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Vampires and aliens: Pedigree imagines the fantastical past lives of shelter dogs

Half of the world’s dogs are homeless. That’s a lot of pooches who need forever homes. However, pet owners are more likely to buy pedigrees over adopting because they assume a dog from a shelter will have a chequered past that affects its behavior. Less than 40% of people in the US and 30% of people in Europe actually adopt after considering shelter dogs.

Pedigree wants to end this stigma and encourage people to rehome shelter dogs, which is why the premise of its latest campaign is: ‘Shelters are full of good dogs. They just need good homes.’ Created by BBDO New York, it uses fantasy to get the point across that it’s often the owner’s circumstances, not the dog’s behavior, that lands it in a shelter.

Both films are presented from the imagination of young pet owners, who can’t get their heads around why someone didn’t want their precious pets. In 'Vampire’ a young girl reckons her dog Sandy was once the companion of a vegan bloodsucking Dracula figure called Boris, who felt guilty his dog wasn’t able to mix with others because he prowled the night with his owner.

In ‘Alien’, Bandit’s first owner was a brilliant astronomer. Together they searched the cosmos for signs of intelligent life, when one night intelligent life found them. However, when the dog tractor beam didn’t work, the spaceship took off, leading Bandit behind.

“Helping homeless dogs find their forever homes is central to our mission here at Pedigree,” insists Fabio Alings, global brand director of Pedigree.

“People love furry friends, but they often shy away from adopting shelter dogs for fear that they may come with lots of trauma. This campaign challenges negative stereotypes surrounding shelter dogs by reminding people that shelters are full of good dogs who will make fantastic companions. All they need is an equally good new home.”

Together, Pedigree and BBDO have created a number of effective adoption initiatives, and leveraged tech to move petcare beyond the functional and into a category that creates a better world for animals. ‘Dogs on Zoom’ and ‘Doghouse’ (on Clubhouse) are two campaigns where the brand found innovative new ways to help shelter dogs find homes.

Globally in 2020, through Mars Petcare, it has provided over 6.5m pet meals, worked with 223 NGOs across 35 countries supporting pets and pet owners, and benefited more than 600,000 pets with its donations.

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