BERWICK -- An advertisement in this weekend's Super Bowl has been pulled, thanks in part to the rallying cry from one Columbia County woman.
The computer domain name company Go Daddy has pulled a controversial ad it claims it planned to run on Sunday. It showed a puppy getting lost, finding his way home through the elements, then ultimately getting sold by its owner, who created a domain name on GoDaddy.com.
And it's the fact that the dog was sold online that upset one Berwick woman so much that she started a petition.
"I logged on and looked at [the ad]," said Helena Yurcho of Berwick. "My first reaction was sad. Then I was really angry and I had to do something."
So Yurcho created a petition online to remove the ad. In a matter of hours, the animal rescue volunteer had more than 42,000 signatures. More importantly, Go Daddy's CEO had announced they pulled the ad.
"At the end of the day, our purpose at GoDaddy is to help small businesses around the world build a successful online presence. We hoped our ad would increase awareness of that cause. However, we underestimated the emotional response. And we heard that loud and clear." -- Blake Irving, GoDaddy's Chief Executive Officer and Board Director
"I did not expect them to pull the ad," Yurcho explained. "I was really hopeful, but I was realistic. This whole thing is completely mind blowing."
Regardless of whether or not Go Daddy actually intended to air the ad during the Super Bowl, this Berwick newlywed says the whole experience has pointed out quite the growing problem.
"Selling an animal online is probably one of the worst things you can do for an animal, so that's really what set me off," Yurcho explained.
Almost every other weekend, Yurcho and her sister-in-law are volunteering to help transport dogs from kill shelters and puppy mills to new and safe homes. So Ashley Hargraves, Yurcho's sister-in-law, said she's not surprised at all to see Yurcho taking action and making family and friends in Berwick quite proud.
"A lot of people don't speak up," said Hargraves. "[They say,] 'I'm only one person and I can't make a difference.' You really can make a difference."
Representatives at Go Daddy announced they have a replacement advertisement ready to go for Sunday. As for Yurcho, an owner of three cats, she told Newswatch 16 now might the time to finally get a dog for her and her husband.
The ad has since been uploaded to YouTube by several users.