IMPACT

Toronto Humane Society's PuppySwap Pranks Pet Owners To Prove A Valuable Point

01/14/2015 01:05 EST | Updated 01/14/2015 01:59 EST

Tired of having the same wagging tail greet you at the door every evening? Looking for a cuter companion?

Toronto Humane Society now provides the world's first puppy subscription service, PuppySwap, which allows pet owners to swap their old dogs with new adorable puppies.

Now before you get too upset (or excited), relax. It's not real.

It's part of the humane society's comprehensive prank to bring attention to pet abandonment. The society created a YouTube channel, website, Twitter hashtag, Facebook page and commercial for PuppySwap, in order to use satire to highlight the fact that too many pets are brought back to shelters to die.

The commercial, posted on YouTube last week, shows families deciding to swap pets through the subscription service's website, picking a new puppy based on ratings such as "cute factor," "babe/hunk magnetism" and "what's currently trending."

They don't stop there, the website features graphs allowing visitors to compare ratings for breeds such as Welsh corgis, chihuahuas and French bulldogs. The site also has customer user reviews, one of which reads: "Tear up my house once, shame on you. Tear up my house twice, you get swapped."

It's only upon clicking the "sign up" button that one discovers the service is completely fake.

According to the humane society, more than 180,000 pets are brought to Canadian shelters each year, 40 per cent will never leave.

While many people have picked up on the prank and posted it on social media using the hashtag #puppyswap, others, who likely haven't watched the entire commercial or clicked through the site, are furious.

"What a f**king stupid idea!! What's next? Baby swap?" reads on YouTube comment, while another comment on Facebook reads, "Wtf is wrong with you people? Swap out your old best friend for a new one? What kind of morals are you teaching kids?"

Rest easy, folks, the site, service and all other things related to PuppySwap are fabricated. Do you think the prank is an appropriate way to bring attention to pet abandonment? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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