Help Animal Shelters Without Leaving Home
Twenty or so years ago when you wanted to get a pet from the shelter you had to drive down to the local animal shelter and see what they had available. Things have changed. If you are part of the animal advocacy community online you know how amazing the networking is. Someone posts a photo of a 9 year old dog whose been left at the shelter by his owners, within hours the community can get together have him into a foster home.
It doesn’t always happen so fast but you get the idea. The ability to communicate instantly about animals in need has helped tremendously. People and rescue groups are able to organize cross country road trips with like minded people in order to save animals they saw online. It only takes one post.
How You Can Help Shelters Without Leaving Home
If you’d like to help animal shelters or rescues but would prefer to do so from your own home here’s a few ideas to get you started:
Create a Facebook Page
If a local shelter or animal rescue doesn’t have a facebook page offer to set one up for them. You will be able to personalize their page with their location, hours of operation, and a brief overview of their organization. A lot of rescue groups and private organizations might already have a page created but there are a lot of small animal shelters that do not.
A lot of shelters in rural areas don’t have enough employees or the extra time needed to attend to social media outlets. Once you have a facebook page created you can start showcasing their adoptable animals. Facebook is the largest social community online, you can network the shelter’s animals and do a lot of good just by sharing their photos and a short bio.
Set up a Website or Blog
Check to see if your local rescues and animal shelters have their own website or blog. If they don’t you can set up a site for free using wordpress or weebly. Weebly tends to be easier for the novice designer but if you have any knowledge of creating pages wordpress can offer more flexibility. You can customize your free site with helpful widgets like the petfinder listings plugin. It’s a tool that lets you easily display all the animals available at a certain shelter and lets you choose certain featured pets to showcase.
Another easy and great idea for an animal shelter website is creating an amazon wishlist. Wishlists are great because they let prioritize supplies and amounts needed, once something is bought it will be updated automatically. You can also share your wishlist with people through email, facebook, or pinterest. If your local shelter already has a website or blog set up you can offer to help maintain it. Shelters are constantly having to update animal profiles, upcoming events, newsletters, blog updates, calls for donations; they would probably appreciate some help if you have any writing skills.
Create a Twitter Account
Create a twitter account for the shelter. Networking through twitter is probably one of the easiest ways you can help network pets considering you’re limited to a very short 140 characters. Sharing a photo and super short bio of an animal in need is pretty easy. Twitter tip; at the end of your tweet add “please RT” or “retweet,” it really does work.
Set Them up on Pinterest
Create a pinterest account for the local shelter. Pinterest is really easy to integrate into if you are there to network animals. Many of the people are animal lovers to begin with and it’s easy to connect with lots of other people in the rescue community. Great pictures go a long way here so be sure to get the best photos you can that showcase your animals. If you don’t know who to follow when you create your pinterest page you can start with the ASPCA’s board or simply search for animal rescues.
Social Networks Help Save Homeless Pets
The internet can be an amazing tool for animal shelters. When people decide to adopt an animal the first place they usually turn is to the internet. People can find their future pets by a simple post made on a facebook page. Shelters are immediately able to communicate their current needs and wishes to the local community with a push of a button. Animal welfare and advocacy groups are working together online to help animals in need.
If you’re not familiar with social networking there are some other great ways you can help without adopting.
If you don’t have a lot of extra time to spend helping a shelter create a community you can help them share their message. Search facebook or twitter for your local rescue; share one post of theirs a day. So many animals are finding homes through networking, it only takes one post or great photo to reach the right person.