and AOL Help Shelter Animals Find a Home through the Organization’s First Ever Animal Adoption Campaign, ‘Pics for Pets’

From Dakota’s Den: We love hearing about creative ways that organizations find to help homeless animals. When we sent  information about this venture we couldn’t help but “say cheese!”.How many times do parents complain that their teens spend too much time online? It seems that they post never-ending streams of photos to their friends on Facebook. Now, they can put those “itchy-fingers” and photos to good use by taking pictures to help animals in need. READ ON!

Famed Photographer and

Campaign Spokesperson

Nigel Barker

Teaches Teens

to Find Their Inner Fur-tographers and Nigel Barker are launching their first
nationwide animal adoption campaign, ‘Pics for Pets’ aiming to increase adoption
rates in shelters through teens, their cameras and Facebook, while saving some
adorable animals’ lives in the process. is putting the bite back in the fight for homeless shelter animals. With the help of campaign spokesperson and world-renowned photographer, Nigel Barker, is launching their first nationwide animal adoption campaign.  ‘Pics for Pets’ aims to increase adoption rates in shelters through teens, their cameras and Facebook, while saving some adorable animals’ lives in the process.  AOL is also supporting the cause by spreading the word about the campaign to their enormous audience.


Every year, approximately 5-7 million companion animals enter shelters nationwide, and approximately 3-4 million are euthanized (50% of dogs and 70% of cats) simply because they are not adopted. One big reason why these animals aren’t adopted is due to sub-par pictures.  All too often, the pictures used to market the potential pets are taken when the animal first arrives at the shelter, disheveled and frightened. has set out make a change, arming teens with the skills to provide updated, irresistible pictures of animals to their social networks in hopes of finding new homes for these furry friends.


Running through November, ‘Pics for Pets’ is hoping to increase adoption rates across the country, utilizing the internet’s most powerful asset: sharable pictures of cute animals.  Working closely with Facebook, has created an easy-to-use Facebook app to help teens take and share awesome pics of animals in their community.   Using the app, teens will have everything at their fingertips to locate a shelter, learn how to take beautiful pictures of animals and upload pictures to the gallery in hopes of spreading the word about shelter animals and where to adopt them.  As a companion tool, will also be releasing Pics for Pets iOS and Android apps for teens who wish to visit their local shelter and become animal photographers using their smartphones.


Teens who participate by sharing their pics will have the chance to win a $10,000 scholarship. will also be giving up to $10,000 in pet toys, food and bedding to partner shelters depending on how many times their animals profiles are shared on Facebook.


“Utilizing something that teens are already experts in (sharing photos on Facebook), we are hoping to show people that their next potential pet can be the cute animal down the street at their local shelter” says Greg Thomas, Campaigns Manager at “By joining forces with Nigel Barker and AOL, we have the chance to make a significant increase in the amount of animal adoptions—and all it takes is a few photos.”


Nigel Barker cares about saving animals’ lives too, and is lending his expert photo tips to help these teens make a difference. He adds some bite to the bark of’s animal adoption campaign by starring in a Public Service Announcement (PSA) helping teens to build the perfect photo shoot to get these shelter animals adopted. and Nigel Barker are launching their first
nationwide animal adoption campaign, ‘Pics for Pets’ aiming to increase adoption
rates in shelters through teens, their cameras and Facebook, while saving some
adorable animals’ lives in the process.

“It’s been a really rewarding experience helping bring awareness to animal adoption, and it hasn’t hurt that I’m working with the most affectionate photo subjects I’ve had yet: animals,” said campaign spokesperson, Nigel Barker. “I’m hoping teens will take my lead and brush up on their photography skills while helping to save a few animals’ lives.”


“We know that pets are a topic that resonates with our audience, and we’re thrilled to support worthy initiatives like Pics for Pets,” said Blair Cobb, Senior Director of AOL’s Cause Marketing & Partnership initiatives. “By leveraging our platforms, including, AOL Mail and Patch, we are able to create awareness around this campaign and truly help shelters across the country.”


To view Nigel Barker’s PSA and get started on ‘Pics for Pets,’ visit, download the ‘Pics for Pets’ mobile or Facebook app, or text “PETS” to 38383.




We love teens. They are creative, active, wired…and frustrated that our world is so messed up. harnesses that awesome energy and unleashes it on causes teens care about. Almost every week, we launch a new national campaign. The call to action is always something that has a real impact and doesn’t require money, an adult, or a car. With a goal of 5 million active members by 2015, is one of the largest organizations in the US for teens and social change. Join us at


About AOL Inc.
AOL Inc. (NYSE:AOL) is a brand company, committed to continuously innovating, growing, and investing in brands and experiences that inform, entertain, and connect the world. The home of a world-class collection of premium brands, AOL creates original content that engages audiences on a local and global scale. We help marketers connect with these audiences through effective and engaging digital advertising solutions.


The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

52 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What a brilliant idea Dakota, these teens spend hours on facebook..bol …There are 3 of us asses now..Misaki’s joined the ass club..BOL 🙂 Have a great Monday 🙂 XX00XX

    • Hi Mollie! Glad you are back safe and sound BOL! Ohhh yeah you are right about the teens that is for sure! YAY about Misaki joining the ASS club!! I’m doing Sheltie Spins right now! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

      • I met two Sheltie’s today, we don’t see them very often, I played with them and Ass took a photo, I’ll put it on the blog,if it comes out Ok for you to see. They wern’t as handsome as you though 🙂 xx00xx

      • Hi Mollie! You met not one but TWO Shelties? I NEVER meet any! Of course they weren’t as handsome as me…BOL! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

    • Pee-ess, I’ve got something really funny ( teenage son found it ) that I think your Mom might ROFLAO..nothing to do with animals..I’ll post it towards end of week. xxxx

      • ok Mollie looking forward to it! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  2. Great post. Have a happy Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

    • thanks Molly, you too. Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  3. I think better pictures of the animals in outdoor setting, looking natural and happy, loving, etc. is a tremendous help in adoption. We donate food and treats to our local, maybe they have a few pets that would do better with terrific pictures . Will have to ask:)

    • Ohhh Tyler pets ALWAYS do better with better photos AND videos. Lately I have been seeing videos which I think is a fabulous idea. It shows the dog in “action” and conveys some of their personality. Love, “Mom”

  4. What a super idea!

    • Sara we think so too! Barks and licks and love, Dakota and Mom

  5. What a wonderful program. Thanks for telling us about it. ~Fenris

    • I think so too Fenris! You are welcome! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  6. What a fabulously cool program! I hope that it does a lot to help animals get adopted and to help teens develop their photography skills!


    • Bunny we were pretty darned impressed with the program too and are glad that we were contacted about it. Have a great day! Barks and licks and love, Dakota and Mom

  7. This is an awesome idea! Hope it helps a lot of shelter animals find a new home!

    • we couldn’t agree more! Barks and licks and love, Dakota and Mom

  8. Fabulous Post! Wes thoink that is a great cause! Kudos to Nigel Barker, and all the pawticipating teens!

    • we think so too nellie! Glad you liked it and we are happy that they shared this with us! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  9. This is one terrific idea! What a great motivation for teens to have a chance at that scholarship too!

    • We think so too Bassetmomma! Please send our love to Fred and Gloria! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  10. Thanks for letting us know about this!! 🙂

    Woofs & huggies, ❤

    ~Bailey (Yep, I'm a girl!)

    • you are welcome Bailey!! And yep…I’m a BOY! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  11. Sounds like a most amazing idea!! Anything to help these gorgeous woofies and kitties and all sorts of pets find homes!! Take care

    • You are so right Old Kitty! Hugs to you and Charlie! Barks and licks and love, Dakota and Mom

  12. What a great idea! I’m going to send your post to the counselors at our high school for them to pass on to the students!!!!! The kids are always looking for scholarships to apply for. This would be a great one for them to participate in!

    • Hi!! Thanks so much what a fabulous idea!! That is so sweet of you!!! This would be GREAT for the kids! Barks and licks and love, Dakota and Mom

      • I’m such an idiot…I commented above and then I looked at your post again thinking it was such a great idea and I commented again. I think I have lost my marbles!!! Anyway, I am getting ready to send it on to the counselors! Have a great day!

      • don’t think you are an idiot. I have done the same thing! I appreciate that you not only READ the blog posts but that you care enough to comment! thank you!!!! You have a great day too! Love, “Mom”

  13. Superb!

    I do hope many shelter animals find their new homes through this cool program and many teens get spend their time on helping those furkids.

    • Priscilla we sure hope so too!! Barks and licks and love, Dakota and “Mom”

  14. Awesome – the doggies and the kids will both benefit. Sometimes we have a professional photographer come in to the shelter I volunteer at, and those fabulous pics really do make a difference!

    • yep jackie that is so true. I am also seeing a lot more videos being used in rescue and the use of good photos and videos is priceless! Love, “Mom”

  15. Such a cool idea – what better subjects could they take pics of than gorgeous animals looking for their forever homes – awesome!! 🙂

    Thanks for telling us about this 🙂

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

    • Hi Snoopy! We think so too. You are welcome! Barks and licks and love, Dakota and Mom

  16. what a great idea!!!
    Benny & Lily

    • thanks Benny & Lily we thought so too! Barks and licks and love, Dakota and Mom

  17. Thanks for telling us about this great program. My peoples know a teen who might be interested. 🙂

    • you are welcome Toby! I am sooo happy to hear that! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  18. Fantastic idea, get the teens to do something usefull instead of playing computer games.

    Your pal Sheba.

    • you got that right Sheba!

  19. Wonderful information for doggies in need! Great work Dakota and Dakota’s mom.

    Bella and DiDi

    • thank you but we can’t take credit for it….they sent the info 🙂 Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  20. Thanks for sharing the info! Nigel Barker is an amazing photographer, glad he’s working with and AOL.

    • thank you for reading!!! We are glad too! Barks and licks and love, Dakota and Mom

  21. This is a great idea! I hope it’s a success.

    • Clowie I soooooo agree! Love, “Mom”

  22. I always knew there was a reason I liked Nigel!

    • probably one of many! Love, “Mom”

  23. Good point i agree
    Could not have said it better myself
    Is this the right place to ask a question
    Can i ask a pet question here, i know its probably not the right place
    Does anyone here have a dog
    Does anyone here have a cat

    • Hi Lyndsey, I have a dog and a cat…..many here have dogs and many have both. How can we help you?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: