How 'Desexmas' helped the rescue community

February 15, 2019

In December of 2017, PetRescue ran a Christmas fundraising campaign called ‘Desexmas’.

"Simply make a donation to our “Happy Desexmas” fundraiser and your kind gift will help rescue pets get the vital vet work they need to start a new life ­including desexing!" (ref)

The campaigned featured cute images of pets in cones, clearly having just had surgery. It claimed a gift to the campaign would be helping “grassroots community rescue groups”. But the campaign also includes this fine print:

"Christmas 2017 donations will go to funding the development of the new directed donation system and launch is planned for spring 2018. (ref)

So rather than donations to this campaign being for desexing, these funds were being directed into PetRescue’s web development and staffing costs. Their pitch video described how much money they needed = $100,000.

"... there's a heap of development work to do, to make sure we build a secure and effective donation platform."

When rescue groups expressed their dismay at the fundraiser, PetRescue was quick to defend the solicitation and blame haters and "Christmas grinches" for the negative feedback.

The campaign would raise just shy of $50,000...

Midway through 2018, PetRescue announced the platform was finished;

“And thanks to the team at Shout For Good, who have provided the best secure and mobile-friendly third party payment platform, we're now making it happen.

And rather be a new "platform", PetRescue had chosen a third-party plugin 'Shout for Good' to put a button on the listings of rescue groups. Exactly how much it cost to build this button has not been specified, but it certainly isn't the $100,000 "hundreds of hours of planning and web development" used by PetRescue to justify this campaign.

At the end of 2018, to encourage groups to sign up to the button (to trust an organsation who had already misrepresented a fundraiser) PetRescue started to hint at a new campaign with the exclusive aim of helping rescue groups access financial resources;

Donation button update

And while the promised "social media post trial" didn't seem to happen; there was still this launch fundraiser to help rescue groups.

PetRescue has made a promise to rescue groups to help them financially. To generate cash money with this new 'button'. That is why - PetRescue tell us - that the public gave to the Desexmas campaign.

PetRescue have promised to run a campaign with the exclusive purpose of generating donations for groups directly.

So where is it?

This is the only post on their Facebook page yesterday - on Valentine's Day - supposedly the first day of the campaign.

Nothing on their homepage. Nothing on their other socials.

Where is it?

I'd wax lyrical about PetRescue prioritising self-serving campaigns that generate income for their own coffers - but let's wait and see if there is just a delay on the great new Valentine's Day campaign to help rescue groups generate funds.

It could not be possible that PetRescue would have done a major fundraising campaign - taken a large sum of money from the public to build a feature to help rescues - then not follow through and actually help rescues? Surely not.


See also: 

Desexmas, where for the campaign funds go?

Find this post interesting? Share it around.