Local Pet Shelters Team up with Purina to Change Perceptions of Shelter Pets
Company, area shelters work together to showcase personality of shelter pets and increase pet adoptions through “Meet the Real Me” Campaign
As a result of common public misperceptions regarding the health, behavior and age of shelter pets, currently only 27 percent of household pets nationwide (and 40 percent locally) come from shelters.
To address this issue, Nestlé Purina and local pet shelters recently worked together to make sure people in the St. Louis region got to know shelter pets as they really are – friendly, attractive and wonderful lifelong companions.
“All too often, the misperception about shelter pets can result in these pets not being adopted,” said Libby Davidson, marketing associate, Purina Pet Welfare Team. “The ‘Meet the Real Me’ campaign is designed to raise awareness of the happy and healthy pets that live in our local shelters and increase pet adoption in the St. Louis area.”
Earlier this Fall and through last week, Purina reprised its uber-successful “Meet the Real Me” campaign to challenge the horrible misperceptions of shelter pets. Purina’s “Meet the Real Me” program included a multimedia advertising campaign – including billboards located around the St. Louis area – featuring a series of photos that showcase the beauty and personality of shelter pets. The featured animals are currently in – or were recently adopted from – local shelter organizations. New this year, Purina also partnered with several local pet shelters to host a single-day adoption event in mid-October. The event, which was a rousing success, showcased shelter organizations and adoptable pets in the St. Louis community.
In 2014, Purina provided its shelter partners with “Meet the Real Me” tools, including a set of photography guidelines and tips, downloadable posters and a computer monitor frame to help shelters and rescue organizations take photos that present their pets in a more positive way. These photography kits gave shelters the valuable tools they needed to showcase the true personalities of their shelter pets and increase chances for adoption. In fact, several of the photos featured in this year’s campaign were taken by shelter staff using Purina’s photography tools.
During last year’s “Meet the Real Me” digital advertising campaign, Petfinder.com – an online pet adoption website – saw a 27-percent increase in web traffic in the St. Louis area!
“After we began using the ‘Meet the Real Me’ photography tools, we saw an immediate increase in our pet pictures being shared,” said Steve Kaufman, executive director of the Animal Protective Association of Missouri. “We have maintained that higher level of shares consistently, and overall our adoptions are way up from last year.”
“A great photo of a shelter pet helps a person better understand a pet’s personality and beauty,” said Davidson. “These photos begin to tell a story that often concludes with these pets finding a new home.”
For the rest of the year, pet owners are encouraged to share photos they’re adopted pets on social media, using the hashtag #considerashelterpet.
For more information about the “Meet the Real Me” campaign or to find adoptable pets in your area, visit www.considerashelterpet.com.