If you’ve spent any time mindlessly surfing the web, odds are you’ve come across Keyboard Cat, Hamilton Pug, or the fashion icon Toast Meets World. They’re all pets, they’re all adorable, and they are basically the reason the Internet was invented.

So, what does this fun, furry trio have in common, aside from three very large and loyal social media fan bases? Well, all three also were adopted. That’s right, the two dogs and one cat, who combined have nearly 450,000 social media followers and tens of millions of video views, all saw their stories start in shelters and rescue groups. 

Now, these three pet celebrities and their adoptive parents are lending their names and stories to help drive awareness about the importance of shelter pet adoption across the country as part of The Shelter Pet Project’s new “Start A Story. Adopt.” campaign. Focusing on the amazing qualities of these Internet-famous pets and their unique, special bonds with their owners, “Start a Story. Adopt.” encourages potential pet owners to go to shelters and rescue groups when looking for new pets, and calls for pet adoption advocates to share their own amazing adoption stories. 

The majority of shelter pets end up in shelters through no fault of their own. Thanks to increasing awareness, pet adoption is on the rise; currently, 37 percent of dogs and 46 percent of cats in American homes were adopted from shelters and rescue groups. However, there are still 2.4 million healthy and treatable dogs and cats who need our help to find homes each year. 

You can check out the adoption stories of Keyboard Cat, Hamilton Pug, and Toast Meets World by watching the video below, and following along with #StartAStoryAdopt on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. If you are looking for a new pet, head to TheShelterPetProject.org to search for adoptable dogs and cats near you. If you already are a proud adopted-pet owner, head to the website to create shareable, social graphics starring your cats and dogs. 

Every great story has a beginning. #StartAStoryAdopt to begin yours today. 

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