Ric Browde, a California animal advocate has just launched a feel-good counterpart to all those heartbreaking Sarah McLachlan commercials. His live-streaming puppy cam is designed to boost your mood, and the number of shelter adoptions.
Browde, a volunteer with United Hope for Animals, started with professional-grade glamour photos of puppies up for adoption to share on social media.
Last week, when he was heading home after a shoot at at the Baldwin Park Shelter in Baldwin Park, California, a litter of ten tiny mutts arrived and Browde was instantaneously captivated by their cuteness (who wouldn’t be?), fleas and all. The love affair came to a grounding halt when shelter employees informed him that dogs brought in less than five weeks old without a mother are mandated by state law to be put down. Not willing to part with the pooches, Browde offered to foster the family until he could find them suitable homes.
Saving the Chihuahua siblings and nursing them to health was just the first step. Next, Browde had to figure out how to beat out his canine competition—the breed, made popular through Hollywood appearances like in Beverly Hills Chihuahua and as the face of Taco Bell, is the most popular in the Golden State.
Browde decided to set up a U-Stream, a live streaming online platform, to raise the profile of his rescued pets up for re-adoption (incidentally nicknamed “The Spice Girls and Boys"). The never-ending access to the brothers and sisters playing in their pen has already attracted the attention of potential owners—including one in Asia. Since setting up the live web-cam Sunday, Browde says it's already racked up over 10,000 views.
While Browde’s first priority is to find fitting families for his fostered dogs, he says that the greater message with this project is raise awareness of what is going on in the shelter systems across America. “I don’t want to be Sarah McLachlan in the animal cruelty commercials. I want to show you that there’s a lot of cute out there that badly needs a home. We want to use these pups as ambassadors for neutering and taking care of your pets. Each one is a Hallmark card in the making. They’re awesome.”