February 11, 2013

Sharon Fletcher, Director of Marketing & Communications

As part of a weeklong series on NBC's TODAY Show called "TODAY Takes Action," shelter pet adoption is the social issue of choice for co-anchor Natalie Morales.

Natalie worked in partnership with Maddie's Fund, the Ad Council and The Humane Society of the United States to create a pro bono TV ad with leading global ad agency Draftfcb Chicago to support The Shelter Pet Project, the first national PSA campaign that brings together the largest animal welfare organizations and shelters across the country to promote the adoption of shelter pets.

Her fellow anchors also worked with the Ad Council, a non-profit and leading producer of PSA campaigns for over 70 years, and other leading advertising agencies throughout the country on messages supporting social issues they personally selected from among the Ad Council's 50 national campaigns. Matt Lauer chose Fatherhood Involvement, Savannah Guthrie focused on Hunger Prevention and Al Roker selected Emergency Preparedness. Each of the four anchors participated in brainstorming sessions with the ad agencies to help inform the creative process and finished product.

Natalie Morales is very passionate about the issue of shelter pet adoptions after having adopted her dog, Zara, following a pet adoption segment for TODAY in April 2011.

"The animal lovers of America are indebted to Natalie Morales and NBC's TODAY Show for helping to create a no-kill nation by promoting shelter pet adoptions and The Shelter Pet Project during 'TODAY Takes Action' week," said Rich Avanzino, President of Maddie's Fund.

The new PSAs are being distributed to NBC stations nationwide. The production costs for the PSAs have been provided by the Ad Council's non-profit and federal government partners. NBC is also featuring content about the series on TODAY Show's website and you can follow the series on Twitter at #TODAYTakesAction.

About Maddie's Fund

Maddie's Fund® is a family foundation established in 1994 by Dave and Cheryl Duffield and is the fulfillment of a promise to their inspirational dog, Maddie. She provided them much joy from 1987 – 1997 and continues to inspire them today.

The Foundation has awarded over $275.7 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, pioneering shelter medicine education and establishing foster care as a standard across the U.S.

Maddie's Fund proudly offers the industry a national voice, important funding opportunities for bold ideas, learning resources and access to collaborate and share innovative solutions. The Foundation invests its resources in a commitment to keeping pets and people together, creating a safety net of care for animals in need and operating within a culture of inclusiveness and humility. #ThanksToMaddie.