“Be a hero… adopt!” says the Texas Humane Heroes slogan. This phrase is typically a call to the citizens of Austin and Williamson County to look at adopting a dog or cat from a local shelter. However, TXHH’s marketing team took the slogan to heart and decided to make the dogs and cats the heroes. From this, Adventures of the Humane Hero Squad came to life. “We thought of the animals as heroes, too, waiting so patiently for their forever families to come adopt them. We decided to make eight of them into super heroes, take their photos in capes, and give them heroic names and traits,” says Kelly Kaelin, the comic’s writer.
Kelly’s children are very into super heroes and that is how she first was introduced to this genre of comics. She takes the humor and classic super hero comic book situations and writes them with the Humane Hero characters. The concept was to write about real life animals, who were long-term residents, and promote them in this unique fashion. So far, the episodes have been illustrated by a few community members, including Kelly’s husband, a local freelance artist, and a high school student who plans to pursue a career in design. Currently, a Heroes volunteer and graphic artist, Wallace Price, is drawing the episode.
Episode 4: “You Can’t Keep a Good Mutt Down” is coming in three parts, two of which have already been posted. The third installment is set to deubt in the next couple of weeks and will be posted on Facebook when it’s published. All the original super hero pups and cats have been adopted out, so new recruits will be chosen from the animals currently at the shelter. However, even the new heroes will swear by the Humane Hero Squad motto: “We’re furry, we’re fearless, and we’re fixed!”