In early 2014, an online startup called The Dodo launched with a simple goal: sharing compelling, entertaining animal content with pet lovers around the world. Today the site averages more than two billion video views monthly, and its editors are using this monstrous audience to advance animal rights.
“The rise of social media has been, undeniably, a powerful tool in raising awareness about lots of issues,” Founder & Chief Creative Officer Izzie Lerer explains. “It’s such an efficient distribution vehicle, and animals are no exception.” From bite-size clips on Facebook to slideshows on Instagram, The Dodo’s content captures stories that showcase the unique ability of animals to tap into a wide range of human emotions.
“The stories about rescue and adoption are hugely popular,” the company’s president, YuJung Kim, shares. “They’re often dramatic and very heartwarming, but most importantly they showcase people helping animals in need, whether that’s by actually saving lives or providing forever homes. These types of stories make people feel good about the world.”
She’s not wrong. According to research from the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, a recent spike in feline adoption stems directly from our love of cat videos.
“We really hope our videos make people feel connected to animals; I really want people to be entertained and to feel something,” Kim continues. “Most of the time people laugh or cry happy tears. If we post a video about a serious advocacy issue, we want them to leave feeling motivated that they can contribute to making the world a better place for animals.”
Making better pet parents
The Dodo also provides life hacks for pet parents trying to understand the behavior of their furry friends.
“By consuming this content, you’re able to stay on top the practical aspects of animal safety, like what to do if your dog gets stung by a bee, but also the quirky, not-so-practical aspects, like why dogs stare at us while they’re pooping,” Lerer laughs.
If nothing more, Kim hopes that The Dodo’s content will provide readers with a better sense of what it takes to keep our pets happy and healthy. “The more we can entertain, inspire and empower our audience, the more we’re able to raise awareness for animals in a meaningful way.”
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