Outlet Spotlight - Australian Dog/Cat Lover
If only 1 out 6 new pet owners chose to adopt rather than buy, it would help us get to “zero euthanasia” in Australia
When Agnes Beugnon became a “pet parent” in her mid-thirties, she quickly realised just how little she knew about looking after her Belgian Tervuren Conner puppy. Agnes began searching for information online but found the space was inundated with American and United Kingdom websites and paid local print magazines. It was this need for information that sparked the creation of the Australian Dog Lover in 2015 and eventually the Australian Cat Lover news media service in 2019.
Agnes also saw the space for a massive shake-up of the pet industry that sees over 200,000 dogs and cats finding their way into Australian Shelters every year while pets are still being marketed and sold daily. The websites and digital magazines became a way to help these pets while encouraging readers considering pet ownership to “adopt, don’t shop”.
Since its inception, the news service has published over 2,265 stories and has received over 7 million page views. “What we're most proud of is the direct feedback from our dog-loving community (direct emails or on our social media feeds) thanking us for the educational stories we share daily (with no paywall or subscription fee to read the magazine) saying it has helped them,” says Agnes. “The other rewarding aspect of this job has been to be in a position to assist countless start-ups in the pet industry, providing free coverage about their new products or services or rescue fundraising projects and also encouraging people to think about adoption first.”
Both the Dog and Cat Lover sites run a dedicated news section where they regularly share press releases and original stories in which they reach out to industry stakeholders for comment. The team is often approached by PR agencies or pet businesses with pitches but tends to steer clear of anything deemed too advertorial that offers no real educational value to their audiences. “Many articles, especially in the Health & Training sections, were inspired by an issue we personally faced with our own pets,” says Agnes. “And sometimes the inspiration came from a friend, client or a reader's suggestion. We are lucky that Australian small businesses are extremely creative so we get to showcase new small businesses and collections every year.”