Using Instagram to raise money for the Md. SPCA

Posted at 12:41 PM, Apr 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-16 12:41:54-04

Meesha Kauffman leaned forward, tilting her camera toward her 2-year-old Chihuahua, Bruce Wayne, who was sporting a snazzy blue-and-white checked jacket.

“Sit still,” Kauffman said, and he obliged, looking straight at the lens.

It’s clear he loves the camera, and the camera loves him.

The black-and-white pooch (@ipartywithbrucewayne) has amassed more than 40,000 followers on Instagram, all because of Kauffman’s devotion to photographing him. Named for Batman’s secret identity, there are plenty of pictures of Bruce in Batman-themed attire, among other custom outfits.

Now, Kauffman, of Baltimore, is using Bruce’s Instagram fame to raise money for the Maryland SPCA for the 2016 March for the Animals, a 1.5 mile walk-a-thon and festival around Druid Hill Park.

She’s the captain of the Baltimore IG Pups, a team of local pet owners and their dogs who met on Instagram.

Kauffman’s goal was initially to raise $500 for the April 24 event, but the team has raised more than $1,500 as of mid-month.

“It has been amazing. I have met so many friends (on Instagram) who have become real life friends now,” said Kristen Mills of Edgewood, the owner of Pablo the Chihuahua (@therealpablochihuahua).

“And it’s nice to have friends who don’t think we’re crazy,” Mills added with a smile.

Other pack members include Stacey Hearn of Severna Park, whose bulldog Clementine is @_darlin_clementine, and Katy Housen of Baltimore, owner of Bruno (@bmorebrunothebulldog).

“It’s definitely brought us together, with the end goal of helping the SPCA,” Housen said.

The group is definitely an odd mix, especially for a walk-a-thon, Housen added.

“None of these dogs are the most athletic breeds,” she said.

But they are breeds with a loyal following, which their owners say is one reason they’ve become so popular on Instagram.

“Hashtagging helps a lot,” said Hearn, who also has two other dogs, a pug and a puggle. Clementine has almost 7,000 followers and frequently is re-grammed to other bulldog pages, she said.

Responding to messages from fans has also helped, pack members said.

The love from followers is apparent.

“Oh I just LOVE this!!!! Double the cuteness and double awesome shirts moms!” one Instagram user wrote on a recent picture of Bruce Wayne and Pablo posted on Bruce Wayne’s account. Kauffman and Mills were both wearing shirts with pictures of Chihuahuas on them.

Pack members are giving away a backpack full of dog goodies on Instagram as a way to encourage donations. Anyone who makes a $5 donation to the Maryland SPCA and sends a pack member a screen shot of the donation will be entered into a drawing, which will take place after the walk. Visit any of the dog’s Instagram accounts for more details.


♥?♥?♥?♥? HEY FRIENDS!!!! DO YOU WANT TO WIN THIS PRETTY BACK PACK FULL OF ALL THESE GOODIES???? PLUS A UNISEX BANDANA SCARF (not pictured) that was graciously donated by @a.starry.knight AND A UNISEX POLKA DOT BOW TIE HAND MADE AND DONATED BY @cleverclementine (also not yet pictured) WELL I am participating in the March for the Animals 4/24 with my pack team mates:::: @ipartywithbrucewayne @therealpablochihuahua and @bmorebrunothebulldog We are trying to raise money for the SPCA!! To have your name entered in a drawing to win all these yummies please make a minimum donation of $5 by clicking the link in my bio or visiting this link ???? ???????????? THEN DM ME A SCREENSHOT OF YOUR CONFIRMATION ?????????? I WILL DRAW A WINNING NAME SUNDAY NIGHT, 4/24/16 after the March, so Sunday afternoon will be the cut off point. PLEASE PLEASE DONATE IF YOU CAN FRIENDS. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! LOVE TO YOU ALL!!! TAG A FRIEND!!!! ????????????????????????????IF YOU CANT DONATE MAYBE YOU WOULD HELP AND REPOST THIS FOR ME??? I WOULD BE EVER SO GRATEFUL ?

A photo posted by @_darlin_clementine on

The pack has also organized a fundraiser through MoJo’s Morsels, which sells all-natural pet treats. Through April 18, use the promo code BWSCPA for a 5 percent discount, and $1 for every bag purchased will be donated to the Maryland SPCA on behalf of Baltimore IG Pups. 

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