It’s estimated that over 6.5 million animals enter U.S. shelters every year. Sadly, many of them — around 670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats — don’t make it out. And while euthanasia rates have been declining steadily over the past several decades, it’s still overwhelming to think about the number of animals losing their lives simply because they don’t have a home.

The plight of animals in shelters is leading more people to choose adoption, but the thought of walking into a shelter full of animals is still intimidating for some who worry about becoming emotionally overwhelmed. One of the ways shelters are trying to change the stereotype of being a place filled with sadness is by renovating their facilities to be bright and inviting (and even eco-friendly), or by partnering with rescue organizations and pet supply stores to host adoption events.


Another great trend is the creation of videos and creative programs that help promote adoption. Sure, we’ve all seen the videos that leave us in tears, but these videos are nothing like that. Now don’t get us wrong, they still pull at your heartstrings, but in a totally different way. They’ll make you laugh and smile, and inspire you to adopt your next best friend. Because as we know, shelter animals are pretty awesome.

1. East Bay SPCA


This Oaktown pup video created by the East Bay SPCA in California features shelter workers with a variety of adorable pups rocking out to their own parody of a song you’re likely to recognize. Along with talking about the awesome benefits of adoption, they include a message about the importance of spaying and neutering your pets. It’s pretty hard not to dance along while watching this one. Even some of the pups in the video show off their impressive dance moves. The best part? All of the dogs in the video were adopted!

2. Fur Kids Animal Rescue


You know the cheesy commercials and infomercials where a salesperson is trying to convince you to visit their car sales lot or jump online to order the latest gadget? Well, FurKids Animal Rescue, a no-kill shelter in Georgia, decided to take that idea and twist it a bit to promote cat adoptions at their shelter. Is it cheesy? Definitely. Hilarious, yet adorable? Absolutely. They even have a cat in the video that knows how to give a “high-five” on cue. It really doesn’t get much better than that.

3. Animal Humane Society


Talking cats and kittens? Yes, please. In this video by the Animal Humane Society in Minnesota, adoptable cats and kittens “tell” adopters what they want. Their demands are pretty simple, even for a cat: a warm bed, a home, a human to love. Isn’t that what all animals want? These cats help us realize that through the simple act of adopting, we can make a shelter animal’s dream become a reality.

4. Santa Fe Animal Shelter


In a parody of The Bachelor, the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society in New Mexico produced a hilarious video featuring an adorable dog named Stewart as the canine “bachelor.” In true reality television fashion, you see tears, jealousy and drama as they battle over who is Stewart’s perfect match. The organization is using the hashtag #adoptabachelor to encourage potential adopters to find their own bachelor or bachelorette match.

5. The Shelter Pet Project


This short but sweet video uses Instagram stars Hamilton and Toast, and YouTube star Keyboard Cat to encourage people to adopt. Their #StartAStoryAdopt campaign is one of the many ways The Shelter Pet Project is inspiring people to adopt their next family furry family member, including a special section on their website featuring posts from people who’ve adopted. For those who are inspired to adopt, their website also has a search tool to help people find adoptable pets in their area.

Helping Shelter Animals

Even if you can’t adopt (yet), there are other ways you can help shelter animals.

  • Share this article with your friends and encourage them to adopt.
  • Help dispel the myths surrounding shelter pets and adoption.
  • Give shelter workers a hand by volunteering at your local animal shelter.
  • Sign up to foster an animal while they wait to find their forever family.
  • Donate money, food, toys or other pet care essentials to a shelter or rescue organization.

Lead image source: Pixabay