Shelter Cats go Social via Kong Campaign

Campaign aims to increase shelter cat adoptions with iPet Companion interactive toys.

By BowTie News Editors | Posted: May 16, 2012, 3 p.m. EST

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Mixed-breed cat with ball -- Shelter Cats go Social via Kong Campaign
Kong hopes to increase shelter cat adoptions through an interactive online campaign.
Dog and cat toy manufacturer Kong Co. launched a charitable campaign called “Pets Need to Play,” through which the Golden, Colo.-based company will install live, interactive online toys for cats at several shelters across the country and will donate Classic Kong toys for dogs, as well, the company reported today.

The cat toys, called Kong iPet Companions, will be installed in feline enclosures at dog and cat shelters throughout the United States for six weeks at a time. Through the cat shelters' websites, web surfers can remotely control robotic toys for shelter cats to play with and can view the action via streaming webcams.

The goal of the campaign is to increase adoptions of shelter cats, said KD Frueh, president of Kong.

“In our increasingly digital society, we felt there was no better way to reach the public and encourage adoption than by connecting these animals directly with people through the interactive iPet Companion virtual play system,” Frueh said.

Shelters that have already installed the systems have reported higher cat adoption rates, increased donations, increased website traffic and positive media coverage, according to Kong.

Kong will also donate Classic Kong toys – the snowman-shaped, rubber toys – to participating shelters for dogs to play with.

The initial shelter partners of the campaign include:
•    Arizona Animal Welfare League and SPCA in Phoenix;
•    Foothills Animal Shelter in Golden, Colo.;
•    Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles;
•    Humane Society of Dallas County in Dallas; and
•    Wisconsin Humane Society of Milwaukee.

The iPet Companion toys can be accessed through each shelter's website as well as here.
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