There’s a perfect pup for every person — sometimes they just need help finding each other.
That’s the theme of a new ASPCA social media campaign designed to boost adoptions of homeless dogs in New York City and across the country.
“Find Your Fido” launched on Monday when “Fido,” a cut-out of a smiling mixed-breed pooch, started appearing at different locations in the city.
ASPCA hopes people share photos of Fido as well as dogs available for adoption at their local shelters with the hashtag #FindYourFido. NYPD and FDNY plan to join in on the social media fun as well.
“We have a message we think is very powerful,” said Gail Buchwald, the senior vice president of the ASPCA adoption center. “We estimate 3.3 million dogs enter animal shelters across the country every year. We need to reach everyone who has a home and a heart.”
A Find Your Fido and Friends adoption event will take place at Central Park on Oct. 7 to showcase available pets from the ASPCA and Animal Care Centers of NYC, or ACC.
Buchwald said there is “a lot of mythbusting” to be done for people who aren’t comfortable in shelters, or think there is something wrong with the animals inside.
“Shelter animals are people’s pets who ended up in a shelter through no fault of their own,” Buchwald said. “People move and they can’t find pet-friendly housing, they don’t have the financial means or sometimes an owner passes away.”
Throughout the United States, stray and unwanted dogs face an uncertain fate. While many shelters try not to euthanize healthy, adoptable animals, they are hobbled by limited space and funds.
“The feeling of going into a shelter and coming out with a new best friend — everyone should have that experience,” Buchwald said. “Shelter animals make amazing pets.”
The ASPCA is also hoping Fido will help convince busy New Yorkers that having a companion animal will fit into their busy lifestyle.
“Some people think if they live in small apartments they can’t have a big dog or any dog at all,” Buchwald said. “But it all comes down to lifestyle and compatibility.”
ACC, the only shelter in the city required to take in any stray or unwanted animal that comes through its doors, is hoping to lure as many potential adopters as possible.
“ACC has so many Fidos who are ready for their forever home,” ACC spokeswoman Katy Hansen said.
October is Adopt a Shelter Dog month, a national annual event that aims to get people to bypass the pet shop and take a look at canines picked up as strays or surrendered by their owners. The ASPCA is working with about 600 organizations across the nation — including Animal Care Centers of New York City — on the Find Your Fido campaign.