Skip to content Skip to navigation

Play ball!

Word Series gives two shelters a chance to help pets reach home

From Animal Sheltering magazine March/April 2013

With baseball season just around the corner, it’s a good time to highlight an adoption promotion that hit the ball out of the park for two shelters during last year’s World Series.

As soon as it became clear that the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers would play each other in the Series, both the San Francisco SPCA (SF SPCA) and the Michigan Humane Society (MHS) independently launched promotions linked to the sporting event, hoping to capitalize on support for the hometown teams.

SF SPCA announced on Facebook that it would waive adoption fees on pets with orange-and-black markings (the Giants’ colors), and posted cute pictures of shelter dogs decked out in Giants’ jerseys and baseball caps, often posed with signs bearing clever—and lightly taunting—messages on its Facebook page.

Meanwhile, MHS devised an “Adopt Your Own Detroit Mini-Tiger” promotion, drawing up mock Tiger baseball cards, each with a picture of an adoptable kitty, and the name of a Tiger player—Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, etc. The adoption fee for cats was $45 for one, or $65 for two, including a 10 percent discount on MHS veterinary center services, and other incentives.

According to SF SPCA media relations associate Krista Maloney, one of her shelter’s co-presidents knows an MHS administrator, and a volley of emails soon sprang up about the Series—as well as the possibility of a friendly wager between the two shelters.

“The venture was that the losing team’s city would have to sponsor … $10 off 10 cat adoptions at the other facility,” says Kevin Hatman, public relations coordinator at MHS. Game on!

SF SPCA and MHS each adopted out eight kitties as a result of the promotion, and even though it didn’t last as long as the shelters had hoped—the Giants swept the Tigers 4-0—everyone deemed it a home run. And staff at SF SPCA were good sports about their team’s big win, and sponsored $10 off the adoption fees of 10 cats at MHS, just as the Michigan shelter had to do at SF SPCA to hold up its end of the bet.

“They were magnanimous in victory, so we appreciate it,” Hatman says, laughing. “I do want to say that [the Tigers] will be back next year.”

About the Author

Jim Baker is a former staff writer for the Humane Society of the United States.