“If life is drab, get a lab!”

Advertising and public relations students in the Department of Media, Communications and Journalism at Fresno State are collaborating with the Labrador Retriever Rescue of Fresno on a campaign to recruit volunteers, fosters, adopters and donors for the organization. 

The students and lab rescue will hold a “Meet and Treat” event from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, in front of the Kennel Bookstore at Fresno State. From noon to 12:30 p.m., Fresno State’s live mascot Victor E. Bulldog III will make a special appearance. Through the Meet and Treat, the campus community will learn about the lab rescue program and opportunities to help. 

The collaboration is part of the MCJ 199 service-learning course that works with different organizations each semester to create, implement and evaluate a public relations and advertising campaign.

“I’m so proud of my students for working so hard to put together this campaign,” said professor Betsy Hays, instructor for the course. “This is such a great example of service-learning – the idea of using curriculum and experiential learning to make the world a better place.”

In addition to the event, students have created radio public-service announcements in English and Spanish, and a video in partnership with the Community Media Access Collaborative (CMAC). Other campaign components include a social media plan and content, community partnership suggestions, creation of a sponsorship packet, development of a speaker’s bureau, and support for the lab rescue’s weekly participation in the Clovis Farmers Market, where the community can meet dogs available for adoption.

“I think this class is an ideal bridge between college and the workplace,” said student Lorena Montañes. “I enjoyed being able to apply all the skills learned in a campaign that actually is helping these dogs.”

The Labrador Retriever Rescue of Fresno is a non-profit organization that rescues homeless and neglected labradors from all over Central California and provides them with care until their forever home is found. 

“With the increasing population of homeless, neglected and surrendered labs, we need more people and more resources,” said Noor Sabharwal, a volunteer for Labrador Retriever Rescue of Fresno.  

The organization is 100% foster based and offers multiple ways to help the dogs, including becoming a volunteer, a foster, an adopter, a sponsor of a lab or a donor of money or supplies. By sponsoring a lab, it is possible to help the dogs waiting to be adopted with either a one-time donation or a monthly contribution in a dog’s name.

The campaign is being supported by Fresno State Friends for Civic Engagement through the Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning.