(ANIMAL RESCUE) You can now play with real shelter cats over the internet for free, and for a good cause. Kong, the rubber dog-toy company, has installed robotic toys and cameras in certain shelters across the US so that people can control the toys over the internet and watch the cats play. The charitable campaign is designed to raise awareness about shelter cats. Hopefully potential pet-guardians will become tempted to play with the animals in real-life and adopt! — Global Animal
Pet Product News
Pet toy manufacturer Kong Co. launched a charitable campaign called “Pets Need to Play,” through which the Golden, Colo.-based company will install live, interactive online toys for cats at several shelters across the country and donate Classic Kong toys for dogs, as well, the company reported today.
The cat toys, called Kong iPet Companions, will be installed in feline enclosures at animal shelters throughout the U.S. for six weeks at a time. Through the shelters’ websites, web surfers can remotely control robotic toys for shelter cats to play with and can view the action via streaming webcams.
Through the campaign Kong will also donate its flagship classic Kong toys – the snowman-shaped, rubber toys – to particpating shelters for dogs to play with.
The goal of the campaign is to increase adoptions of shelter animals, said KD Frueh, president of Kong.
“In our increasingly digital society, we felt there was no better way to reach the public and encourage adoption than by connecting these animals directly with people through the interactive iPet Companion virtual play system,” Frueh said.
Shelters that have already installed the systems have reported higher cat adoption rates, increased donations, increased website traffic and positive media coverage, according to Kong.
The initial shelter partners of the campaign include:
• Arizona Animal Welfare League and SPCA in Phoenix;
• Foothills Animal Shelter in Golden, Colo.;
• Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles;
• Humane Society of Dallas County in Dallas; and
• Wisconsin Humane Society of Milwaukee.
The iPet Companion toys can be accessed through each shelter’s website or through www.ipetcompanion.com.