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Give a Dog a Second Chance – Opt to Adopt

ACF16890 Humane Society International/Canada Montreal, QC

Created September 23, 2013 by Humane Society International/Canada


Montreal, QC

Funding Level

$100k - 150k (< 2014)

Community Size

More than 1,000


Humane Society International/Canada will develop a public service announcement (PSA) campaign to deliver key messages about companion animals to the Canadian public: Give a Dog a Second Chance – Opt to Adopt.  

Featuring distinguished Canadians from the music, film, and media industries, the PSA will focus on raising awareness of the issue of puppy mills in Canada and changing public perception of shelter dogs.  

With countless dogs entering Canadian shelters and rescue organizations each year, HSI/Canada’s goal is to make shelters the first-choice for potential pet owners. By informing Canadians that shelter dogs make wonderful companion animals, this campaign will help find loving homes for thousands of dogs in need and raise awareness about the problem of puppy mills.  

The PSA campaign will feature four key messages:  

1) Opt to adopt – Adopting a dog instead of purchasing one in a pet store or online is one of the best ways to stop puppy mills and to provide a loving home to an animal in need.  

2) Breaking the cycle – Only the public can stop the cruel cycle of puppy mills by refusing to purchase their new family member from a pet store or online; outlets which rarely screen their “breeders” despite claiming not to source from puppy mills.  

3) Shelter dogs make great companion animals – Common misperceptions about shelter dogs present a huge challenge to finding loving homes for these deserving animals. In reality, shelter dogs are wonderful companions who made their way into a shelter typically due to human problems (such as impulse buying) and not through any fault of their own.  

4) Saving lives – More than two million dogs enter Canadian shelters and rescues each year; of those, more than half are euthanized. By adopting a dog from a shelter, you are not only adding a wonderful new member to your family, but you are saving two lives: the animal you adopt and the animal in need who takes the available space at the shelter.  

The Connection between Puppy Mills and Shelter Dogs  

Puppy mills are commercial breeding operations in which puppies are mass-produced for profit in substandard conditions. The goal of a puppy mill is to produce as many puppies as possible with minimal cost and maximal financial gain for the operator. In these facilities, mother dogs are confined in barren cages, forced to reproduce over and over again, until their bodies wear out. Their puppies often suffer congenital defects, which can become evident to their heartbroken owners months or years later.  

As Canadians continue to purchase dogs and puppies in pet stores, through newspaper ads and online, thousands more dogs and puppies wait in shelters for homes that will never be found. Tragically, too many dogs are euthanized in Canadian shelters each year.  

HSI/Canada’s PSA Give a Dog a Second Chance – Opt to Adopt will help spread the word that these deserving animals make wonderful family members and bring new hope to thousands of lives.  


Give a Dog a Second Chance – Opt to Adopt
PSA will be a national campaign to promote shelter dog adoptions through television, print, outdoor and online advertisements. In the past, HSI/Canada has partnered with celebrities such as Paul McCartney and Ryan Gosling for its campaigns. This time, HSI/Canada will work with distinguished Canadians that will speak to people across the country. In order to impact Canadians from coast to coast, both an English and a French version will be made, both targeted at their respective audiences. Featuring not only renowned celebrities, but also our great adopted furry-friends, the PSA will reach a broad audience and effectively raise awareness in every community affected by puppy mills. The PSA will air on television, but will also be supported by a print, outdoor and online media campaign which will spread the same message for even greater impact.

With Aviva’s Community Fund help, the communities support and your votes, HSI/Canada will be able to produce a truly compelling PSA that will help countless animals and inspire communities across the country. Help us save lives!