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 things are a bit different from previous editions, but one element returning isn’t even car-related: it’s adoptable dogs.
Subaru of America is teaming up with Michigan Humane to bring canines available to adopt at the auto show. The promotion is part of the automaker’s national Subaru Loves Pets campaign to promote pet adoptions. 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 to adopt at the Subaru booth inside Huntington Place every day that the auto show is open. Potential adopters won’t have to worry about immediately making a decision if they’re not ready. Michigan Humane will bring the dogs back to its Detroit shelter to complete the adoption process at a later date.
“So the dogs that are coming to the auto show with us are actually eligible to be placed on hold,” says Anna Chrisman, media manager for Michigan Humane. “So they are available for adoption. But we are using a hold system at the auto show, just to give us a chance to chat with adopters more fully outside of kind of the chaos and sometimes frantic nature of the auto show. So we’ll be processing adoptions out of our Mackey Center for Animal Care in Detroit, once they have had an opportunity to meet the potential adopter.”
Subaru has become one of the most pet-friendly auto brands in the U.S. thanks to their Subaru Loves Pets initiative, assisting animal shelters across the country. Of course several years of producing memorable TV ads featuring dogs didn’t hurt either.
Kerry Ann Nolan, Subaru of America’s Auto Shows and Events Manager, 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], almost 97 percent, had owned a dog at one point in time,” Nolan shares. “And animal welfare is extremely important to them. Animals need our help, especially those that have disabilities or that are underdogs. And so we’ve made it our mission at Subaru to throughout the years support all of our pillars.”
Subaru has made a tremendous impact on animal welfare, both financially and through their partnerships with shelters and rescues like Michigan Humane.
“We’ve donated about $48 million since we started doing our Subaru Loves Pets, and prior to that our Adopt a Pet program,” says Nolan. “And I think this last year, the number was over 230,000 pets adopted through all of our collective efforts under the Subaru Loves Pets initiative.”
The Detroit Auto Shows runs now through Sunday, September 25.
Photo Credit: Dave Kim, WDET