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From the 12th Annual Shorty Awards

The Hard-to-Adopt Cat

Audience Honor in Pets & Animals


95% of animal shelters in the US currently have cats that are defined as “hard to adopt.” Typically, it takes a cat around 12 weeks to find a new home. But for special-needs cats, senior cats and black cats, it takes much longer to find a new home. In fact, four times longer.

The longer these cats are left in shelters, the grimmer it gets. 70% of the 3.4 million cats living in US shelters each year are put down. 

Best Friends Lifesaving Center is a no-kill shelter that takes pets, including hard-to-adopt cats, from other shelters to save lives. Our objective was to drive potential pet parents to connect with these special cats online, then adopt them.

Strategy and Execution

In an effort to reduce the amount time to find hard-to-adopt cats, we decided to bring special attention to them in a beautiful, heartwarming way.

Building upon our ‘Cats Only Live Once' (COLO) campaign, we brought these stories to life through the magic of animation. And in doing so, highlighted these adorable cats by giving them their own personalities.

Not surprisingly, they became the true stars in this online video campaign. Each one emotionally celebrates the moment of connection with their new human friends.

We then invited the viewer to make a connection themselves by finding their purrfect match. Who says hard-to-adopt cats can't be easy to adopt?


The campaign has just recently launched online. But the animated videos have already cast a much-needed spotlight on the plight of these often overlooked cats.

The inquiries specifically for hard-to-adopt cats have increased. And other shelters and animal groups have applauded our bold initiative. The lives this effort could potentially save is huge. For example, a mere 10% increase in cat adoption rates alone would save 280,000 cat lives, and enhance so many human lives, too.


Video for The Hard-to-Adopt Cat

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, Best Friends Animal Society


Entry Credits