A few months ago, I had an idea. That idea was HelpJoey.com. It stemmed from the fact that my wife, Anne, and my neighbor, Ana, were attempting to solve our own little animal overpopulation problem in our neighborhood. We had a huge feral cat colony residing in our cul-de-sac, our very own microcosmic manifestation of a seriously tragic issue that haunts every corner of our country – an issue that causes nearly 5 million cats and dogs to be sent to shelters each year, where nearly 3 million are euthanized. But Anne and Ana were doing something about it in their own way. After seeing litter after litter of kittens being born (one of these kittens literally almost fell out of a tree and onto my head…which is how James became part of our family), they decided to trap them, take them to get spayed or neutered, and then release them right back where they found them. After they did this to about ten cats, I joked with them and said, “It’s expensive to be responsible, why don’t we just stop them from having sex.” We laughed. But an idea was born.
I work at an ad agency that has had some history with the ASPCA. We presented them with this idea about this guy, me, who goes around trying to prevent animals from having “the sex.” He’d do this through stakeouts, interventions, and these super weird infomercials, peddling even weirder fake products. And here’s what they had to say, “It was tongue-in-cheek parody of a very serious subject that is sometimes hard to communicate,” said Elizabeth Estroff, an ASPCA spokesperson. “I think the general feeling was that this could be an interesting way to reach a new channel.” I guess, sometimes you have to look at something so differently to reach new people.
So we ran with it and frankly, the response has been overwhelming. But this campaign was always designed to not only open people’s eyes to the very real problem of animal overpopulation and the importance of s/n, but also to empower each and everyone of you, all of our new Patriots of Pet Purity, to go out and make sure your voice is heard and to incite change. We said it from the beginning, stopping animal overpopulation is way too big of a job for one dude, so we’re going to need you to go out and spread the spay and neuter word. Do it in your own way. Blog about it. Tell your friends about it. Heck, stop people on the street and tell them about it. Inspire people to help our anipals. Educate them. Do everything you can.
Now, the ASPCA is going to “analyze if HelpJoey has really made a difference or if it was just too weird.” They’re going to see “how it stacks up” against all of their other stuff. In the meantime, know that your support has meant so much to everyone here. Hopefully, we made you think. Hopefully, we’ve inspired you to make a difference. And hopefully…hopefully, hopefully, hopefully…we’ve made you laugh a little bit along the way.
Keep your pets pure