Pets are adorable. But our love for pets produces some very un-adorable facts. For example, in the U.S. alone there are 70 million stray dogs and cats, and of them only 6 to 8 million enter shelters. Of those that are in shelters, around 30 percent are purebred, and 90 percent are healthy and adoptable. Yet, only 18 percent of owned dogs and 16 percent of owned cats have been adopted from shelters. For most people, the go-to place for getting a pet remains the pet store. This encourages two types of cruelty — one that occurs in puppy mills that breed purebred dogs, and another that occurs in the overcrowded shelters where some of these same dogs go, after being abandoned by their owners.

Brazil, as many other countries, also has a problem with homeless animals. In order to raise awareness and encourage adoption, Associação Quatro Patinhas has started a clever campaign called Priceless Pets that runs under the slogan “Better than buying a life is saving one.” It frees future pet owners from their bias and shows them that there is no difference between the love and cuteness they’ll get from animals for sale and those for adoption.

The organization has partnered with 12 pet shops in Brazil (more can sign up), which have agreed to lend their displays for one day and replace the animals for sale with pets for adoption, without telling the customers. The following video shows the result. 

Animal shelters could definitely take some marketing tips from this campaign to increase their adoption rates. Not only could they try the same scheme, but also maybe even, instead of asking pet shops to lend their displays for one day a week, shelters could create their own “shops” at central locations in cities and “trick” the average pet buyer to adopt instead of buy.  

 

Photo: Priceless Pets