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The HSUS and Maddie’s Fund Join Ad Council and NBC’s TODAY Show for Weeklong Series Debut of Public Service Ads Featuring TODAY’s Anchors

New TV ad featuring Natalie Morales created pro bono by Draftfcb to promote The Shelter Pet Project

Today The Shelter Pet Project, a campaign from The Humane Society of the United States, Maddie’s Fund and the Ad Council to promote shelter pet adoptions, revealed a new ad featuring TODAY anchor Natalie Morales. The ad is part of “TODAY Takes Action,” a weeklong series of public service ads featuring TODAY’s anchors.  

The Shelter Pet Project is the first national PSA campaign that brings together the largest animal welfare organizations and shelters across the country to promote the adoption of shelter pets nationwide. The campaign is designed to inspire adoption and drive down euthanasia rates of dogs and cats in shelters. Since the campaign launched in 2009, there has been an estimated 10 percent decline in euthanasia across the United States. 

Natalie Morales adopted her dog, Zara, after doing a pet adoption segment for TODAY in April 2011 and is very passionate about the issue. Actress Jenna Elfman provides the voiceover for Zara in the new TV spot. This and other Shelter Pet Project ads were created pro bono by Draftfcb in Chicago.

“Natalie Morales is like so many other millions of Americans – she loves her dog, and wants to see more people experience the joys of adoption,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “We hope that Natalie’s PSA for The Shelter Pet Project will get picked up not only by The Today Show, but throughout the country and shine a light on adoption and lead to a further reduction in euthanasia rates.”

“The animal lovers of America are indebted to Natalie Morales and NBC’s TODAY Show for helping to create a no kill nation by promoting shelter pet adoptions and The Shelter Pet Project during TODAY Takes Action Week,” said Rich Avanzino, president of Maddie’s Fund.

“This new PSA shows the true connection that exists between shelter pets and the families that adopt them,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council.  “As you can see from the spot, Zara knows Natalie better than almost anyone, and I think this will encourage many more families throughout the country to consider pet adoption.”

The weeklong series, called “TODAY Takes Action,” will feature an intimate look at each social issue, a behind-the-scenes “making of the PSA” segment showing the collaborative effort of the campaign development process and the premiere of the highly produced PSAs created on behalf of the four award-winning campaigns.

TODAY’s anchors personally selected the social issues they are supporting from among the Ad Council’s 50 national campaigns, and participated in brainstorming sessions with the ad agencies to help inform the creative.

Other PSAs from Today’s anchors include Matt Lauer and Fatherhood Involvement, Savannah Guthrie and Hunger Prevention and Al Roker and Emergency Preparedness.

The new PSAs are being distributed to NBC stations nationwide next week. The production costs for the PSAs have been provided by the Ad Council’s non-profit and federal government partners. NBC is also featuring content about the series on TODAY Show’s website and you can follow the series on Twitter at #TODAYTakesAction.

Media Contact: Raúl Arce-Contreras: 301-721-6440; rcontreras@humanesociety.org