The Humane Society of the United States

Project Dates: January 2014 - December 2016

Total Funding:$4,053,750

With the assistance of Maddie's Fund®, The Humane Society of the United States has created an online campaign to raise awareness of inhumane conditions in puppy mills and encourage consumer change.

In their research for this campaign, HSUS learned that even those aware of puppy mills did not know of the abuse and neglect that occur in them. They also discovered most consumers do not associate puppy mills with puppies available in pet stores and over the Internet. As a result, the online campaign, featuring messages like Same Day Pups and Don't Buy into Puppy Mills, was designed to raise awareness of inhumane conditions in puppy mills and encourage consumer change.

The campaign focuses on reaching consumers at the critical moment when they are considering buying a new dog, to communicate with them about puppy mills and adoption. Based on the numbers, it seems to be doing just that. Since its launch in April 2015:

  • The campaign has intercepted 97,051 shoppers searching for a puppy online.
  • 'Same Day Pups' has received 166K unique visitors with a bounce rate of 4.04%
  • 'Don't Buy into Puppy Mills' received 238K unique visitors, 27% of which were from the hoax site.
  • The video has been viewed 5.9MM times.

In the Fall of 2016, HSUS ran a social media outreach campaign that revolved around a video called "A Children's Story". The goal was to intercept people who are looking for a dog online, and steer them away from deceptive websites that are fronts for puppy mills. Funded by Maddie's Fund, the video includes children who give creative answers to the question "Where do puppies come from?" Their answers are amusing, but then the viewer sees the truth about where many puppies are actually born. This campaign urges people to abstain from buying a dog at a pet store or sight unseen over the internet.