As a new year begins, we’re taking stock of everything that made 2017 so fantastic, and the huge list of things we’re excited about for 2018. It includes the amazing shelters and rescues with whom we get to partner, the artists who tirelessly give of their talents to make the world a better place, kitten toes, smooshy faces, heart-shaped noses, grey-faced dogs, and the simple fact that guinea pigs exist in the world.

One other huge checkbox on our list may be news to anyone outside our organization, but it’s a partnership without which we would not have been able to launch our new EDU program: The incredible, creative, whip-smart team at Barefoot Proximity!

Barefoot Proximity is a Cincinnati-based creative and marketing agency, and over this past year we’ve met with one of their rockstar teams — John, Kate, Gabby, Babaljit, and Kaitlyn — every month to brainstorm about what upcoming social holidays and overlays would be most useful for the animal welfare community. These colorful collaborations have resulted in the social media toolkits we’ve been able to offer for free to shelters, rescues, and advocates to help generate fresh inspiration and creative content for promoting homeless pets in new and exciting ways.

We’ve had the pleasure of talking with them about everything from the great importance of National Taco Day to the merits of pumpkin spice puns to the value of a little fresh inspiration for occasions like Giving Tuesday. They’re hashtag geniuses, overlay experts, and social media wizards, each of whom also has a huge heart for animals.

It is our true honor to collaborate with them on behalf of shelter animals worldwide, and we’re beyond excited to see what the new year brings! Stay tuned as new tools land in the EDU library each month — and feel free to get in touch if you have an idea for something that would particularly useful to you and your shelter!