Hi. You may have seen me in the news; I’m known as either “Houston Woman,” or “Foul-Mouthed Foster Mom,” depending on which headline you read.
To summarize: several months ago, I found a stray dog and fostered him. I quickly started to realize that finding this dog a permanent home would be one of the biggest challenges yet, so I knew I had to be creative and get Hank’s name out there.
With my background in digital marketing, I decided to build a website, so I secured the domain and hosting, and started to craft a winning website that would attract potential adopters. Having laid out the basics, I realized that – while his bio might be amusing – the site needed more spiciness.
So I dropped the f-bombs. A lot of them. A fuck-ton of them.
I thought I could capture the attention of my local Houston network; Houston pet groups, NextDoor, etc. I knew the spicier the site was, the more likely the site would be shared. As I’ve repeatedly stated, the language I used on the site was intentional. I was going for the shock-factor, the amusement, and (to my knowledge) nobody has ever tried to write a dog biography using so many curse words before. It worked. The first shares and comments started coming in, all using the f-word. “Fucking adopt Hank!” they said. “Fuck, this is funny!”
- BetterMarketing – The Marketing Genius Behind the “Hellion Dog” Adoption Page
- BestFriends.org – The Public is the Solution
Hank in the News
- Yahoo! via ScaryMommy
- The Today Show
- Daily Mail
- New York Post
- Inside Edition (Digital) (with video)
- Inside Edition (TV) (video)
- iHeart Radio
It’s important to me to mention that I created this plan without the permission of the rescue organization, Friends For Life. I was nervous about the reaction from the shelter, but figured if I could keep the website up for a day or two before they found out about it, then I’d have at least reached a couple hundred people in Houston before I had to nuke the website. Then the Executive Director of Friends For Life shared the website with the words, “Fucking Adopt Hank.” I had received the golden blessing from the top-of-the-top.
I made no effort to hide my identity, so the emails started rolling in. One said she was reporting me to both the ASPCA and the FTC. While I was waiting for that knock on the door from those organizations, I read hundreds of other emails thanking me for my “brutal honesty,” Many shared their own stories, pictures, and videos of their foster dogs or challenging rescues. I even got a message from the owner of a dog who could be Hank’s actual twin sister.
Most of the messages were uplifting and positive. A few of the messages were filled with vitriol, which I fully expected. I calmly replied to those with the same message: if you’re easily upset by words, then perhaps rescuing a challenging dog like Hank isn’t the best match. I don’t expect Hank’s future owner to love the cursing or even curse at him, but I do expect they need a thick skin and a sense of humor. Hank makes us laugh every day with his shenanigans; I want Hank’s family to get just as much enjoyment out of him as we are.
After the news headlines, a few more opinion pieces were written from experienced rescue organizations and volunteers. To me, this was the icing on top of the cake: not only was Hank mentioned and featured, but my idea was recognized and celebrated. As a digital marketer, it’s exciting to receive high praise from your peers. Thank you for that.
Anyway, if you’re in the market for a ridiculously happy-go-lucky giant goofball of a dog, Hank is still available for adoption as of the writing of this post. For pete’s sake, adopt #HankTheHellion and save us, his very exhausted foster family. Thank you.