Humans Do the Darndest Things: Cats, Dogs Weigh in on Peculiar People Habits

Shelter Pet Project PSAs give pet POV on our everyday rituals.

Shelter Pet Project SIZE.jpg

Humans Do the Darndest Things: Cats, Dogs Weigh in on Peculiar People Habits
In the latest Shelter Pet Project, a recently adopted cat wonders aloud why the boy of the house "plays in the litter box." (Photo: YouTube)

From dogs that betray their guilt with lip-curling smiles to cats that steal bras from neighborhood clotheslines, perverse pet habits are a never-ending source of human fascination.

But what do cats and dogs think of our daily rituals? Shaving? Talking on the phone? Dressing and undressing? If we could view our own mundane habits from an animal point of view, they’d no doubt appear absurd, even surreal.

The Shelter Pet Project's latest line of PSAs explore everyday life with humans from a recently adopted animal's point of view. A perplexed cat marvels at the spellbinding effect of a cell phone on her human caregiver. Two dogs in a park offer their observations on quaint human dating rituals. And, in their latest spot, an orange domestic shorthair cat looks on in horror and fascination as a small boy thrashes around in a sandbox, the cat equivalent of a toilet.

Beyond their cleverness, the ads invite humans to enter into an animal's perspective, even if for a moment. Quite often, even the most loving pet-owners forget the unique subjectivity of their animals. We tend to project our own feelings onto our pets, we give them silly voices, or fractured vocabularies without ever simply trying to trade places with them, to see the world as they might see it.

According to The Humane Society and the AD Council which has partnered with the Shelter Pet Project on the public service announcements, the campaign has helped reduce the euthanasia of shelter pets by 10 percent since its 2009 launch.

Despite the difficult economy, the percentage of pets adopted from animal shelters and rescue groups has jumped from 27 to 29 percent in the last two years. That means the number of adoptable pets killed in shelters dropped from 3 to 2.7 million. The Shelter Pet Project aims to bring that number to zero.

To see more Pet Shelter Project PSAs, click here: