Project Dates: August 2008 - December 2023

Total Funding $6,516,388.09

Pro bono Advertising Agency: Wunderman Thompson

Since 2008, Maddie's Fund® and the Humane Society of the United States have partnered with the Ad Council to create and produce successful public service advertising campaigns focused on helping to get shelter pets adopted. From 2009 through 2021, The Shelter Pet Project was successful in generated more than $541M worth of donated advertising time and space. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that shelter pet adoption had become an established and recognized practice. In December 2020, the partners agreed to evolve this campaign’s focus to keeping pets and people together. Most of 2021 involved market research exploration and creative concept messaging for this new direction.

In January 2022, what was formerly The Shelter Pet Project became Pets and People Together campaign. Focus group research was initiated to determine how the general public felt about the opportunity to play a role to help support pets and people in their communities. When asked, an overwhelming majority said that "pets are family.” Creative advertising elements were shown to assess what would be memorable and inspire them to take action to help their neighbors and community members. Based on this feedback, the new #BeAHelper messaging was launched on October 12, 2022. This messaging debuted new heartwarming public service announcements (PSAs) focused on short-term foster care, donation of pet food to a food pantry and donations to help cover veterinary care for a neighbor, friend or family member.

These stories will be featured through a fully-integrated donated media program, including public relations, digital, online, outdoor, print and radio spots.

Muse (donate to cover pet care expenses for local pets)

Moon (foster a pet)

Magic Hour (donate pet food to a food pantry)

Additional messaging focuses on reuniting a lost pet with her family or what to do if you have lost a pet.

To date, Maddie’s Fund has provided over $6.5 million in total funding for this campaign. The Pets and People Together campaign, formerly known as the Shelter Pet Project, marked the first Ad Council campaign to focus on pets.