Puppy Love: canine charity campaigns and initiatives that have impressed us

Charities helping man’s best friend have given us examples of wonderful campaigns and initiatives that have got our tails wagging. For this International Dog Day, we’re sharing some of these examples with you.
Tapinder Sidhu
 

Today (26th August 2021) is International Dog Day! There’s lots of pawsome animal charities out there doing amazing things, including helping dogs in need. This week we wanted to raise the woof to just a few of many!

Dogs Trust

When you hear ‘a dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ you instantly think Dog’s Trust. It’s got to be one of the most successful campaigns out there in terms of branding and memorability. Part of the success comes down to the fact it’s an incredibly long running campaign – first created way back in 1978. There’s no denying it’s a great slogan and of course they’ve rolled with it for decades and may well continue to do so for decades to come (‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, right?). Part of its beauty is that it can be adjusted and adapted. Dogs Trust have creatively recycled the statement to raise pertinent issues as they arise. Take the image below as the most recent example.

Picture of Dog's Trust campaign. A yellow wall in background with text reading 'a dog is for life, not just for Christmas' but 'Christmas' is crossed out and replaced with 'lockdown'. A Jack Russel dog is sitting in front of the wall.

Along with the upsurge in lockdown puppies, so came the rise of accompanying issues such as dogs being abandoned, resold, or put up for adoption shortly after. Dogs Trust have been front and centre reminding people of their core message – a dog is for life – whilst unfortunately having to deal with rises in rehoming queries post-lockdown. They’ve been providing advice to dog-owners on how to prepare their furry friends for life after lockdown, all alongside continuing to help dogs find loving homes. As a charity, I have to say, I’m mutts about them.

Blue Cross

Another fantastically clever campaign comes from Blue Cross’s fundraising efforts. The Blue Cross Tap Dogs idea started back in 2016 – what it entails is a nationwide team of ‘four-legged fundraisers’, equipped with jackets that have specially built-in contactless card readers. The dogs have frequented events, including Crufts, allowing anyone who wishes to donate to ‘pat and tap’.

Image of chocolate Labrador wearing a Blue Cross jacket with a contactless card reader attached. Someone is reaching down to tap the card reader.
Ingenious, because who can resist those puppy dog eyes…?

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association

This one’s a record breaker! Charity fundraising teams will tell you that fundraising during the pandemic hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park. However, charities have taken digital fundraising in their stride, and many have done it incredibly well. Guide Dogs stands out for being official Guinness World Record holders for the world’s biggest virtual tea party. Their Great Guide Dogs Virtual Tea Party fundraiser set the record in 2020. Once again, for National Tea Day earlier this year (21st April 2021), masses of people took to social media to post photos of themselves holding a cuppa in support of Guide Dogs. Pairing a fundraiser with a national event that almost anyone can get involved with from the comfort of their own homes is a winner. Everyone taking part was encouraged to donate the price of a cup of tea or coffee online through Facebook or their website. Many celebrities also got involved to show their support and donate.

Picture of a Guide Dog's Dog laying on the grass with a tray in front of teapot, teacup, cake, and tea

Support Dogs

We’re keeping to the tea theme here… For this International Dog Day, PG Tips have actually teamed up with a pets drinks company and Support Dogs, a national charity that provides support and assistant dogs, to create ‘English Breakwoof’ – a tea for dogs! 100% of the proceeds go to the charity. Yes, it’s not Support Dogs’ campaign per se, but partnering with a brand and receiving their support can be a wonderful way for a charity to raise awareness and funds. Also, #CuppaWithYourPuppa! was far too marvellous not to mention.

Fancy getting involved with International Dog Day?

Have these examples of canine campaigns left you wondering what else is on the horizon? Coming up this bank holiday weekend is the first ever Wagathon, organised by Give as you Live, which aims to help as many UK dog charities as possible after a challenging year. The aim is to collectively raise a whopping £1 million. There’s still time to sign up for this walking fundraiser with your four-legged friend and take part over the August bank holiday.

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