An adorable puppy is winning the Internet recently for an unusual reason. His muzzle features a fur pattern that’s strikingly similar to one of the most famous mustaches in history–that worn by the Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali. The pup has even been given the name Salvador Dolly, in tribute, and seems to be enjoying her fame. She’s also bringing attention to the benefits of adopting shelter dogs.
Puppies In Need
The shepherd mix puppy arrived at Dallas Animal Services in Texas along with her mother and brothers and sisters. Because the shelter environment can be stressful for young dogs while exposing them to sickness, the staff knew there was an immediate need to try to find the family another safe place to stay. While they were looking for a solution, the staff noticed the unusual fur pattern on the dog and saw how quickly members of the public were drawn to her. They saw that visitors ooohed and awwed, frequently commenting about how the fur pattern made her appear even cuter.
Internet Publicity Helps
The shelter’s staff decided to take advantage of the dog’s looks to get more attention to this case and for adoptable dogs overall. They gave the dog her adorable–and appropriate–nickname, took some photos and told her story. Their plan worked. With all of the attention the puppies are getting, the shelter’s staff was able to find a foster family, called Hearts and Bones Rescue, who has pet foster and adoption programs in both Dallas and New York.
The Public Responds
The publicity surrounding Salvador Dolly and the rest of her canine family was overwhelming and positive. Media outlets including Fox News, The Today Show, The New York Post, The Dodo, and even Great Britan’s The Evening Standard ran stories on the puppies. On social media, the pup quickly earned thousands of likes and comments in just the first few days after posting. Potential adoptees located near the New York area are especially excited because they’re located close to where the dogs will eventually be fostered.
The Strategy Behind The Publicity
The story of Salvador Dolly and her canine family are a textbook illustration of what rescue organizations have learned about how to use the media, especially social media, to support rescue pets. Rescuers have learned that if they can find new and interesting ways to talk about the pets they’re trying to help, the public will respond. That’s why they’ll often share as much of their rescue stories as they can with any potential adopters.
Rescue organizations will also partner with photographers to take animal pictures that are as cute as possible or will name animals in ways that will be appealing to the public. Hearts and Bones Rescue appears to be fully embracing the trend. Other adoptable dogs are named after actors like Meryl Streep or after members of famous television shows such as Stranger Things. The other puppies in Salvador Dolly’s litter were each named after famous artists including Georgia O’Keefe and Vincent VanGogh.
Salvador Dali’s Actual Mustache
Curious about the actual mustache that inspired the name? There’s a lot to tell. While many men sported handlebar mustaches at the time Dali was painting, he took his to new lengths and it became a part of his persona. In one photo, it has even been seen with extreme length and turned up as it if is going to take flight from a nesting place on the painter’s upper lip.
Interesting fact: apparently, the mustache survived after death. When a court-ordered state medical examiners to exhume the painter’s body for a paternity test, they found it was in surprisingly good shape. It even retained some of its twisted appearance, a brilliant reminder of the artists’ persona that lived on.
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