PetSmart®, PetSmart Charities and nearly 4,000 adoption partners are celebrating a record-breaking National Adoption Weekend that saw 32,159 pets find their forever homes. This tally is the most pets adopted during any National Adoption Weekend in the in-store adoption program’s 24-year history and it seems the power of social media may have played a part in the event’s landmark success.
Prior to its Sept. National Adoption Weekend, PetSmart Charities launched a new social media campaign centered around the hashtag #PicMe. The hashtag was intended to encourage people to snap a “pic” of an adoptable pet in a PetSmart store near them and share it on their social media channels to help spread the word about local shelter pets in need of a loving home. Those adoptable pets also hoped that someone would “Pic Me” and bring them home during the adoption blitz held at more than 1,600 PetSmart stores across the continent.
“The #PicMe campaign united animal lovers, animal welfare organizations, PetSmart stores and associates and potential pet adopters in a shared mission to help find forever homes for as many shelter pets as possible during a single weekend using social media,” said David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D. and president of PetSmart Charities. “We’re thankful to everyone who embraced social media as a means of sharing photos of adoptable pets. That, combined with the hard work of thousands of humane societies, SPCAs, pet rescues and shelters who work tirelessly to save the lives of homeless pets and get them ready for adoption in PetSmart stores, is what made this event such a great success.”
During the campaign, more than 1,600 Instagram posts and 300 tweets featured #PicMe along with adorable pics of adoptable pets from coast to coast. A cute, furry feed wasn’t the only benefit of this social sharing experiment. New pet parent, Emily Gleim, says she wasn’t planning on adopting a pet this past weekend until her boyfriend Justyn texted her a photo of a two-year old dog named Butterfinger that had been cared for by a Fla. rescue group called Haile’s Angels and was now up for adoption at their local PetSmart store.
“It was love at first sight. I was out for lunch with my mom when Justyn’s text came through. As soon as we saw Butterfinger’s photo on Instagram, we jumped in the car and drove to the PetSmart in Gainesville to meet him,” says Gleim. “He was so calm and sweet. We knew we wanted a smaller sized dog who was a little bit older and already house-trained, and Butterfinger was all that and more. As soon as we got there, he walked right up and started sniffing and licking us. That’s when we knew that Butterfinger was the pup for us. He needed a loving home, and now he has one, with us.” View Butterfinger’s adoption story coming soon on the PetSmart Charities Instagram channel.
Emily’s story isn’t unique. Tens of thousands of North Americans made the decision to help reduce pet homelessness by welcoming a shelter pet into their hearts and homes this weekend.
Every National Adoption Weekend, PetSmart stores also run a pet food and supply drive. PetSmart shoppers are invited to purchase much needed pet care items that are then donated back to a local animal welfare organization in their community. This Sept., more than 594,000 items were donated and will soon be delivered to agencies that are helping to rescue, feed and care for homeless pets in the neighborhoods where PetSmart associates live and work.