Goodbye... for now.


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
Joey

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7 Comments

  1. Posted 02/07/2011 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    No...you can’t end....you can’t =(
    You know what i’m still spreading the word. I promised to as well. I’ll still wear my shirt and tell EVERYONE what you are doing and what your mission is. I learn alot from you want to end...... =””””( I enjoy laughing at your ideas and spreading it to the world. =)

    -Andrea

  2. Angie
    Posted 02/07/2011 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    PLEASE DON”T LEAVE! We can’t stop these animals without you!!!

  3. Posted 02/07/2011 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Wow! I’m sorry to hear this news. I cannot imagine that the campaign has run long enough for any impact “data” to have real meaning. The last video, the infomercial one, was my fav. I’m glad that Lilly and I got our Patriot of Pet Purity video up a couple weeks ago. I guess, we’ll see you around.

  4. Posted 02/07/2011 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Analysis? What analysis? To see if a mere 3 month campaign has made a difference to the ASPCA?

    Every A-list blogger knows it takes at least a year to garner enough presence to make an impact and, even then, you can’t measure cultural shift. (Has anybody accurately measured how people feel toward global warming, poverty, abuse?) How does one measure the impact of such a brilliant idea – embryonic in form – at this stage of development?

    As far as I’m concerned, you grew a loyal community of more than 40K loyal Facebook fans in just several months and got a whole lot of people talking with engagement rarely seen over animal overpopulation. You’ve reached people on the fringe that the ASPCA can’t as they continue to preach to the choir. What you’ve accomplished is more than impressive. It’s a miracle and it’s bigger than the ASPCA!

    Sadly, the only measurable stat is conversion of viewers to sales. If this movement becomes a stopment because HelpJoey.com is reduced to financial terms by an ASPCA that can’t recognize your true value, that is an absolute travesty.

    Joey, I hope you keep on keeping on, even if you don’t measure up to some impossible barometer. You know people aren’t likely to act on their own without inspiration. It happens only so rarely and they certainly won’t continue along this vein without you. If you have to break ties and stand on principle, Dude, I so have your back. Please, just don’t abandon this project. It’s far too important.

  5. Katherine Moss
    Posted 02/07/2011 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    You, Anne and Ana started a wonderful thing in Help Joey, and I’m confident the ASPCA will realize the impact your campaign has had on the prior supporters of s/n and on the uneducated. I have always tried to spread the word on all things animal-welfare, especially overpopulation, and I will always do so. Your campaign is brilliant and it helped me and many others spread the word in a new way, simply by sharing your funny videos and asking friends to join your cause. I’m so glad it’s gone as far as it has–just think about all the minds you changed on your FB page alone!
    I hope all your 40,000+ fans will continue to support s/n and spread the word, be it via Help Joey or otherwise. If you’ve inspired a thousandth of those fans to continue to help our anipals (that’s so cute!), then Help Joey was worthwhile. I’m sure the ASPCA will see it that way as well. Good luck and take care!

  6. Posted 02/07/2011 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Joey for all you’ve done!! I know you’ve made a difference, looking forward to maybe hearing that it was such that it will continue!
    Best wishes to you
    Marie and Kala, Maya, & Oreo

  7. Wendy Munsterman
    Posted 02/08/2011 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    This was a remarkable endeavor you have undertaken! I am the adoption coordinator of a local humane society in rural Minnesota, and we have been trying for 10 years to help our county’s residents by providing half the cost of spay/neuter for their pets. Hopefully your site brought the issue to the forefront of many more people’s minds, and our board and members applaud your efforts. Too bad your posts have to end....

    Gratefully,
    The Humane Society of Swift County

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