The Lebanese have other things to worry about than animal rights. But Beta, Beirut for the ethical treatment of animals, whose sole purpose is to fight animal cruelty, had one mission. Get the Lebanese dogs off the violent ruthless streets of Lebanon and into loving homes.
So how do we get the Lebanese to adopt the stray dogs when they have other things to worry about? We don’t. It’s not about finding homes for these dogs in Lebanon. It’s about finding a loving home for these dogs anywhere in the world. This is how the expat pet program was born. A program that allows people from all around the world to adopt the Lebanese dogs.
PRing the campaign was key. First, to spread worldwide awareness and get people to adopt these dogs. But most importantly, to generate enough hype and controversy in Lebanon, to get the Lebanese to start caring about the stray dogs. And they did, not only did the campaign generate more local adoptions, but on February 5th 2015, to everyone’s surprise, the Lebanese Council of ministers gave the animal protection and welfare law, against animal cruelty, their official approval.
So, how does BETA, whose soul purpose is to fight animal cruelty, overcome these circumstances and get people to adopt these dogs?
Less than a month into the campaign, we saw a drastic increase in people’s interest in BETA’s cause. 400% increase in the users on the BETA website and 600% increase in the foreign users on the BETA website. As for adoption requests, they began pouring in, with an increase of 200%. Finally, the Lebanese stray dogs found loving homes abroad. But surprisingly, 70% of the adoption requests also came from the Lebanese. Beta’s act of sending the dogs abroad was perceived so extreme, it put animal rights back on top of their list. A few weeks later, to everyone’s surprise, the Lebanese Council of ministers gave the animal protection and welfare law, against animal cruelty, their official approval.
We spread the news of the program through various PR and Media channels within our limited budget: talk shows, blogs, online banners and social media channels, directing the entire world to a website: xpatpets.com.
Visitors got to know each rescued dog, then could choose to keep it in Lebanon by adopting locally or give it an opportunity abroad by adopting internationally.
Local and international media picked up the campaign quickly, spreading it on social media, blogs from all over the world, magazines, online newspapers, prime time news channels and talk shows. In Lebanon, it made its way onto the number 1 talk show, and a prime time news segment of 4min was dedicated to the program, inviting all Lebanese to go on the website and keep the dogs in Lebanon. A piece from Bosnia’s Media Marketing suggested that this program is a great fixer for Bosnia’s problem with stray dogs.
If you’re Lebanese, by the age of 21 you have 2 choices.
You either, leave the country and join the 20 million Lebanese expats living abroad.
Or you decide to stay in Lebanon in the hopes of making it a better country.
But that also means that you live in a country with a lot of things to worry about everyday. Animal rights is not top of the list. As a consequence, stray dogs fill the streets of Lebanon and go through famine, gun shots and all sorts of unthinkable acts of violence.
As a solution, we decided to ride the wave of the country: If the Lebanese leave for better opportunities abroad, then the Lebanese dogs will leave too.
Introducing the expat pets program. We created a program that allows people from all countries to adopt the Lebanese dogs.