Social media has inspired revolutions, launched super stars and helped millions of strangers forge new connections. It can also save an animal's life.
More than half of companion animals who enter shelters each year never find a happy home. Approximately 5 million to 7 million pets enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
Yvonne DiVita, pet blogger and co-founder of BlogPaws, offers tips on how to use social media to dogs' advantage:
"At BlogPaws, we use our blogs, both our home blog and our Be the Change for Pets blog to share information, support our members that are focused on shelter and rescue, and to raise funds for important project," DiVita says. "Following the hurricane in Japan, BlogPaws helped raise over $40,000 - this enabled World Vets to visit Japan and save stranded pets. Using social media, bloggers and tweeters can spread a message much farther, much faster than ever before."
The opportunities to be creative and supportive using social media are endless. Here are a few ways you can help:
- Install widgets on your blog to raise funds for a specific shelter or rescue they support.
- Start a Facebook group. Focus solely on a particular topic - perhaps raising funds or selling T-shirts, to support their shelters and rescues.
- Use Twitter and Pinterest to raise awareness of a dog in need.
- Create a daily 'adoption' calendar to share with all of your social media friends.
- Participate in a "blog hop." A Blog Hop is where you post a photo of your dog(s) to your blog, link it up, then spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, or other methods, then hop to other participants' blogs and meet some new pals.
"We've seen Blog Hops used to bring people together to save dogs - and other animals," DiVita says. "And, we've seen social media tools used to create petitions in support of pit bulls - hoping to show communities that pit bulls are wonderful pets."
For more on genConnect:
- Change the World for Animals
- Have Questions About Your Pet? Ask Dr. Marty!
- October Is Adopt-A-Dog Month
Yvonne DiVitaAbout the author:
Yvonne DiVita is the Co-Founder, along with Caroline Golon and Tom Collins, of BlogPaws - the 1st online community for pet bloggers. Visit www.blogpaws.com to learn more.