Wish you could help more dogs find loving forever homes, but don’t have the resources to be a rescuer yourself? Social media is an effective tool anyone can use to make a difference.
For many dog parents these days, the joy of adopting comes with the knowledge that social media helped them meet their new best friends. At the same time, shelters are attributing their success rates over the last few years to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Social media keeps adopters, rescuers and shelters connected and engaged in the rescue and no-kill movement. And it’s a trend that’s growing as more and more people make social media a daily part of their lives.
If you’ve ever wanted to get more involved in dog rescue, but aren’t in the position to do it yourself, you can use social media to make a difference by promoting adoption and ultimately finding homes for dogs in need. Here’s how to get started.
1. Find out if your local animal shelter has a social media presence. If not, start up a Facebook page for them and get active posting. This is especially important if the shelter isn’t a no-kill facility. Take the opportunity to advertise regularly using Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and/or even a blog. By using your social networking skills to advocate for dog adoption, you help raise awareness of the number of animals that need homes and that get euthanized every year – and this benefits everyone, including the shelter.
2. Encourage and inspire your friends and colleagues to share their own photos and stories on your Facebook page. Include success stories rather than tales of tragedy, and show the positive qualities of each dog. Keep in mind that it’s all about sharing and discussing dog rescue information.
3. Participate in Follow Fridays (#FF) and highlight all the people and organizations dedicated to finding forever homes or foster care for dogs, and showing communities the importance of spaying and neutering, training and the no-kill movement. “It is estimated that 96% of dogs that are surrendered to shelters have not received any obedience training…all the more reason for new parents of rescued animals to invest in professional training,” says Brad Gatewood of PupSpace, a site that offers interactive online training classes.
4. Be passionate about what you’re doing. Figure out how to get people engaged so they too will feel compassion for these rescue animals, and want to help them. Know you are part of a community, and that if you use social media in a conscientious and ethical way to help promote dog rescue, it will work! Ask your followers for support. That simple “please retweet” can go a long way to generating loads more online activity. Start each social media session with more retweets of dog rescues and shares.
Social media is free and a wonderful tool for dog lovers to communicate with each other, learn about different shelter and rescue organizations and dogs in need, and to donate, foster and adopt animals. It connects animal welfare organizations and volunteers, as well as your friends and fellow animal lovers. Once you’ve established a presence online, even one tweet goes a long way!