Press Release

Shelter Pets Transcend TV Screens In New ‘Meet’ PSAs From The HSUS, Maddie’s Fund and the Ad Council

Shelter Pets Transcend TV Screens In New ‘Meet’ PSAs From The HSUS, Maddie’s Fund and the Ad Council

Washington, DC, February 20, 2014 / PRNewswire / —Today the Ad Council, in partnership with The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Maddie’s Fund®, launches a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) on behalf of The Shelter Pet Project campaign. In the new ads, adorable adopted shelter dogs and cats practically reach through TV screens, imploring audiences to play with them. Prospective pet owners are reminded that there are thousands of amazing shelter pets ready to meet them.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS said: “We hope these videos inspire animal lovers around the country to support their local animal shelters and that they encourage their friends to adopt a pet in need of a home.”

Draftfcb Chicago, the volunteer advertising agency who created the ads, took a playful approach to breaking down shelter pet adoption barriers in the new TV, outdoor and web PSAs. The individual personalities of real-life adopted shelter dogs and cats are showcased with the pets playfully licking or pawing at screens seemingly in an effort to reach pet lovers on the other side. Each PSA concludes with the message that, “The only way to find out how amazing shelter pets really are…is to meet one,” and invites viewers to to learn more.

“One of the hardest barriers to overcome in the shelter pet adoption process is getting people to the shelters to see the animals, so we're offering an interactive first meeting. From there, the pets’ personalities really take over. They're pretty much impossible to say ‘no’ to!” said Draftfcb EVP/Executive Creative Director Jon Flannery.

Since its inception in 2009, The Shelter Pet Project has worked to lift public perception of animal shelters and shelter pets and has been part of driving down the number of pets who lose their lives in shelters by 12 percent. Three to four million shelter pets get adopted each year, which means just 29 percent of dogs and 33 percent of cats in American homes were adopted from shelters or rescue groups.1 2.7 million healthy or treatable pets still need our help to find a home each year.

“There is no power greater than the compassionate hearts of animal lovers,” said Maddie's Fund® President Rich Avanzino. "That's why we know that when this campaign introduces these amazing dogs and cats to the public, we're going to see a wave of people heading to the shelters to ‘meet’ their future family members.”

“We are so proud of the success of this campaign in reducing stigma and euthanasia rates over the past four years, but much remains to be done,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “Our hope is that this new round of innovative and interactive work will inspire even more people to head to their local animal shelters to meet their new pet companions.”

Prospective pet owners are encouraged to, where they can search available pets by zip code, read adoption success stories and learn valuable information about pet adoption. For daily updates, follow The Shelter Pet Project via social media onFacebook, Twitter @shelterpetsPinterestInstagramand Tumblr.

To date, The Shelter Pet Project campaign has received approximately $155.6 million in donated media. The campaign website received over 1.2 million visits in the past year. Per the Ad Council model, the PSAs will be distributed to media outlets nationwide and run in advertising time and space donated by the media. 

The Humane Society of the United States 
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We’re there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — on the Web

Maddie’s Fund®
Twenty years ago, a Miniature Schnauzer named Maddie inspired a $300 million legacy to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals. Maddie's Fund®( is the family foundation endowed by the founder of Workday® and PeopleSoft, Dave Duffield and his wife, Cheryl. It is named in honor of Maddie, their beloved Miniature Schnauzer who passed away in 1997. Today, through its grant giving, hands-on animal care, research and education, Maddie's Fund is helping to achieve and sustain a no-kill nation by providing solutions to the most challenging issues facing the animal welfare community.

The Ad Council
The Ad Council ( is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has effected, and continues to effect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit You can also or follow the Ad Council on Twitter @AdCouncil.

Draftfcb is focused on creating ideas that change behavior to move our clients’ businesses. With nearly 140 years of communications expertise, Draftfcb’s worldwide network spans 150 offices in 90 countries, with over 8,000 people, and is part of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE:IPG). For more information, visit

1Figures were compiled from the 2013–2014 APPA National Pet Owners Survey and estimated by The Humane Society of the United States using statistics provided by The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy.

Media Contacts:
Lisa Cullen
Ad Council
[email protected]

Raúl Arce-Contreras
The Humane Society of the United States
[email protected]

Alison Gibson
Maddie’s Fund® 
[email protected] 

Whitney Stephens
[email protected]

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