Each month I participate in a wonderful blogfest called WeAreTheWorld (#WATWB) which seeks 6o bring positive stories higlighting the goodness and not the shadow side of humanity.
We live in a society in which things, people and pets are cast on a waste heap when their usefulness is up. I came across the story of this dedicated dog rescuer and was immediately touched. I know from experience that rescued dogs can have the tenderest hearts. Caley is doing great work in showing their innate worth to the world.
‘Life of Pikelet’ creator left advertising to tell the world how awesome rescue dogs are
Calley Gibson created The Life of Pikelet first to rescue animals, then to tell the world why they should get in on the rescue mission too.
Updated Updated 4 October
By Elly Duncan
From the outside, the Life of Pikelet headquarters in Sydney are pretty unassuming. But step indoors and you’re met with dogs. A LOT of them.
This is Calley Gibson’s world. She gave up a promising career in advertising to dedicate her life to what she really loved: caring for rescue animals.
“I like taking an animal into my home, giving them something that they’ve never had before, what they most need at that time.”
“People who say to us or say about us that Life of Pikelet is about fame or trying to get a celebrity status, they don’t really understand.”
First, it was dog walking, then dog photography, then a year or so after: full-time dog rescue. With that, a social media empire was born: Life of Pikelet.
When it comes to famous pets, names like Doug the Pug or Grumpy Cat dominate globally. With around 180,000 Instagram followers and 140,000 Facebook fans, Life of Pikelet is – pardon the pun – the top dog in Australia.
Life of Pikelet has a very serious purpose.
“My intention was to put Pikelet on social media and have him be a representative of how great rescue dogs are.”
It’s also a way for the private rescue to raise funds and donated resources. Unlike the RSPCA, rescues like Calley’s receive very little, if any, government funding. For now, the Life of Pikelet rescue runs on one income – that of Calley’s husband – and anything sent from fans and followers online, or earned through official Pikelet merch.
While it can be very supportive, Calley says the community can be very political.
Social media is a strategy private rescues across the country have adopted.
The reality for these rescues is to battle it out over funding, donations and attention. While it can be very supportive, Calley says the community can be very political. And that opens her up to critics.
“People who say to us or say about us that Life of Pikelet is about fame or trying to get a celebrity status, they don’t really understand or they haven’t been following for very long.”
For Calley, fame and influence aren’t what all her work online has been for – it’s to continue raising awareness for rescue animals. The social media success has just become a much-needed help along the way.