One of my favorite sites on social media is the site called WeRateDogs. WeRateDogs asks pet owners to send photos of their dogs, then posts selected photos with humorous comments. Dogs are rated on a scale of one to ten, but always get an above-ten rating. The posts are always enjoyable and heartwarming. WeRateDogs has over 20 million followers across all platforms including Facebook, Instagram, X, and TikTok.
Matt Nelson, founder of WeRateDogs, expanded his support for dogs with his first GoFundMe for a dog in need in 2016. Since 2017, the WeRateDogs community has been fundraising every Friday, raising over $2 million to help families pay for their dogs’ medical bills.
This month, DACC is excited to be participating in a special collaboration with WeRateDogs and the 15/10 Foundation (named for the highest possible rating on WeRateDogs of 15 out of 10).
This unique collaboration will waive adoption fees for all German Shepherds and German Shepherd mixes age 1+ at all DACC animal care centers, with adopters only responsible for the dog license. DACC and WeRateDogs will especially focus on promoting senior dogs.
WeRateDogs is focusing on adult German Shepherds because on August 8, 2020, Matt adopted Doug from Deity Animal Rescue (one of DACC’s Rescue Partners.) Doug was a10-year-old German shepherd with severe ear infections and arthritis, who did not get along with other dogs. Despite his challenges, Doug proved to be an incredible pet, and an instant social media star. Motivated by his experience, Matt established the 15/10 Foundation, addressing the needs of shelter dogs with behavioral or medical challenges. Sadly, Doug passed away in late 2023, but his life and popularity as the “CEO” of WeRateDogs had a profound impact in changing the conversation around shelter pets and the challenges they face.
The 15/10 Foundation recently approached DACC with an initiative to support senior dogs, and we are immensely grateful for this opportunity to assist in finding homes for adoptable senior pets. The name of this special campaign is “Doug’s Buds,” in honor of Doug, and the impact he had in showing people the value of giving senior pets a chance.
The 15/10 Foundation and WeRateDogs have harnessed the power of the internet to make life-changing differences in the lives of pets and their owners. This partnership is a tremendous opportunity to remove some barriers to adoption and show a larger audience that our animals have the potential to earn top marks as family pets.
Matt remarked, “We are so excited about our partnership with DACC. We are confident our audience’s longtime online support will carry over to the real world and make a difference in LA County shelters. We promised Doug we wouldn’t let him down, and this is a wonderful step to ensure that. Adopting a senior dog was the most rewarding experience of my life. I hope many other families begin the same journey this February.”
Studies show that Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to adopt their next pet than any other age demographic, making social media outreach critical to promote pet adoption and destigmatize shelter animals. While DACC has numerous longstanding partnerships with local media such as radio, broadcast and print, a collaboration with WeRateDogs represents a new frontier, expanding the Department’s influence on social media and allowing it to reach a larger audience of potential adopters.
We are only halfway through the month of February and have already placed 36 German Shepherds under the Doug’s Buds program! We have many more adorable GSDs that will make fantastic pets. Check out WeRateDogs and the 1510 Foundation sites for posts or visit our own website at www.animalcare.lacounty.gov. Perhaps you will find your new best bud!
You can subscribe to Marcia’s blog here: https://animalcare.lacounty.gov/directors_blog/
The Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 charity that raises money to support DACC in its mission of saving animals and keeping pets and families together. Learn more at www.lacountyanimals.org.