Shiba Inu Puppy Cam
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The Shiba Inu Puppy Cam (also known as Puppy Cam or variations) is a website that featured a live-streamed webcam trained on the puppy-pen for six newborn Shiba Inu dogs born on October 7, 2008. It became an Internet phenomenon.
The live webcam was set up on Ustream in October 2008, by a San Francisco, California couple to monitor their Shiba Inu puppies while they were at work. The live streaming website showed the puppies interacting with each other in a variety of ways: sleeping, playing with toys, tearing up wee pads, and snuggling with their mother, Kika. Links to the site spread virally. By October 13, 2008, three million viewers had spent 1.2 million hours watching the puppies via the Internet.
The six puppies (three females: Autumn, Ayumi & Amaya and three males: Aki, Akoni & Ando) were identified mainly by their different colored collars. This litter became known as "The Shiba Six" as well as "The A-Team"; referring to the fact that they were Kika's first litter. The list of countries from which people watched the live webcast of the puppy cam from all around the globe grew to 74 countries in total with this first litter.
By December 7 of 2008, Autumn, Akoni and Ando had been adopted by new owners. Two other pups, Aki and Amaya, went to their new homes later that month around Christmas time. The couple kept one pup from this litter, Ayumi, and the camera continued functioning so that viewers were able to watch her interact with the other three adult Shibas in the house. The dogs' owners remain anonymous.
As of July 2012 there have been over 60 million views to the Shiba Inu Puppy Cam streaming page on Ustream.
Kika's second litter of puppies was born on January 16, 2010. They are referred to as the "B-team" of puppies to mark the 2nd litter. There were a total of two female and three male Shibas. Two of the three males are cream colored, the rest of the pups are red. The puppies in birth order are the girls: Bella and Beni-Bara, and the boys: Bonsai, Bento (cream), and Byakko (cream).
By March 21, 2010, all five puppies of the second litter went to their forever homes/families.
On April 14, 2011, over fifteen hundred viewers tuned in to see Kika's third and final litter. As in the original litter there are six puppies, three of each sex. However, unlike the previous two litters, the "C Team" sire was a Black & Tan colored Shiba. Despite the sire's color, all the puppies are red in color.
The names of the C Team all begin with the letter "c". In order of birth they are: Chozen, aka "Zen" (boy); Chame (boy); Chisaki, aka "Saki" (girl); Charlotte (girl); Chiyoko, aka "Yo-Yo" (girl); and Chikara (boy). The last boy pup, Chikara, has the highest birth weight of any of the pups at 11 ounces.
The fourth litter of puppies was born on May 21, 2012, to Ayumi (who was retained from the "A-Team" litter). They were sired by a red Shiba named GCH CH Kobushi Justa Draco Rosso AOM. They are referred to as the "D-team" of puppies to mark the 4th litter. There were a total of three female and two male Shiba puppies. One of the three females is cream colored, the rest of the pups are red.
The names of the D Team are as follows: Daiichi (boy, blue collar); Dango (boy, green collar); Dosha (girl, pink collar); Daisuki (girl, purple collar); and Dakota (girl, no collar, cream).
The fifth litter of puppies was born on August 21, 2013 (the second litter born to Ayumi from the "A-Team" litter). They are referred to as the "E-team" of puppies to mark the 5th litter. There were a total of three red female (Eiko, pink collar; Eisha, purple collar; and Ember, red collar) and two cream-colored male (Enoki, green collar; and Edo, blue collar) Shiba puppies.
The owners created a calendar in 2009 showing the various pups from the first litter on each month. Shortly afterward they created a mousepad and a number of greeting cards which also featured images of the pups. Donations from the calendar are being sent to various Shiba Inu Rescue organizations around the United States, and the amount has so far (as of 2009) totaled over $6,000. For their 2010 calendar, the couple have included their other Shibas Yuuki (the eldest, a red female) and Haru (black and tan male) as well as pictures of the now adult Shiba Six, courtesy of their owners. Like the previous year's calendar, proceeds from the sale are being donated to Shiba Inu rescue organizations around the US.
From April to November 2009, regular viewers of the Puppy Cam (who call themselves Shibaholics) collectively donated $11,172 to Shiba Inu Rescue Resources of America in honor of the SFShiba family.
The Summer 2009 issue of the Shiba E-News had an article on the Puppy Cam and the fundraising efforts of its followers on behalf of the Shiba rescue organizations supported by SIRRA.
Shortly afterward, the Winter 2009 edition of Shiba World magazine featured an article on the Shibaholics, their donations to Shiba Rescue and their being ringside at the 2009 Nationals dog show in Clemmons, North Carolina.
As of 2013, the estimated total raised for numerous Shiba rescue organizations on behalf of the Shiba Inu Puppy Cam is nearing the $30,000 mark.
Not two days after the pups were born, the first news articles about the "B" team started appearing. One of the first was on a Los Angeles NBC affiliate's website. Cute Overload, where many people first learned of the original pups in October 2008, again featured the pups on their website. The sites Gawker.com and Mashable.com also featured the pups. Before their one-week birthday, the puppies' national attention grew as they appeared on PeoplePets.com as well as The Bay Area Blog of The New York Times. A few days later the puppies were in the national spotlight again in the L.A. Unleashed section of the Los Angeles Times.
On November 14, 2008, NBC Nightly News broadcast a live feed of the camera to its national TV audience. On November 15, 2008, The Today Show interviewed the founders of Ustream about the puppies. On November 18, 2008, CNN coverage played several clips from the feed. Bill O'Reilly used footage from the camera as representative of the overall trend of popular animal videos on the Internet. On December 11, 2008, Jeff Horwich of Minnesota Public Radio posted a song written about the puppy cam. Other major broadcast networks, including MSNBC and ABC, have also broadcast the feed. The puppies have been featured in magazines including Time, People, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, and online sites like boingboing, dlisted and Gawker.
In April 2009, the Shiba Inu Puppy Cam was nominated for a Webby Award in the Viral category, and won the People’s Voice Award. According to UStream, the Puppy Cam triumphed over nearly 10,000 entries from more than 60 countries.
In December 2010, Kika and her litter were featured on Animal Planet's Dogs 101 - Shiba Inu segment where the phenomenon of the puppy cam was noted.
In the animated cartoon The Mighty B! episode "Awww-esome!", the puppy cam's webcast was parodied as a "Puppy Net", and all of the show's characters were hooked on watching it.
The Shiba Inu Puppy Cam was cited in the introduction of Cesar Millan's 2009 book, How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond in which Cesar notes that he was "impressed".
In 2012 the couple turned down offers from Ricky Lake and Anderson Cooper to appear on their TV shows.
- Jemima Kiss (2008-11-13). "Puppy cam: the latest internet sensation". The Guardian.
- Adam Abramson (2008-11-13). "Live puppy cam ... the best Web site ever". New York Newsday.
- Carol Vinzant (2008-11-13). "Meet the Six Stars of The Puppy Cam". People.
- Kate Pickert (2008-11-11). "Puppycam: For When You're Sick of Politics". Time.
- Shiba Inu Puppy Cam
- Shiba Inu Puppy Cam Fans to the Rescue, American Kennel Club Gazette November 2009 Issue.
- Three Cheers for the Shibaholics!!!, Shiba World, Winter 2009, p. 53. Not viewable online without subscription.
- "Cuteness Strikes Back: Shiba Inu Puppycam Returns". NBC Los Angeles. 2010-01-18.
- Pull up the La-Z-Boy and grab your popcorn
- Puppy Cam: The Second Generation Has Arrived
- The Shiba Inu Puppies Are Back
- : The Puppy Cam Returns with a New Litter
- The Shiba Inu Puppy Cam: Reassuring Squeaks in Uncertain Times", The Bay Area Blog, The New York Times, 22 January 2010
- "Just this once, your afternoon adorable: Live puppy cam shows shiba inu litter, again", Los Angeles Times, 21 January 2010.
- "Puppy Cam takes Web by storm". NBC Nightly News. 2008-11-14.
- "'Puppy cam' spreads across internet". The Today Show. 2008-11-15.
- "Puppy Watch". CNN. 2008-11-18.
- The O'Reilly Factor. Fox News. 3 December 2008.
- "Awwww, The Puppycam Song, Minnesota Public Radio
- Shiba Inu Puppy Cam is finalist for The Webby Awards!, Announcement on The Ustream.tv blog.
- Shiba Inu Puppy Cam Wins People’s Voice Webby Award