BELLEVUE, Wash. — Viral videos are helping Seattle Humane “Clear the Shelters” in August — and every month.
Over the past couple of years, the organization’s TikTok account has amassed more than 42,000 followers and 2.4 million “likes.”
Brandon Macz, public relations and social media specialist for Seattle Humane, creates the short videos featuring an array of animals.
"The animals are not really interested in their followers or how they're doing,” he said. "Elliott (the dog) was one of my greatest stars. He got hundreds of thousands of likes on TikTok. He did not care."
The only “like” Elliott needed was adoption — and he ultimately found a good home. That’s the goal for every dog, cat, and guinea pig Macz has highlighted.
When he shoots videos, he makes it fun for the animals by giving them toys, treats and affection.
"I try to keep it light for them. Obviously they are not Hollywood dogs and cats. They haven't been trained,” he said. "They've come from at-risk shelters across the country where they were facing euthanasia. This is a second chance to find a family. I just really want them to have fun and capture their personality in a way that's a little more unique."
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Macz often stars alongside them but admits he's learning as he goes. Running a TikTok account at age 37 was never in his master plan.
"I started here in March 2020. As everybody knows, pretty boring month. Nothing really happened,” he joked. “But no, the pandemic really kind of kicked us. It became really important to be able to use social media to show all of these animal's personalities."
The videos include everything from funny bits to touching adoption scenes. Macz has experienced their impact in the Seattle Humane lobby.
"A couple, they had a puppy. They were like, 'Hey, I saw you on TikTok you were the reason why I came in today,’” he said. "I mean, it really makes you feel good."
You can see the animals available for adoption on the organization's website or visit in person at 13212 S.E. Eastgate Way, Bellevue.
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