The image of an animal shelter for many is essentially a prison for damaged dogs and cats. Too old, too mean, too something. On the other hand a pet shop is bright and shiny, with new, totally well-adjusted pet options, right?
Of course these are largely incorrect generalizations, but still a largely held view for many people in Brazil, a country with thousands of animal shelters and millions of abandoned dogs and cats. So NGO Quatro Patinhas teamed with Purina and pet shop chain American Pet (yep, that’s it’s real name) to create the Priceless Pets project, to challenge many of consumers’ preconceived notions of shelter animals and show that it’s better to save a life than buy one.
The organization has enlisted a long list of pet shops to donate time and space in their shop to showcase shelter animals in the same way pricey purebred and other “new” animals are. It’s the ol’ change the scenery stunt–like that time Pizza Hut tried to make its pasta look gourmet–except this time with super cute dogs. In its hidden video ad, we see prospective pet owners balk when they find out the adorable dog they’ve chosen is actually free.
The Priceless Pets project site features a full list of supporting shops, its event calendar for similar shop take-overs, and forms for other shops to sign up and join the effort.