Having a great marketing team is the ultimate way to reach out to your audience — even if you’re an animal shelter. And one shelter in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has a heck of a team.
The Sioux Falls Area Humane Society posted a video a few days ago of a sweet puppy that was still waiting for her family.
“Aja has been watching potential families walk past her kennel without much interest in her,” said the video description. “This was as someone walked past her kennel. Will someone show this lady what forever love feels like?”
In the 22-second video, Aja, a sweet white dog with black spots, watches someone walk by.
Her eyes grow expectant, then sad, her ears drooping as she realizes they weren’t coming to her.
The video and her heartbreaking reaction have touched the hearts of thousands of people. In the six days since the video was posted, it’s gone viral, sparking 1,500 comments, 3,400 reactions, and 3,400 shares.
“I have volunteered at the Humane Society for a while but haven’t been there for a few months,” wrote one commenter. “After this video, I am going to spend time with Aja tomorrow!! It breaks my heart. She’s so deserving! Someone adopt her!”
Many people commented on the video expressing interest in adopting the sweet dog, but many had obstacles.
Some had other dogs that required their time and attention — and staff from the Humane Society said she was still nervous around other dogs. Others said their living arrangements didn’t allow animals. But finally, the video did its job.
Only five days after the first video, the Society posted an update saying that Aja had been adopted.
The short video showed the pup being led on a leash out the doors with her new family.
In the second video, she had perked up and was clearly excited, dancing around at the heels of her new owners.
Staff from the Humane Society said they posted the first video hoping to reach out to a broader audience than they usually had access to.
And they said that, frankly, even finding an animal a forever home is about marketing.
“It’s just a great way to get them in front of more eyes,” said Bethany Buitenbos, creative services coordinator at the Humane Society. “The more eyes, the better chance they have to get a home. So, the happier things don’t usually have as big of an impact as the sadder videos. Sometimes we have to use the sadder videos to get animals out there.”
Call it sneaky if you want, but for Aja, it proved effective.
The thousands of comments and subsequent happy adoption showed just how successful it was.
People online were thrilled to hear that Aja’s story had a happy ending. Now, she won’t be sitting in a kennel, watching people walk by. She’ll be getting belly rubs and romps in the yard with her very own family.
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