In a release pegged to delight children and land their parents in the fifth conversation this week about why we can’t adopt Lucky the English Bull Terrier even though he’s only 0.2 miles away, Pedigree has launched Rescue Doodles. Powered by AI tech, the program allows kids (or adults) to input a drawing of a dog and find a similar-looking nearby pet available for adoption, a concept similar to a Google tech update from last year. The program has been launched in collaboration with kinship company Adopt-a-Pet.com and aims to “give kids the chance to take the reins in finding the perfect adoptable dog for their family,” says the release from Pedigree.
Following instructions on the Rescue Doodles site to text ‘Doodle’ to 717-670-6675, we tried out Rescue Doodles. With my crude drawing of a Chow Chow in hand, I sent out a text only to receive back an error code; Rescue Doodles is not yet available in the UK. While the AI may not have paired me with my dream dog, and the test may have been invalidated by the lack of Chow Chows presumably up for adoption in West Yorkshire, Rescue Doodles seems to offer a fun activity for readers across the pond.
Aiming to promote dog adoption with a fresh approach, Jean-Paul Jansen, vice president of marketing for Mars Petcare North America, says Rescue Doodles is unique “because it takes a simple, everyday activity for children – doodling – and turns it into a fun way to add a new member to the family”. The release continues that approximately 3.1 million dogs enter shelters every year in the US. While kids may not need another reason to ask for a dog – in fact, the average child will beg their parents for a pet 1,584 times before the age of 18, according to SWNS – the program does offer a creative way to get families interested in adoption.
The program is available from now until 30 April, with Pedigree emphasising that once matched with a pup, families looking to adopt should schedule a meet-and-greet with local shelters and potential matches to make sure it’s a good fit.