles and swipe right to donate to the ASPCA, while the jewelry company Baublebar created a limited edition collection of leashes and dog collars, with 15 percent of all proceeds being donated to the NYC-based animal rescue Social Tees.
Meanwhile, Georgetown Cupcake has created custom Puppy Bowl cupcakes, which will be available in all their locations across the United States. The network has also collaborated with Grounds & Hounds to develop a custom Puppy Bowl coffee blend. The medium roast is made out of 100 percent Fair Trade Organic beans from Guatemala and Papua New Guinea. It’s available online, with 30 percent of proceeds funding the transfer of shelters animals to foster homes.
Finally, Southwest travelers will have in-flight access to Puppy Bowl specials. Also, Slobbr, an app that connects dog owners with pet-friendly places, is hosting a sweepstakes to encourage app users to post on social media in support of their Kibble Feed Program, which donates a half-cup of kibble to a preselected shelter home. These people also get registered in a giveaway and could have their pet's picture featured on the Slobbr landing page for a whole month.
The feel good:
Not only is the Puppy Bowl the “world’s cutest sporting event,” but for a seventh consecutive year, the 39 puppies starring in Animal Planet’s show will be placed into homes after the broadcast.