Abhishek Joshi, a devout dog lover and digital marketer is the founder of 'Dog with Blog' (https://dogwithblog.in), a niche community that aims at finding homes for stray and abandoned dogs. Abhishek started the blog in 2010 when he was fostering stray puppies on the university campus. Since then more than 900 homeless and abandoned dogs have found their forever homes thanks to the 100k+ members' vibrant community spread across websites, adoption newsletters, and social media platforms. Through its content, the blog tries to promote adoptions so that people considering ‘to buy dogs’ can explore shelters, adoption, and fostering.
When Abhishek Joshi, a dog lover and digital marketer, started a blog way back in 2009 he had little idea that hundreds of abandoned dogs would find forever loving homes thanks to the community it would spin as he was in his words, ‘merely concocting a cocktail of the twin loves of my life – dogs and digital – in that order’. Fast forward to 2021, and 900+ adoptions later, D has built a niche following of pet lovers, a foster and adoption network, which leverages social media to drive adoptions and celebrates indi dogs as against breeders and puppy mills.
Post his MBA, Abhishek started as a digital marketer for an IT firm and was managing the company website - content, social media, blogs, etc. Since his professional domain was digital and he had a keen interest in the same, he experimented with creating a personal blog for his favorite cause over a weekend. Since he was most interested in dogs and was volunteering towards their care, that came to be the theme of the blog. In India, there are many homeless dogs who rarely fund takers despite them being best suited to withstand and flourish in tropical climates. Abhishek tries to raise awareness towards their plight and with active communities and runs a dog adoption network that is completely free.
Dog with Blog started small, having local nuances integrated and looking for basic questions like what if someone wants to adopt a dog in an Indian city - what information would he need - how, where, when, etc? What would the search journey be like - how can we tap and maybe, convert people looking to buy ‘pedigree’ and help they see the goodness that comes with adoption, etc.
Abhishek was driven by what he was seeing, an odd post could drive more interest regarding adoptions than multiple visits around residential societies and putting out posters. His plan in early-stage was to build a community of like-minded dog lovers. It started with writing which led to building a network of volunteers who would be helping at other shelters etc. This helped track adoption cases and we could centrally share and follow up with the prospective leads and families.
The power of social media is unquestionable and the very fact that they have been able to find some of the strays, abandoned dogs loving homes bears testimony to the same. Minus the digital channels, there wasn’t an efficient way to reach out to dog lovers across the length and breadth of the country.
They have also compiled and listed city-wide rescue and adoption centers so that people who were considering ‘buy dogs’ can also explore shelters and adoption. Abhishek attributes the community culture to be the core of the blog, wherein the readers are actively helping spread the word for adoptions.
Dog with Blog believes that aside from fostering and volunteering, there are many ways one can advocate for a social cause like animal rescue. Even something as simple as sharing an adoption appeal can be the difference-maker when it comes to a homeless animal getting a chance at love and life. While they don’t own a physical shelter or facility, the blog has great resource tools for those who are interested in getting involved locally, be it via volunteering, foster, or getting a pet home. The detailed posts (and now also a podcast) try to address queries that first-time pet parents may have.
Abhishek has tapped into the reach that the internet provides for something good and it is an example of how anyone involved in a social cause can use social media even if they are an individual and not an NGO or international charity. Aside from adoptions, the blog also raises awareness about native Indian dog breeds like Rajapalayam, Bhutia dogs, etc. and also ridicules archaic practices like how some people consider black cats as bearers of black luck.
Dog with the blog has a vibrant Facebook page, a growing Instagram channel but Twitter is where they drive most engagements. At present, there are more than 1,20,000+ dog lovers in this community. They use the blog and social media channels to reach out to people who want to adopt and not buy pets. Thanks to this, the adoption stories are now reaching a wider audience than before, apart from the conversations they can lend themselves to.
They also celebrate happy dog rescue and adoption stories by interviewing the pet parents or hosting guest posts to inspire and motivate others to consider adopting a pet too. The timely upbeat, happy news, brings a smile to the community reemphasizing the role dogs play in our daily life. One of such stories was when they collaborated with National Geographic to share the amazing pariah dogs (Desi dogs) of Delhi and the people who care for them.
In 2018, Dog with Blog won India’s best blog (social cause) by Indiblogger and in 2019, Abhishek was listed among India’s top 100 digital marketers by Adobe.
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