New Hill’s Survey Data Shows Quality Photography and Volunteerism Helps Remove Barriers and Encourage More Pet Adoption from Shelters
Topeka, Kan., - August 1, 2023 – With a 75-year legacy of transforming the lives of pets, Hill’s Pet Nutrition proudly returns for a sixth consecutive year as the national sponsor of NBCUniversal Local’s Clear The Shelters, continuing a two-decade commitment to supporting animal shelters and pets in need.
Clear The Shelters is a nationwide pet adoption and donation event held annually from August 1-30, 2023 to help find loving homes for animals in need.
America’s Pet Shelters in Crisis
The Clear The Shelters campaign comes at a critical time where animal shelters across the country are experiencing crisis level numbers of pets entering their doors than are leaving compared to data from previous years. In 2022 alone, more than 90,000 dogs and cats entered shelters than left.1 With overcrowding and resources stretched, shelters rely on volunteers to exercise, socialize and foster animals—though currently, less than 1 in 4 Americans volunteer for any organization.2
Advocating for Pet Adoption
To help raise awareness about pet adoption, Hill’s Pet Nutrition has enlisted actress Joey King, who is a passionate advocate and pet parent. The actress recently adopted her dog, Fable, from a shelter while filming a new project. King will join Hill’s during the month-long campaign to volunteer her time at a local shelter and lend her voice to helping pets find new homes.
"I found my heart when I rescued Fable, and now I'm honored to join forces with Hill’s Pet Nutrition as part of the Clear The Shelters campaign, helping give back and find loving homes for these beautiful animals. Join us in making a difference in their lives,” said King.
Photography Can Help Save Shelter Pets, Shorten Stays in Shelters
To help remove barriers and drive more consideration of pet adoption, Hill’s Pet Nutrition commissioned a survey of 1,500 pet owners and found a simple but impactful way to help shelters find homes for pets faster through photography.
The study found that 95% of pet adopters considered photos important to the adoption process and seven in 10 considered adopting a pet specifically because of the photo.
When asked what kind of pet photos they find most appealing, respondents said they prefer:
Being able to see the pet’s full body versus a close up of their face (90.4% compared to 9.6%)
Pets looking at the camera versus not looking at the camera (83.8% compared to 16.2%)
Pets who appear to be smiling versus a frowning or with a neutral expression (63.8% compared to 36.3%)
Peer-reviewed data from the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science3 showed that a dog with a quality photo is typically adopted in two weeks, compared to 43 days for a pet with a poor photo.
To support these findings, Hill’s Pet Nutrition is teaming up with award-winning photographer and advocate, Sophie Gamand, to encourage people to volunteer at local shelters and, among other things, use their own smartphones to take higher quality intake photos to help shelter pets put their best paw forward and get adopted.
“Photography is a powerful tool that helps create emotional connections between adoptable animals and would-be pet parents,” said Gamand. “My desire is to show how approachable, transformative and easy it can be to volunteer at a shelter and how lifesaving good photos can be.”
Visit Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s Facebook or Instagram channels to find tips and advice from Gamandon how to use smartphones to take quality photographs to help pets have their best chance of finding a new, loving home.
Taking Action to Help Pets In Need
This year’s campaign is working toward reaching a record milestone - one million pets adopted through Clear The Shelters since its inception in 2015.
“Millions of deserving pets are waiting on a second chance, so there’s never been a better time to consider adopting,” said Nicki Baty, president of Hill's Pet Nutrition US. “And even if you aren’t ready to adopt, fostering, donating or volunteering at your local shelter are incredible ways to help.”
There are many ways to get involved:
Adopt: If you are ready to open your heart and home to a pet, visit HillsClearTheShelters.com to find a shelter near you.
Volunteer: Shelters are in desperate need of volunteers. Put your photography skills to good use by volunteering to help take quality photos of pets in shelters to help them find a new home faster. And even if photography isn’t your thing, shelters can also use extra hands.
Foster: Open your home to a pet in need by providing temporary housing to help reduce overcrowding, and help prepare a pet for adoption.
Donate: Consider providing financial support by visiting ClearTheSheltersFund.org where 100% of donations go directly to shelters and rescues in need.
Purchase: Just by buying Hill’s pet food for your own pet, you are helping to feed 100,000 pets daily through the Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love program.
Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s Support of Shelters
Support of the Clear The Shelters campaign is a natural extension of Hill’s year-round mission to support shelters and the pets in their care. Since 2002, Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love program has exclusively focused on feeding shelter pets, driving advancements in animal welfare and supporting animal shelters and rescues.
To date, the program has helped more than 13 million cats and dogs find new homes and has provided more than $300 million in food to more than 1,000 shelters nationwide. Hill’s believes that by providing science-led nutrition to shelters, we can help pets be healthy, happy and more adoptable.
During this year's campaign, Hill's is providing additional support, including:
Donating to the Cause: Hill's is providing $100,000 in funding to Greater Good Charities, the official donation partner of the campaign. The money will be used to match donations to the Clear The Shelters Fund in August, and will help sponsor the global nonprofit’s Good Flight, air-lifting more than 250 shelter pets from overcrowded shelters in the South to areas where there is a need for adoptable pets in the Northeast.
Supporting New Pet Parents: Hill’s will provide new adoption kits including Hill’s science-led nutrition, coupons, practical pet-parenting tips and more at participating shelters.
Rallying Advocates: Shelter advocate, philanthropist and teen entrepreneur, Sir Darius Brown, is creating bow ties in Hill’s colors to help pets look their best and increase their chances of adoption.
Helping Shelter Pets Get Adopted: Hundreds of Hill's and Colgate-Palmolive employees will volunteer their time and talents at shelters nationwide throughout the month of August.
For more information about Clear The Shelters, including participating animal shelters and rescues, along with details on local events, visit ClearTheShelters.com or the Spanish-language site DesocuparlosAlbergues.com.
To learn more about Hill's and its support of shelter pets, visit HillsClearTheShelters.com.
About Hill’s Pet Nutrition
Founded 75 years ago with an unwavering commitment to science-led pet nutrition, Hill's Pet Nutrition is on a mission to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets. Hill's is dedicated to pioneering research for dogs and cats using a scientific understanding of their specific needs. As a leading veterinarian recommended pet food brand, knowledge is our first ingredient with 220+ veterinarians, PhD nutritionists and food scientists working to develop breakthrough innovations in pet health. Hill's Prescription Diet therapeutic nutrition plus our everyday wellness product line, Hill's Science Diet, are sold at vet clinics and pet specialty retailers worldwide. For more information about our products and nutritional philosophy, visit HillsPet.com. To learn more about Hill's Food, Shelter & Love program, visit hillspet.com/shelter.
About Clear The Shelters
Clear The Shelters™ / Desocupar Los Albergues® is an annual, nationwide pet adoption campaign that is spearheaded by NBCUniversal Local, a division of NBCUniversal. Every year, NBCUniversal Local’s NBC and Telemundo owned stations and affiliated stations partner with animal shelters and rescues in their communities to promote pet adoption and raise funds. NBCUniversal Local’s Clear The Shelters campaign was inspired by a 2014 North Texas pet adoption event hosted by NBC 5 / KXAS and Telemundo 39 / KXTX and dozens of area shelters that resulted in the most adopted pets in one day for North Texas. Since 2015, Clear The Shelters pet adoption campaign has resulted in more than 860,000 pet adoptions. Visit ClearTheShelters.com and DesocuparLosAlbergues.com for more information.