The mother-daughter team of Jane and Cory Turner created Dogly in 2014. The app allows dog owners to take and share photos of their beloved pets while also supporting a favorite animal shelter. Users designate a shelter to receive any “loves” their photos get. At the end of the month, Dogly awards $1,000 to the shelter with the most.
To recognize creativity over popularity, Dogly also has a panel of Executive Creative Dogs, including social media stars @TheVelvetBurritos, @iheartmiles, and @BlindDogJack, who choose four photos each month that personify “being Dogly.” The designated shelters each get $500.
The shelters can create their own profiles, too, and post photos of their adoptable dogs. The Turners felt this was a great way to increase exposure for the many wonderful pups awaiting forever homes and to give the shelters an additional fundraising avenue.
Being rescuers themselves, the mother and daughter enjoy seeing photos of adoptable dogs and watching them go from “available” to “adopted.” They began to notice, though, that many of the shelter dogs were identified as Pit Bulls.
“Pit Bulls make up a huge part of the shelter population,” Jane said. So the Dogly team started a #LikeAPit campaign based on Always’ popular #LikeAGirl campaign.
Pit Bull owners were eager to share their stories when asked what it meant to be “like a Pit.” They had the real scoop, not the popular misconception that the dogs are inherently vicious, unpredictable, and dangerous. Users shared photos of their Pit Bulls dressed up, acting goofy, snuggling on the couch, and playing with children.
When comedian Whitney Cummings shared a photo of one of her beloved Pit Bulls sporting a huge grin and the words “lock jaw” struck out at the bottom, the campaign took off. In a neat twist nicknamed the “strikeout campaign,” the news feed of Dogly and other social media apps and sites were quickly flooded with wonderful pictures of Pit Bulls with strikeout text of stereotypes the owners had faced with their dogs.
The Dogly staff then coordinated with several of their top “Dogliers” to create a video to accompany the campaign. Jane said it was “wonderful to meet these awesome dogs and their owners. We got the backstory on each of the rescue dogs we featured, like Chango the Handsome Pittie. His mom posts adorable photos of him in clothes. She said she started doing that because people would cross the street when they saw him coming.” Putting clothes on Chango made him appear more approachable and started conversations that might not have otherwise happened.
The Dogly app opens a whole new world for dog owners, giving them a platform on which to post fun pictures of their dogs doing “dogly” things, all while defying negative stereotypes, making it an important tool for those who have Pit Bulls. They have options to add filters, text, doodles, and “Dogly art.” They can then add a caption and a category, including my personal favorite, the “Ruh Roh!” which is so perfect for mischievous pooches!
Being a Pit Bull owner myself, I had to join and post pictures of my own Pit Bull, Axle. I love posting pictures of him breaking stereotypes, like napping with our cats. Now, if only I could get him to pose like the dogs in the video! I would love to get a snapshot of him in some “hater blockers” (sunglasses) for all of the breed haters still unwilling to open their minds.
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About Meghan Lodge: Fits the Aquarius definition to a fault, loves animals, and is always pushing for change. Loves ink, whether it’s in tattoos, books, or writing on that pretty sheet of blank paper. Proud parent of Toby (cat) and Axle (dog). I’m a former quiet nerd who’s turned bubbly animal-obsessed advocate.