A young couple split up, moved out of their home, and abandoned their 4-legged family member in the apartment they left behind. When the landlord found the dog, she took him to the vet. After he was checked out, the dog was posted on social media with a caption similar to:
Whoever picks him up and covers his vet bill can have him.
The next day I had a new best friend, now known as Tonka. Almost eight years later, and I love him more than ever. He is my whole world, and I am forever grateful to the lady who rescued him.
Stories like Tonka’s happen all the time, all over the world, and not all come with happy endings. While shelters are definitely still around, the luckier ones end up in dog rescues.
Dog rescues are mainly run by volunteers, working in their free time, and with a lot of fundraising. But the work that they do, couldn’t possibly have a price tag attached. So, here are three ways that social media has helped local dog rescues!
1. Create Awareness!
Social media, regardless of which platform, can be used for creating awareness of the great work rescues do. It is a way for them to show photos and videos of the dogs in their care, as well as to show the horrific situations and conditions dogs may have come from. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) had a survey conducted by Edge Research which showed extremely positive results for dog rescues using social media. In fact, in 2018 they saw incredible growth in their awareness as well as in overall adoptions (ASPCA, 2018)!
Not only does social media help create awareness about the work and dogs within the rescues, it also helps create awareness of animal welfare problems. If you are like me and follow any dog rescue groups on social media, I am sure you can join me in saying that you too have seen so many stories about backyard breeders and the horrific conditions dogs are kept in for financial gain, stories about animals being stolen or given away only to be used for dog fighting, and about the Breed Specific Legislation and how dogs are being put down simply for looking “Pitbull like”. Rescues do a lot of work for the dogs in their care, but through social media, they have also created awareness and advocate for all animal’s wellbeing.
Social Media is a great way to fundraise for any cause near to your heart, and Dog Rescues can certainly vouch for that! Many have taken to social media to host silent auctions (I am a sucker for a silent auction that benefits a furry face) or to promote their crowd-funding initiative for their rescue or a particular dog’s emergency situation. In my interview with Tanya from Sit With Me Dog Recuse, she mentions, “Social media has helped us in raising funds for dogs in need of above average care. Pictures say a thousand words, so being able to share on a moment’s notice when a situation is urgent has been a huge means for connecting to the community for financial and volunteer support.” (T. Beauchemin, personal communication, June 19, 2020).
In an interview with Veronica from Bullies In Need Dog Rescue, she mentions “We can post a GoFundMe Campaign like Toonie Tuesdays and Five-dollar Fridays and the people that contribute are worldwide – which is amazing!” (V. Mercier, personal communication, June 19, 2020).
Social Media can also be used to advertise local fundraising events – just another fantastic opportunity to reach out to your demographic and enlist support or find new homes for those deserving pups!
3. Find more Adoptive Homes!
Finding the perfect, forever home for an adoptable dog is so important in the adoption process. Posting these dogs on their social media platforms can reach so many potential homes. Veronica from Bullies In Need Dog Rescue, mentions in an interview “One like or share can reach hundreds, if not thousands of people in a way that store adoption events never could”. (V. Mercier, personal communication, June 19, 2020).
There are many requirements a family must meet in order to adopt a rescue dog. Besides being able to physically and financially care for the dog, in some cases your geographic location also plays a factor. Both the rescue groups I spoke to mentioned that due to the Breed Specific Legislation, rescues in Ontario also rely heavily on social media to reach adoption families in geographic areas (outside of Ontario) where they will be safe.
Social media has become an incredible tool for charities around the world. I know my best friend and I wouldn’t have found each other without the help of social media. I think Tanya from Sit With Me Rescue says it best:
“Our social media audience literally helps us save lives”.
(T. Beauchemin, personal communication, June 19, 2020).
Do you have a rescue dog and what is their story? If you don’t, would you consider rescuing one in the future? Tell me about your pups in the comments below!
ASPCA. (2018, October 9). New Research Points to Social Media as Important Tool for Animal Shelters and Rescues. ASPCA. Retrieved on June 19, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.aspca.org/about-us/press-releases/new-research-points-social-media-important-tool-animal-shelters-and-rescues
Bullies In Need Dog Rescue. (n.d. 2020). [Facebook Page]. Retrieved from: https://www.facebook.com/bulliesinneed/
Sit With Me Rescue. (n.d. 2020) [Facebook Page]. Retrieved from: https://www.facebook.com/sitwithmerescue/
Sit With Me Rescue. (2019, April 26). [Facebook Post] Elloise’s Happily Ever After. Sit With Me Rescue. Retrieved on June 19, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/sitwithmerescue/videos/418147308972110/
Facebook: Social Media to the Rescue! Read about how social media helps local dog rescues here: https://bit.ly/3hS24Hp
Twitter: Read about 3 PAWSOME ways social media helps dog rescues here: https://bit.ly/3hS24Hp #DogRescues #SaveLives