Guest Post: Amy Dionne is the Co-Chair of AMA Gives Back and founding partner and Principal at Brightspot Creative.


Rumor is she took him home with her! Scandal? Not this time friends. It’s just a heartwarming story of a successful pet adoption courtesy of the AMA Gives Back Volunteer outing at BARC, Saturday, May 2. Success I’d say!

I had never volunteered at an animal shelter before though I’ve long claimed the title, dog-lover. Turned out I wasn’t the only first-timer among the group of AMA Houston Volunteers that turned out to spend the morning at BARC, the City of Houston’s Animal Shelter and Adoption Facility.

Now, before I go any further, I just have to say, I think that’s pretty cool. The invitation AMA Gives Back extended inspired a handful of us to do something we’d never done before. We also had the opportunity to do it together. And that’s the point. Plus somebody went home with a puppy… Could it get any better?

Veteran volunteer or otherwise, everyone has to attend training the before they can volunteer at BARC. So we learned a few things before we got started. After some introductions, BARC Volunteer Coordinator Eric Kutch, shared with us the basics for lending a hand at BARC.

If you’re considering volunteering yourself, let me tell you, there are all kinds of duties for volunteers at BARC (and frankly surprisingly little doody involved). There’s work to do in the puppy room, walking dogs, in the clinic, in the cat castle and preparing activities and food for the animals.

AMA Gives Back VolunteersAMA Members happy to volunteer their time to help BARC

But there’s more, and it’s specific to marketers. So listen up AMA Houston! BARC needs skills marketers like us have. For one, they need photographers to capture those precious faces. For another, they need writers to describe potential pets so they can find their perfect family match. It’s like writing a profile on Match.com but for a furry friend. How fun is that?

But this is serious business, too. Eric also educated us a little about the population of stray animals in Houston. Would you believe it’s more than a million? On top of the vast population BARC is charged with managing on the street, the shelter is required by law to accept every animal that comes through its doors regardless of breed, temperament, health condition or circumstance. BARC sees tens of thousands of animals come through its doors each year.

So it’s pretty incredible to learn how effective BARC is these days at finding forever homes for animals that come through their doors.

“On behalf of the animals and people at BARC, I would like to say ‘thank you’ to all of the AMA Houston associates who assisted us Saturday, May 2, 2015. We greatly appreciate your help and support. As the municipal shelter for the City of Houston, BARC Animal Shelter & Adoptions is the recipient of thousands of homeless animals, either lost or abandoned. Your volunteering assisted us in placing several animals into good homes.”
Eric Kutch, BARC Volunteer Coordinator

BARC has an interesting story and incredible vision. So, I encourage you to learn more at their website. While you’re there, you can also find out when their next volunteer training is taking place if you’re so inclined.

I had a great time packaging food and walking dogs around the BARC campus. I plan to do it again.

In the meantime, I am curious if anyone has a suggestion for our next AMA Gives Back volunteer outing. I would love to hear from you. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and let me know your thoughts.

Last but not least, I thought I’d share a little marketing inspiration from the masters at OgilvyOne that showed up in my Adweek feed a day or two ago.

Timely. I’d adopt that dog. Wouldn’t you?

Signing off. Thanks for reading (especially if you’ve made it here to the end).

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