The North American International Auto Show officially opens to the public today at Huntington Place in downtown Detroit, the first since January 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Attendees may notice that things are a little different from previous editions, but one returning item isn’t even related to the car: it’s adoptable dogs.
Subaru of America is teaming up with Michigan Humane to offer dogs for adoption at the auto show. The promotion is part of the automaker’s nationwide Subaru Loves Pets campaign to promote pet adoption. Subaru and Michigan Humane first brought adoptable dogs to the auto show in 2019. I would know first hand because I used to work at Michigan Humane and was part of that initial promotion .
Dogs will be available for adoption at the Subaru booth inside Huntington Place each day the auto show is open. Potential adopters won’t have to worry about making a decision right away if they’re not ready. Michigan Humane will return the dogs to their Detroit shelter to complete the adoption process at a later date.
“So dogs that come to the auto show with us are actually eligible to be put on hold,” says Anna Chrisman, media manager for Michigan Humane. “So they are available for adoption. But we use a queuing system at the auto show, just to give us a chance to chat more fully with adopters outside of the chaos and sometimes frenetic nature of the auto show. We will therefore process adoptions from our Mackey Center for Animal Care in Detroit, once they have had the opportunity to meet the potential adopter.
Subaru has become one of the most pet-friendly automotive brands in the United States through its Subaru Loves Pets initiative, which helps animal shelters across the country. Of course, several years of producing memorable TV commercials featuring dogs haven’t hurt either.
Kerry Ann Nolan, manager of auto shows and events at Subaru of America, says her company’s brand aligns so well with pets because the majority of their customers owned at least one dog.
“A high percentage [of Subaru owners], nearly 97%, had owned a dog at some point,” Nolan shares. “And animal welfare is extremely important to them. Animals need our help, especially those with disabilities or who are outsiders. That’s why we have made it our mission at Subaru to support all of our pillars over the years.
Subaru has had a huge impact on animal welfare, both financially and through its partnerships with shelters and rescues like Michigan Humane.
“We’ve donated approximately $48 million since we launched our Subaru Loves Pets program and, before that, our Adopt a Pet program,” says Nolan. “And I think last year the number was over 230,000 pets adopted through all of our collective efforts through the Subaru Loves Pets initiative.”
The Detroit Auto Shows now run through Sunday, September 25.
Photo credit: Dave Kim, WDET