The shelter's social media team started drawing portraits of their adoptable animals and sharing them online.
Pets, with their innocent eyes and wagging tails, often find themselves struggling to get adopted. These lovable creatures yearn for a forever home and a family to call their own. Sadly, many pets languish in shelters or rescue organizations, waiting patiently for someone to give them a chance. Despite their loyalty, affection, and unwavering companionship, they face barriers to finding loving homes.
However, one animal shelter in Canada has adopted a unique approach to putting out adoption appeals, reports Newsweek. People working at the Ottawa Humane Society came up with a new idea: drawing their portraits and posting their sketches on the shelter's social media.
Our camera broke so we’ve resorted to drawing our adoptable animals.— Ottawa Humane Society (@ottawahumane) May 9, 2023
Meet Addison, a *beautiful* two-year-old pug mix. If this picture intrigues you, just wait until you meet her! https://t.co/58oebwQqbK pic.twitter.com/4R4BhzIRrH
"We thought it would be funny if we pretended our camera broke and were forced to draw the animals. We also hoped that it would be disruptive and different since our feed is always filled with quality photos of animals, " said Stephen Smith, Ottawa Humane Society's communications manager. "We also hoped that it would be disruptive and different since our feed is always filled with quality photos of animals. We are a community leader in tackling animal-welfare issues."
Need a rabbit who will love you a latte?— Ottawa Humane Society (@ottawahumane) May 9, 2023
If you can’t tell, Espresso is a fluffy lionhead rabbit. She’s looking for a loving family as unique as she is!
Adopt Espresso: https://t.co/uIduXqSdHs pic.twitter.com/QiKgdkgs4V
According to Smith, their organization provides various programs aimed at supporting families and their pets during challenging times, such as affordable spay and neuter services and a pet food bank. Additionally, they offer a range of initiatives for children and youth, aiming to foster the development of responsible pet ownership and animal advocates in the upcoming generation.
The Ottawa Humane Society, founded in 1888, initially focused on caring for horses and children before expanding to discarded pets and, in particular, Ottawa's homeless animal population. Wishing to try a hand at something novel, the shelter's social media team devised the idea of posting a series of sketches online featuring some of their residents.
We’re doing our best.— Ottawa Humane Society (@ottawahumane) May 9, 2023
Meet Annie, a one-year-old American rabbit who is not as round as shown here.
Adopt Annie! https://t.co/Om6JRvH6gE pic.twitter.com/1amiSAKlsh
Pumpkin the cat, Addison the giraffe pug, mojo the cat, Annie the American rabbit and Espresso, a fluffy lionhead rabbit, were chosen for the portraits. The sketches were shared on social media with the caption, "Our camera broke so we've resorted to drawing our adoptable animals." When the images of the real-life animals were revealed, the pictures received a lot of attention. Overall, Smith was "pleasantly surprised" by the response, with the photos receiving thousands of likes and a flood of comments from animal lovers.
The third dimension is overrated.— Ottawa Humane Society (@ottawahumane) May 9, 2023
Pumpkin is a six-year-old cat who can be frightened of new people and situations, but she’s even sweeter than her name: https://t.co/RB8fsyrEHa pic.twitter.com/Pcf6mayLzz
Love it! Hope these adorable animals find loving forever homes 💗— dan-yell (@LetUrL1ghtShine) May 22, 2023
Smith attributes the posts' popularity to the "genuine" nature of what is presented in each of their sketches. "It took about 30 minutes for each. We also received a number of comments that were shocked about how accurate Addison's depiction was," Smith added. "A lot of people assumed we exaggerated her features, but were amazed to find out that she actually looks like that."
*UPDATE* it turns out we just left the lens cap on. That’s a relief, we weren’t sure how much longer we could keep this up.— Ottawa Humane Society (@ottawahumane) May 9, 2023
View all of the adoptable animals and find your new best friend! https://t.co/2TIwkwzCnq pic.twitter.com/XBrrcCtc8z
Smith expressed their surprise at the widespread sharing of the drawings, stating that they initially expected only their usual followers to appreciate them. However, they are delighted to see that many people enjoyed the illustrations and found them amusing. The best part is that the animals have directly benefited from the increased attention. Addison, the famous giraffe pug, has found a loving home through adoption, and Pumpkin has a scheduled meeting with a potential adopter.
Smith emphasized that while it is important to address the issue of homeless animals needing permanent families, it is equally crucial to recognize and celebrate the unique and sometimes silly personalities of these animals. The drawings served as a creative way to showcase the animals from a fresh and unexpected perspective, capturing the essence of what makes each of them truly special.