When you walk in to the Humane Society of Chittenden County you can't help but find yourself in a playful mood.
It's high times at the shelter. Donations are back on the rise, adoptions are through the roof, and they just won $10,000.
"Our first thought was this is a spam email. The subject just said congratulations $10,000 winner. Typical spam," says communications director Megan Stearns.
The money comes unexpectedly thanks to a furry friend's active online persona. The blog "Cat Food Breath" is based around the personality of a cat adopted from their shelter in 2008.
"The cat only writes in character so I do not know who the people behind "Cat Food Breath" are but they write about the life of a cat. It is very humorous," Stearns says.
The bloggers were trying to earn votes for the Petties Awards, which some refer to as the oscars of pet blogging. If they won they would get $1,000, which they promised donate to the HSCC.
"When we asked people to vote for this cat blog to win $1,000 people also voted for us for $10,000 and we won!" Stearns says.
The money is no longer dangling in front of them -- it's in the mail. And everyone is celebrating in their own way.
The shelter can hold up to 125 animals at a time but the goal is to not reach that limit. This money helps them do something they have never done before.
"This donation will help us for the first time ever have an advertising budget," Stearns says.
Stearns says social media has helped the shelter connect with their supporters very inexpensively, and they plan to use this money to invest in their online presence -- including their new online store.
They expect the money to arrive in the mail next week, with a very warm welcome.
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