The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has been driving transformational change in the U.S. and around the world by combating large-scale cruelties such as puppy mills, animal fighting, factory farming, seal slaughter, horse cruelty, captive hunts and the wildlife trade.
HSUS has been using video to bring the sometimes horrific and sometimes heartwarming rescues to local authorities to update them on what the team is facing in the trenches and to motivate its members, donors, partners, and followers to take action. However, they hadn’t been able to produce anything live; it’s always been recorded and shared later.
The Humane Society faces connection, bandwidth, and equipment limitations during rescues, which regularly take place in rural areas or during national disasters where internet is sparse at best.
“We’ve been trying to go live from the field for decades. We never had enough bandwidth to go live or a portable device to take us to these remote locations and use our professional cameras,” said Frank Loftus, Senior Director of Video, The Humane Society of the United States.
The organization was recently introduced to the capabilities and “run and gun”-style of LiveU Solo to accomplish high-quality video streams to Facebook Live. HSUS jumped at the chance to use the solution to reach its 2.5 million followers on Facebook.
HSUS recently used Solo to stream the rescue of 200 dogs from a dog meat farm in South Korea. The compelling live streams have been watched by over 1.3 million viewers and shared by nearly 31K users. Even TV host and political commentator Bill Maher shared the live stream with his 3.8 million Facebook followers.
“Being able to tell these stories live brings the urgency and the incredible need for these programs,” noted Loftus.
One of the team’s LiveU Solo deployments occurred during the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in Horry County, South Carolina. The organization was able to go live for 20 minutes capturing a water rescue of cats and dogs with the help of local animal control officers.
“The stream captured exactly what our team faced in the field in real-time, including waist deep water, abandoned homes, buildings and vehicles, and the critical search for animals in the midst of the devastation,” noted Loftus. “LiveU Solo is able to bring something that's never been seen by live audiences before.”
Reliability is key to pull off the streams. LiveU’s proven bonded cellular technology provides a high-quality, reliable stream even in questionable conditions.
LiveU Solo’s one-touch integration also proved to be an asset to the HSUS team. “We are able to get up and running quickly. The streams take place during the most chaotic time so the speed and ease of use are valuable,” added Loftus.
The HSUS also went live when 60 dogs were being transported from Horry County Animal Care Center to Emergency Placement Partners in Pennsylvania and Ohio, where the dogs became available for adoption.
For HSUS, historically, the person in the field had to handle everything. With Solo, the team was able to set up live shots remotely. They could decide where and when it made sense to go live so the camera person focused solely on capturing content.
“I’ve been in this business for decades and this was the first time we’ve successfully done what I wanted to do. It’s groundbreaking for us,” said Loftus.
HSUS has experienced a tremendous response to its live video rescues. The Hurricane Matthew live stream on Facebook had a reach of 800,000, and had more than 12 thousand likes, comment and shares.
HSUS next plans to take Solo to a Harp Seal nursery on ice flows in Gulf of Saint Lawrence, Canada and other animal rescues around the world.
“HSUS and our international arm, HSI, do amazing work for the animals and go to incredible places helping them. It’s important to bring the viewer to that moment. LiveU is very easy to use, it’s a turnkey system and basically it’s a game-changer for our organization. We’re able to go live when we want and where we want,” concluded Loftus.