May 16, 2012, 9:00 a.m. EDT
KONG Launches Pets Need To Play Campaign, Invites Animal Lovers Around The World To Go Online To Play With Adoptable Shelter Animals
With the goal of increasing awareness and adoptions of shelter animals, KONG sponsors iPet Companion live and interactive cat playrooms, donates KONG dog toys to animal shelters across the country
GOLDEN, Colo., May 16, 2012 -- KONG Company ( www.kongcompany.com ), innovators of the "World's Best Dog Toy" and a full line of high-quality and fun products for dogs and cats, today announced the KONG Pets Need to Play campaign: a nationwide charitable program aimed at increasing adoptions of shelter animals. KONG will install the innovative iPet Companion in shelters across the country, enabling users around the world to play with cats that are available for adoption over the web. Additionally, KONG will donate its trademark Classic red rubber KONGs to dogs at the shelters, giving them the enjoyment of the toy recommended by vets, trainers and behaviorists more than any other.
Throughout the Pets Need to Play campaign, KONG will install iPet Companion in animal shelters across the US for six weeks at a time. The KONG iPet Companion, exclusively licensed by KONG, allows any online user to play with animals remotely by controlling unique robotic toys with a few clicks of a mouse. A camera captures all the fun and lets users watch the video live as the cats chase, jump, pounce and grab at the toys. With KONG's help, shelters will have the unique opportunity to house the interactive toys at their facilities and implement the portal on their websites, showcasing adoptable cats that are looking for forever homes, and allowing people to play with the cats over the internet.
KONG elected to sponsor iPet Companion installations because of their demonstrated value in helping animal shelters. Those that have already installed the systems report higher cat adoption rates, increased donations, increased website traffic and positive media coverage in their communities - not to mention the amazing benefits of activity and entertainment for the cats awaiting adoption.
"At KONG our chief dedication is animals, and a big part of that is giving back to the animal shelter community by encouraging adoption of these animals and supporting their well being while they await their forever homes," 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."
For adoptable dogs at the participating shelters, KONG will donate the iconic Classic KONG toys - the widely recognized snowman-shaped rubber dog toys. These KONGs, used in shelters everywhere, provide endless entertainment and comfort for dogs and can be used to dispense treats, for chewing, or for fetching since their playful shape gives them an unpredictable, stimulating bounce. When animals are enjoying a KONG, they are less likely to bark (or meow!), so noise levels drop, which reduces the stress in these environments. Less stress results in happier, more adoptable animals.
KONG's initial shelter partners of the Pets Need to Play campaign include:
Arizona Animal Welfare League and SPCA (Phoenix, AZ)
Foothills Animal Shelter (Golden, CO)
Best Friends Animal Society (Los Angeles, CA)
Humane Society of Dallas County (Dallas, TX)
Wisconsin Humane Society (Milwaukee, WI)
Live interaction with cats can be viewed on each shelter's website, or visit www.ipetcompanion.com for a complete listing of active sites.
As a global leader in the pet industry and operating in more than 60 countries; KONG recognizes the responsibility that it has to its employees and the global communities it serves. Since its beginnings in 1976, KONG has supported animal care organizations around the world.
About KONG Company
KONG Company is the premier global provider of interactive toys and other products for dogs and cats. The company's namesake Classic KONG is widely regarded as the "World's Best Dog Toy" and is recommended by vets, trainers and behaviorists more than any other toy. With a persistent commitment to innovation, the company continues to regularly introduce unique, high-quality dog and cat products. KONG also makes it a top priority to give back to the pet community. KONG was founded in 1976 and is based in Golden, Colorado. For more information visit www.kongcompany.com or facebook.com/KONGCompany.
SOURCE KONG Company
Building on Success: More Humane Societies adopt iPet Companion
Three more Humane Societies have recently launched iPet Companion™ in their kitten playrooms with a zoomable camera and feather toys that make the cats jump and get great exercise; Bideawee (New York), Clinton Humane Society (Iowa) and Michigan Humane Society. All Interactive Pet Playrooms can be accessed at www.ipetcompanion.com
“In our fast paced and 24/7 world, this technology allows browsers to log on and cue up at any hour of the day or night and truly feel connected with these cats who need attention, love and a new home,” says Nancy Taylor, Bideawee president. “The cats are stimulated to play and the people feel an integral part of the whole process. This kind of virtual companionship may lead us into an unchartered and exciting territory of online motivation and behavior. Much like people, pets benefit from this virtual connectedness too.”
How does the real-time program work? “A signal is relayed through multiple hubs throughout the U.S – and possibly the world – that allows for thousands of users to simultaneously watch the cats and request a place in line to play,” says Scott Harris, director of business development from Reach-in LLC, the Idaho-based company that developed iPet Companion.
With many kittens needing homes, iPet Companion could not have happened at a better time for these societies. These installations are currently resulting in many benefits for their cats, visitors, and shelters. Clinton Humane Society received an email from one delighted user saying
“I'm severely allergic to most animal dander (birds, cats, dogs that I know of) and I really liked playing with the kittens at Clinton Humane Society. I've bookmarked the site and really look forward to getting a chance to play with them again… I hope you find happy loving homes for all your animals.”
In the first week of launch at Clinton, they had over 55,000 pages view from 120 countries. The average time on the iPet Companion page was an astounding 38 minutes. Chat was fast and furious at times, as people came from referrals by many website articles and tweets. Geekologie labelled iPet Companion as “The Future of Internet Entertainment” and sent over 16,000 people from their article alone to play with Clinton kittens one Friday morning, resulting in over 80 users at times in the queue to play with the kittens that day.
Oregon Humane Society says since the new technology was launched on their website 10 months ago, kitten adoptions are up 16%, donations and sponsorships have increased 295%, and web traffic is up 52%. The traffic and interest has remained, with the interactive cat playroom being a highlight of the shelter tour.
iPet Companion™ requires Silverlight to be installed within an internet browser, which is a one-time free download and is compatible with all major browsers; Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox.
About Reach-in LLC (edit: company now trades as Reach-In, www.reach-in.com)
Reach-in LLC is a tech company founded in 2009 by Scott Harris, based out of Boise, Idaho. Apriori’s mission to provide real-time physical interactions through the Internet is now reality with the commercial success of iPet Companion™.
Reach-in's innovative technology is the most interactive online technology available today. This technology enables anyone, anywhere in the world, to interact by manipulating robotics with a live video broadcast streamed to their computer screen displaying their interactions in real-time, while an infinite number of other users watch. Currently underway are projects in the fields of teaching, research, medicine and gaming. For more information, and to pursue opportunities in your market, please visit www.reach-in.com
For more resources and information please visit http://www.ipetcompanion.com/press