How Social Media Gets Animals Adopted- And What You Can Do to Help
Whether you like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter or not, there’s no denying that social media networks have redefined how homeless animals find forever homes. For too long, animal shelters and rescue organizations didn’t have a platform where they could advertise their furry protegees, unless they had a sizable budget for advertising. Which, in reality, happens rarely, if ever- every penny and man-hour go towards helping the cats and dogs in their care, and it’s not always that they have enough to cover the basic needs.
This is why social media networks completely changed the rules of the game. Suddenly, rescuers had a way to reach a lot more people, showcase their animals and connect with prospective volunteers and donors, and all of that without having to pay a dime. Thanks to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, thousands of animals have found their furrever families.
But is it really all roses when it comes to the role of social network media in the adoption process? Well, if you ask people behind the curtain, there’s a little bit of both. As someone who had to use Facebook to try to find homes for furballs in need, I can tell you what’s the best and the worst thing you can do for the pet and the poster- as far as social media is concerned.
Do: Share- When Relevant
Share dogs and cats that are available for adoption in your area, and rally people to help grow your local shelter’s or rescue organization’s audience. I cannot tell you how many people see a cute puppy in need of a home, and share the post on their wall, or tag a friend that’s looking to adopt in the comments under the picture of a rescue that would be perfect for them. Only, they didn’t stop to check and see where the four-legged baby’s from- and realize that they’ve alerted people to a pooch that is thousands of miles away and not available for out of state adoption. Wasted chances and potentially broken hearts!
Don’t: Comment for the Sake of Commenting
There’s literally nothing more infuriating for the volunteers than seeing pointless comments under their posts. If you’re writing “oh, I wish I could help,” “too bad I live too far, or I would’ve taken them,” or anything in that vein, you gotta stop doing it, like right now. Not only that it’s not helping anybody (and, honestly, no one cares about your sentiments), it also gives a glimmer of hope to the rescuer when they get a notification that it’s someone offering real help or a home- only to realize that it’s another irrelevant comment instead.
There are numerous other things I could add about this topic- both bad and good practices. But I’ll leave you with just the two most important things in social media rescue etiquette. After all, what counts the most are the things we do outside the virtual space: donating your time and money, as well as adopting a homeless pet are the best things you can do for any rescue organization or animal shelter.
A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.
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