One of the biggest challenges for charities and non-profit organizations is finding a way to stand out among the crowd. Most constantly having to prove in one way or another that their work is important and should be supported.
One Massachusetts organization, Companion Animal Protection Society, is getting much attention for a recent awareness campaign which combines education with creativity. For the last twenty years the mission of CAPS has been to protect companion animals from the abuse and suffering in puppy mills and pet shops across the country. This goal is consistently accomplished by working on many different levels and is ultimately motivated by a sweet Basset Hound named Beatrice.
Beatrice was rescued by Deborah Howard, the founder of CAPS, in 2003 and has been part of the family ever since. She walks with a limp due to her deformed legs, has a heart condition and has limited vision, especially out of her left eye which is coated white from cataracts. Despite this, she is silly, happy and difficult to resist when you meet her. And, she is the perfect subject to teach society that there is often more than meets the eye .
The Models Against Pet Shops and Puppy Mills campaign feature Beatrice and other dogs along side beautiful models in various ads. In one particular ad she sits with a model, and the slogan: "This is the face of a puppy mill dog" is written next to them both. It is a simple ad, but it forces the viewer to really look and think about what they are seeing and what it means.
It can be a statement on how society concentrates on beauty instead of depth, it can be a reminder about how we know so little about what is going on around us, it can even just be a way to grab the viewer's attention so that they take the time to find out more. Either way, the kindhearted model who initiated the campaign, Kiley Wirtz Jennings, and Beatrice know that it is a great way to make a difference for other dogs stuck in the horror of mills and pet stores.
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