From Lassie to Rin Tin Tin to Old Yeller, the roster of dogs famous in pop culture for saving their human companions is long and noble. But in real life it's more often the dogs who need saving.  And you can help do just that, just by voting.

A new website,, now gives rescue dog-owners the opportunity to post pictures and tell the tales of the prized pooches they’ve adopted. They can also give a shout-out to the shelter or organization where they met their furry family member, as part of a nationwide campaign to attract attention (and money) to the plight of homeless hounds. When you visit the site and cast a vote for your favorite, that translates into cash awards for shelters and rescue organizations around the country.

The goal: to raise $100,000 for the rescue groups that care for cast-away canines, in order to provide the best possible care and, ultimately, find them new homes.

“We want to end the euthanasia of adoptable pets,” says Toni Morgan, executive director of the Petfinder Foundation, which is co-sponsoring the site. “Our focus is on getting these pets adopted and on improving their quality of life while they are waiting for that to happen.”

The non-profit organization supports a network of more than 12,000 groups that work to find homes for rescue dogs.“There are so many dogs that are in terrible condition when they are first taken into a shelter,” says Morgan, who is based in Tucson. “Those sad stories are the ones that resonate the most for me.”

It seems fitting that the effort to match great dogs with great owners be supported by an Internet campaign that matches a great website name with the mission it serves. By using the newly available .dog suffix at the tail-end of its URL, becomes one of leaders of the pack when it comes to deploying fresh alternatives to the traditional .com domain name.

Hundreds of “not-com” addresses--ranging from the descriptive .bike to .photography to the broader .business and .company--are now becoming available, allowing businesses, non-profits, and many other entities to advertise website names that accurately describe what they're all about.

The .dog days of summer is the latest example of the excitement that's building in the “not-com” revolution. “It’s exciting to see how people pick up on all these new choices and what they do with them,” says Jeff Davidoff, chief marketing officer of Donuts Inc., which owns the largest portfolio of “not-com” domain options. “.dog is one of the ‘not-com’ choices that has both personal and professional uses.”

Based in Bellevue, WA, Donuts Inc. is co-sponsoring the site. For each picture posted, the Petfinder Foundation will receive a treat: a $10 donation that it will dole out to rescue shelters based on which shelters' adopted dogs receive the most votes. Visitors can also vote on their favorites; each virtual ballot will earn another $1 contribution. To garner votes, posters to the site are urged to summon their fellow puppy-lovers over social media, using the hashtags #NotCom and #MyRescueDog, or linking to the website.

At the end of the contest, which runs through September 26, the shelter or group from which the most popular dog was adopted will receive $25,000. The next 15 dogs with the most votes will each receive $5,000 for their respective shelters.“All the money will go toward helping the dogs,” says Morgan. “There are so many of them up for adoption. They may be homeless or strays, from unwanted litters that result from a lack of spaying and neutering-;or, in some extreme cases, victims of hoarding and puppy mills." They may have suffered at the hands of people once, but, as Morgan notes, "They will give people another chance; all they need is love and compassion.”

A little attention from you will help as well. Whether you've rescued a dog and want to post a photo and story, or simply want to help by voting for your favorite, go to today. With so many great dogs needing new homes, this is no time to roll over.

For more inspiration on naming your businesses for a "not-com" world, visit Name.Kitchen and claim your perfect domain name.

Published on: Mar 1, 2016