Rob Morlino doesn’t deny that living inside a dog kennel for 48 hours is “absolutely a publicity stunt.”
But it’s for a cause — helping homeless animals find homes — that Morlino, strategic outreach coordinator at New Mexico’s Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society, believes deserves publicity.
That’s why Morlino is not only living in the kennel for two days, but also broadcasting the experience on Facebook Live with the goal of raising $10,000 for the shelter. And when supporters donate money to the animal shelter, they’ll immediately see some gratification online. For example, anyone who donates $10 will get a shout-out on camera. If you donate $25, he’ll either get a cup of coffee or a head scratch from one of the shelter volunteers.
And if you donate $10,000? That means you’ve symbolically “adopted Rob,” and he promises to wear something nice and cook lasagna for you. (See what other donation increments will get you here.)
Speaking to Huffington Post from the kennel after 23 hours there, Rob said the most surprising thing he’d learned was just how “dead quiet” the kennels are at night.
“It was almost spookily quiet,” he said, noting that the silence was interrupted only by the occasional howling match or bowl getting knocked over.
He was also pleasantly surprised how often shelter volunteers stopped by to care for them — taking him out for doggie playtime, walks and bathroom breaks. Don’t worry - he was still using a human toilet, so no poor volunteer was tasked with picking up his poo.
“We felt like sacrificing that small piece of authenticity for the sake of decency, and probably legality, was worth it,” he said.
That said, he’s also engaged in a few other activities that your average dog probably doesn’t do. For instance, he’s been interviewing various shelter workers about what they do there, and he painted a portrait of Lenny, a dog who has lived at the shelter for 14 months. (The shelter will be auctioning off that portrait Friday.)
Follow Morino’s adventures in the shelter on Facebook.