Help All Animals: Live by the Law of the Paw

Our pets are so good to us, and a new initiative by the American Humane Society is asking pet owners to take that love and devotion and return it to their pets.

The initiative, called "Law of the Paw," asks pet owners to pledge to do three simple things. First, adopt -- adopting from a rescue or shelter reduces euthanasia rates. Second, spay and neuter to prevent unwanted litters of puppies and kittens. And third, make sure your pet wears a current ID, so if he ever gets lost, he won't end up in a shelter.

The centerpiece of the program is a short film developed by creative agency Carmichael Lynch. It follows the journey of a stray dog named Magpie, who makes her way from the scary and cruel streets to a caring shelter and, finally (spoiler alert!) to a loving home, all from the dog's point of view.

The dog's journey is so convincing, that we asked about how they managed to make it look realistic without endangering the dog.

"Safety was always our first priority, " says Ellie Anderson, associate creative director at Carmichael Lynch. "We were always only a few feet from her. Two representatives from the Animal Humane Society and the dog's trainers were close at all times. And she was given plenty of breaks and treats! We wanted the film to feel as real as possible, but realized that shots like the dog in traffic would not be safe to shoot on the animal," Anderson explains. In those riskier cases, they filmakers attached the camera to a pole and maneuvered it to mimic what a dog might see.

To promote the video, Carmichael Lynch placed cardboard dog houses in high-traffic areas in downtown Minneapolis to demonstrate the number of homeless pets on the street. Additionally, the agency created "found" posters (rather than the traditional "lost") to feature adoptable animals at local shelters. The posters not only encouraged adoption, but also encouraged people to sign the "Law of the Paw" pledge.

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