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Skagit Valley Hospital

The Kitty Kam Experiment: Can a Website Change the Relationship People Have to your Service?

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There are some things that you hear that you never forget. Years ago, while on a tour of a local humane society I heard, “If it weren’t for the cats, we’d be out of business.” Such a comment is obviously provocative, so I inquired further.  It turns out that at the time, dogs were very easy to adopt. Kennels sat empty as adoptable dogs spent very little time at the society until they were on their next adventure. Cats, on the other hand, weren’t so lucky. Cat overpopulation was a major problem. So when I first learned about a project that a friend is working on, I was intrigued. The concept:  let the companion bonding experience begin before people get to the shelter.

The product is currently being tested at the Idaho Humane Society. Website visitors can click on the Kitty Kam link and be connected instantly to a live video feed into the Society’s cat room. But there’s more!  Viewers can download an application that will allow them to take one-minute turns actually controlling the camera and cat toys in the room. From across the globe, a visitor can entertain a kitten in South Boise Idaho – in real time. I’ll challenge even the coldest heart not to giggle at the site of the kittens jumping on the toys.

While the product is still in early development, the concept could solve a big problem – and one which many nonprofit organizations face. Simply, how does an organization give its prospective supporters an experiential moment, if it cannot get those supporters inside its facility?

Give it a try and let us know what you think. The fine print: you’ll need to use Internet Explorer and some firewalls don’t like the site yet. Some users may not have success logging into the program.

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2 Responses

  1. Another example of new technology serving fund raising is the Itty bitty kitty committee’s relationship with the Tacoma Humane Society. The blog’s owner is a kitten foster parent and documents herrelationship.

    The kittens are adopted by blog readers.

    http://www.theittybittykittycommittee.com/

    Last year, as part of the Tacoma Humane Society Dog-a-thon, the readers of the blog donated $30,000. This year the Committee is trying to raise $40,000. They also have a strong Facebook presence. And great kitty pictures.

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