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Creative Ways Animal Rescues & Photographers Can Work Together

Pet Lifestyle 06.15.2018
By Jill Caren
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Photographers are such an asset to animal shelters and rescues – and their work can truly inspire and encourage others to adopt, volunteer and be involved in helping create a more animal friendly world. The photographers who work in the pet world are some of the most compassionate, caring and giving people I know and I am thrilled to be able to consider many my friend.

I am constantly inspired to push myself further as a pet photographer and to be more creative – all in the effort to help homeless animals and wanted to share some of the ideas that I think are outside the box and effective in helping place homeless animals in home.

If you are in the NJ/NY area and are interested in teaming up on a pet related project – please reach out!

I have worked on a few of my own photo campaigns & fundraisers with some local shelters including the following:

Dogs Days of Woodbridge

This was a collaboration with the Woodbridge Animal Shelter – this photo calendar fundraiser was a true labor of love that resulted in not only $5K for the shelter – but more visibility for them as well. By working with the local businesses in town we were able to build a community of supporters for this small shelter and not only brought awareness to the shelter – but to the businesses that support the shelter. This was a successful campaign all around.

Below are a few ways animal shelters can team up with photographers and local businesses to bring awareness to their adoptables as well as raise funds!

Pitties & Pretties

I worked with the Monmouth County SPCA on this photo project we named “Pitties and Pretties: Opposites Attract” which paired up adoptable pit bulls with local female animal lovers dressed in their finest girl girl outfits to show that pit bulls are not just for “guys” and are not mean dogs. They can be a girls best friend when out and about for a day of shopping and lunch with the girls. We created the images in a local shopping center and just had a fantastic time putting it all together.

Bikers & Kitties

Another “Opposites Attract” campaign I worked on for the Monmouth County SPCA shelter, these bikers and kitties show that just about anyone can find love with a kitten by their side. These images are meant to inspire people to think outside the box when getting a pet – to eliminate pre-conceived notions of what they “should” get as a pet to what their hearts tell them! We worked with out local Harley Davidson dealer to acquire the biker models and the campaign was a huge success with all the cats getting adopted within the week of the images being released.

So – lets see some more fantastic photo marketing campaigns that help rescue animals!

Diamonds and Pets Are A Girls Best Friend

This is one of our favorite ideas! Trina Bauer is a photographer who had a vision and made it a reality! This concept is a WIN WIN WIN because not only does it get her name out there for her photography business but it gets much needed attention for the cats of her local rescue Center County PAWS and the jeweler gets some extra points with animal lovers as a brand that cares.

When Trina suggested the idea to the owner of Moyer Jewelers – she was all for it and Trina’s plan was now able to be executed!

The promotion was designed to celebrate Adopt A Shelter Cat Month – so throughout the store there are great images of cats looking for their forever homes alongside the jewelry they offer. The images were used in the window displays which we are sure captured the attention of local residents that were walking by the jeweler.

To read the full post or view more of her work, visit Trina’s website here.

Cat Adoption Campaign - Photographer & Jeweler
Cat Adoption Campaign - Photographer & Jeweler
image credit: Trina Bauer Photography

Movies Can Make Adoptable Stars

Another great idea to work with a local movie theater to get more exposure for pets from a local rescue. Forsyth Humane Society partnered up with Catch A Spark Photography and a/perture Cinema, which is also a nonprofit, to create an “adoptable” board during the debut of Isle of Dogs at their theater. We love how the photographs pop off the theaters black chalkboard background and that the Adopted signs are put up when a pet has found their forever home.

This gives potential adopters the idea that adoption is in! Which of course we know it is!

While this may not work with larger movie theaters (but it is still worth a try) – we suggest approach smaller theaters that may exist in your local area.

Animal Rescue Partnership With Movie Theater
image credit: a/perture cinema & Catch A Spark Photography

Cutouts Bring Pets To Life

We know that Ikea was a big name that implemented this type of campaign and we found some local shelters doing it as well with their local retailers which we think is a fantastic idea!

Ikea chose local rescues to work with for this campaign where adoptable pets were photographed then turned into cardboard cutouts to showcase throughout their stores. Each cutout also contained a QR code so shoppers can easily scan the code and get the most recent information about the pet!

A couple of rescues we found doing this were Paws 4 You and Humane Tomorrow and we love how each had their unique angle on this great idea. The cutouts are lifelike in size making them quite a visual display in any store. The purpose of this campaign is to allow potential adopters to really “feel” like the pet is right there with them so they can imagine how it would be to adopt them.

Humane Tomorrow had their display in a local retailer called Yogi Kids & Fit Family and had a cute card hung from around the neck with the rescue details. A mix of cat and dog cutouts were used throughout the store.

Animal Rescue Adoption Campaign Using Cutouts
image credit: Humane Tomorrow

Paws 4 You took it a step further and added the rescues name and pet name to the base of the cutout and added a super cute “Adopt Me”  bandana which we think gives it an extra level of “realness”. These cutouts were placed at Sunset Feed & Supply store and we can only imagine the impact it had!

Cutouts Of Animals For Adoption Display
image credit: Paws 4 You

The Printing

The only downside to this campaign is the cost in the printing and mounting. A few people used a company called Postnet and the prices seemed to range based on location. We highly recommend you look locally to get the cutouts printed since shipping could be high because these are large items. See if you can have someone sponsor the project to help subsidize or cover the cost!

Final Thoughts

As a photographer – and an animal advocate, finding unique ways for photographers and local businesses and photographers work together is one of my favorite things to do! I believe in teamwork and think working together to help create a better world for animals is the only way to go!

If you have an inspiring idea of how a photographer and shelter have worked together please let me know so I can get it added to the post to inspire others!

How animal rescues and photographers can work together

Jill Caren

Jill Caren Bio Logo

Jill Caren

Jill is the owner and creator of CharityPaws and has been involved in animal rescue for over 12 years as a volunteer and board member for Jersey Animal Welfare Society. You can read all of her articles here.

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