+
Most Shared

Pets are becoming social media managers to inspire pet lovers to adopt.

They're doing their part to find homes for shelter pets across America.

True
Ad Council + The Shelter Pet Project

Three years ago, I decided to adopt a cat from a shelter, and it changed my life completely.

I had debated doing it for years before actually walking the two-and-a-half blocks over to my local shelter, and now I wish I hadn't waited so long.

I stepped into the crowded pet viewing room and almost immediately locked eyes with not one, but two tiny tiger kittens, one gray and one orange, sitting quietly in the same cage.


I couldn't believe how steadily they held my gaze, and when I asked to pick them up, one climbed up my arm and perched on my shoulder, while the other snuggled under my chin.

That was it.

I went into the shelter with the intention of taking home one cat — and left with two.

Oh lord, what have I done? Photo via Ally Hirschlag.

Today, because I was open to it, I am the proud parent of two gorgeous cat siblings named Bill and Vespa, who fill every day with joy and laughter.  

Hug or chokehold? Tough call.

Bill and Vespa found their family, but there are millions of other pets who are still waiting at shelters and rescue groups for theirs.

And at the same time, there are an average of 29 million prospective pet parents looking to acquire a cat or dog each year. If fewer than 10% of them choose to adopt a pet, all the dogs and cats currently in shelters and rescue groups will find homes.

"We only need to find homes for fewer than 2 million pets each year — that's just a small fraction of the total number of pets who will be acquired in that same year," Mary Ippoliti-Smith, spokesperson for the pet rescue group Maddie's Fund®, a family foundation created to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals, writes in an email. "We're almost there, and every adoption gets us closer."

So how can we help reduce this number even further? Shelter pets themselves might be the answer.

What if shelter pets could use social media to showcase their friends to pet-seekers and help these amazing dogs and cats get adopted?

[rebelmouse-image 19530538 dam="1" original_size="640x478" caption=""Tell me more." Photo by Rex Sorgatz/Flickr." expand=1]"Tell me more." Photo by Rex Sorgatz/Flickr.

That's the brilliant idea behind the Social Paws initiative — a brainchild of The Ad Council, The Humane Society of the United States, Maddie's Fund, and J. Walter Thompson New York.

These three organizations established The Shelter Pet Project in 2009 to make shelters and rescue groups the first choice and preferred method for those looking to acquire a pet. With the Social Paws initiative, dogs and cats from shelters and rescue groups act as social media managers, creating cute, funny posts for The Shelter Pet Project’s social media channels. With these posts, dogs and cats are demonstrating how amazing shelter pets are and encouraging people to adopt.

Here's how it works:

Thanks to social media-savvy pets like the ones above, adopted pets everywhere have a voice. Sometimes all it takes is a look to know they're meant to be yours.

When you choose to adopt a pet, you're not only making their life infinitely better, you're making your life better too.

Just look at these happy customers:

Rescue animals often do well together, unless of course you neglect Lucy the Princess cat.

Nighttimes are always better with a fluffy cuddle buddy.

Happy #flashbackfriday everyone! We were tagged by @dashandvinnie for the #selfiewithmyhooman challenge and our pawrents think we're cuter than them (I mean DUH, just look at us! 😹) so we don't have a ton of selfies with them but this is my favorite picture of my momma and I right after they adopted me! Look at my belly floof!! I allowed snuggles and kissies for 0.7 seconds before I jumped away to play with dad. #toocuteformyowngood #cutestillgetsmeoutoftrouble #exceptwithsisfur😹😹 . #fbf #tabby #tabbycat #tabbycatsrule #tabbysofinstagram #tabbycatsofinstagram #catsofminneapolis #catsoninstagram #catsofinstagram #catstagram #rescue #rescuecat #rescuesofinstagram #rescueismyfavoritebreed #tabbykitten

A post shared by Gunnar 💙 & Benelli ❤️ (@originalsasshole) on

Adorable or adorably guilty?

A cat makes the best yoga companion.

This is what best friends look like.

Who says your baby has to be human?

#dogbaby #rescuedog

A post shared by Bowmaning (@keldabowman) on

Super Cat!

Take your dog to work day.

Giving Cutler a break from shelter life for #takeyourdogtoworkday 🐶 #dogs #dogsofinstagram #rescuedog #senior #adoptabledogs

A post shared by Rebecca Williams (@rebeccajwilliams90) on

This pet owns his human as much as his human owns him.

Louie hangin' out 😻😻 #Louie #furbaby #rescuecat #rhondastreasures #ragdollx

A post shared by Jessica Stanford (@honey_139) on

And it's not just about the happiness that endless snuggles can bring. Adopting a pet can have many other significant benefits too.

"Sharing our lives with pets has been shown to reduce allergies, lower blood pressure, help people get more exercise, feel more connected, and even contributes to shorter recovery times from surgery and illness," Ippoliti-Smith explains. "Add that to the joy of giving a second chance to a pet who needs one, and it's probably the best decision any of us will ever make."

The pets also get the opportunity to become the best version of themselves. Their personalities blossom when they're with a human family who loves them. You can see that clearly in all the personal adoption stories on The Shelter Pet Project's website.

If you've been thinking about adopting a furry friend, don't get cold feet.

Take it from a fellow shelter pet owner — the leap of faith will be worth it.

My husband, Mark, and our cat children. Photo by Ally Hirschlag.

For anyone who wants to start looking, you can search your local shelters using this helpful tool from The Shelter Pet Project. And if you have questions or concerns, you can always reach out to the organization from which you're interested in adopting.

Together we can easily empty out the shelters and rescue groups across the country. All it takes is a few simple steps to meet your new best friend.

*This article was written by Upworthy contributor Ally Hirschlag.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


Keep ReadingShow less
via LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


A dad from Portland, Oregon, has taken to LinkedIn to write an emotional plea to parents after he learned that his son had died during a conference call at work. J.R. Storment, of Portland, Oregon, encouraged parents to spend less time at work and more time with their kids after his son's death.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

Keep ReadingShow less