These Incredible Ikea Showrooms Put Shelter Dogs on Display

Singapore outlets of the retailer have life-size cutouts of pooches in need of a home.
May 14, 2014·
Culture and education editor Liz Dwyer has written about race, parenting, and social justice for several national publications. She was previously education editor at Good.

Animal shelters across the world are chockfull of furry friends just waiting for someone to love them. But unless you’re thinking of adopting, those potential pets probably aren’t on your radar. So what better spot to advertise a pooch than a place you might go to buy the things you need to make your house a home: Ikea.

The retailer’s locations in Singapore have teamed up with two of that country’s animal shelters, Save Our Street Dogs and Animal Lovers League, to get dogs adopted. The project, called Home for Hope, is designed to open the hearts and minds of people who might not have otherwise considered owning a dog. The shelters teamed with Ikea because they have limited budgets for advertising their pets. Shelters use social media to get the word out about homeless dogs, but because most of their followers on Facebook and Twitter are already pet owners, it's not the most effective means of attracting new folks.

As you can see in the video above, the stores are placing life-size cardboard cutouts of dogs that are housed in the shelters into their showroom designs. What’s more natural than Fido begging for a snack in the kitchen or sitting in your favorite chair? Each of the potential canine companions comes with a QR code collar tag.

Once shoppers scan the tag, they’re taken to the Home for Hope Web page, which provides details about the animal and the ins and outs of adoption. "You won’t be starting from scratch," the site reassures potential adopters. "During their stay in a shelter, dogs are rehabilitated. This equips them with basic manners and commands. These rescue dogs have also been neutered and vaccinated, which saves you a sizable sum."

According to the Humane Society of the United States, every year 6–8 million dogs and cats are housed in America’s animal shelters, and 3–4 million of them are euthanized. No word so far on whether Ikea plans to expand the project beyond Singapore. Given the number of animals put down stateside every year, it’s a concept we could use.