November 14, 2018
Cohasset Nonprofit Launches National Awareness Campaign

September 29, 2014 — Companion Animal Protection Society, a Cohasset nonprofit that seeks to protect companion animals from cruelty in pet shops and puppy mills, recently launched a national cable TV ad campaign after the producer of the ad read an article about the organization and decided to donate his time and effort to the cause.

Deborah Howard, founder and president of Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS), said, “We hope our PSA will compel the public to adopt animal companions from shelters and rescue organizations rather than buying them through pet shops or online sellers.”

The organization’s public service announcement (PSA)—called Adopt, Don’t Shop—which forms the basis of the awareness and education campaign, is the third it has produced and was created by Mark Helman, a founder of the Heltel, a Massachusetts nonprofit that provides video and related services to other nonprofits.

“Helman donated his time and resources to developing the PSA after reading a Boston Globe article on CAPS and the Models Against Pet Shops and Puppy Mills campaign in March 2013,” said Howard.

A former editor at “NBC Nightly News, Helman filmed the PSA, which took about a month to produce, in Hull and Cohasset.

The 30-second PSA will run on national cable TV channels and be promoted through the CAPS website, social media, enewsletters, and donor appeal letters. Howard expects the PSA to run for the next year. A radio version is already airing on stations across the country.

The previous PSAs broadcast on USA Network, National Geographic Channel, Food Network, Travel Channel, Cooking Channel, HGTV, Sundance Channel, five major PBS stations, Animal Planet in New York City and local stations around the country.

Since its founding in 1990, CAPS has engaged in extensive media work. Howard, a former radio news reporter, lawyer, and public relations professional, generated stories on CNN, “Dateline,” “20/20,” “Hard Copy,” and in Reader’s Digest, LIFE, People, Detroit Free Press, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Boston Globe.

CAPS, which serves as a watchdog for USDA, the agency responsible for licensing and inspecting commercial dog breeding and brokering facilities, also holds peaceful protests at pet shops and distributes literature to educate the public about the pet shop puppy mill industry. It is also involved with legal work related to pet shops, such as an ongoing project with the New York Attorney General’s Office.

CAPS posted revenues of $672,000 in 2013, which came from 7,500 donors.

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