Have you seen the commercials with Sarah McLachlan for shelter animals? What do you do? Change the channel, turn your head, or leave the room? While this marketing strategy is effective for fundraising, it doesn’t help get animals adopted. Instead, it leaves viewers with a perception that shelter dogs are sick, abused, and unadoptable. Which is far from the truth.
Those of us in animal rescue get to witness the transformation from shelter pet to loving family members on a daily basis. I’m always amazed at how people who have adopted a dog want to share their story of the life they saved. And I’m equally amazed at how many others will comment, “Really, that dog was rescued?” I wanted to show the world the awesome dogs that are rescued and enable people—and dogs—to do so proudly. The idea was to take the cause awareness wristband craze and transfer it to rescue dogs—after all, rescue dogs are better marketers of their cause than we are. And, so, Project Blue Collar was born. As we like to say, “Wristbands have gone to the dogs and Project Blue Collar came to the rescue.”
Project Blue Collar embraces the power of storytelling, the deep connection you have with your rescue dogs, how you found each other, and the love and joy you’ve brought to each other. Every time you see a Support the Underdog Blue Collar, you’ll know it’s a rescue dog—an underdog, who became a hero. It gives dogs a voice to tell the world, “Hey, look at me now!” Creating a moment of recognition, establishing common ground, making a connection and starting a conversation. Our mission at Project Blue Collar is to help bring about change, and help everyone realize that supporting the underdog is the right thing to do. In the end, it means more of these wonderful dogs are adopted and their lives improve, and shelters simply become a place for a dog to wait for their family.
The story of rooting for the underdog to transform into a superhero is a compelling theme in our culture. Our movement translates the power of that possibility to orphaned animals. I believe that by growing this movement one dog at a time, we will create a groundswell of change and impact the course of animal welfare in the future. Project Blue Collar’s long-term goal is for blue to be synonymous with rescue. Why blue? Blue is the color of loyalty and courage, two of the things we love most about our dogs and those who rescue them.
But it’s not just about the dogs that have been rescued; it’s also about those still waiting for their families. Project Blue Collar supports the lifesaving work of animal rescue groups through its Rescue Partner Network revenue sharing program, which provides partners with an opportunity to earn between 10 and 20 percent of sales of merchandise sold online and 40 percent of merchandise sold directly to pet lovers.
One conversation at a time, movements are born. Join the Blue Collar Project in showing the world what great additions to your family your shelter pet has been. As the Rescue Network Partner grows and creates community advocates, change will begin to happen.