Tag: pet adoption agency
Social media has rapidly become a mainstay of modern culture, with businesses relying more on sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to both cultivate new customers and relay information to existing fans of their brands and products. This holds true for the animal advocacy world as well; as we previously discussed, animal shelters and even dog-conscious individuals are progressively learning how to harness the power of social media to do good for our furry best friends. Who can really speculate how many lost dogs have been reunited with their owners via Facebook and Twitter posts? And some animal shelters have become quite savvy at connecting potential pet parents with dogs desperately in need of a home. In fact, some animal shelters are upping their social media game and coming up with newer, more innovative ways to use the massive reach of social media to meet the needs of the dogs for whom they advocate.
TINDER IS GOING TO THE DOGS
According to tech website Wired.com, the dating application Tinder currently has over 10 million daily users. The premise of the site is quite simple: users sign up using their Facebook account and then they simply swipe through profiles of other users and give them a “yes” or “no” based on whether they are interested in getting to know more about them. If both parties swipe to the direction for yes, they can start chatting. It’s like a game of sorts, and there is no rejection to be had. If someone swipes no, the other party never knows and simply carries on. However, things got a little more interesting for users in New York City recently when dogs started popping up on their Tinder matches! A local shelter created profiles for abandoned pups in need of rehoming and adjusted their ages so they’d show up in human users’ recommendations. Even if a Tinder user wasn’t currently in the market for a new pup, the whole premise is quite innovative. Dogs that need to be adopted first need to be noticed by potential pet parents, and what a great way to solicit that attention!
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ISSUE
Just as social media has given animal advocates and animal shelters a quick, far-reaching way to disseminate information about dogs in need of homes and other relevant information, social media has also made the distribution of personal information much more rapid. For example, a shelter in Great Britain ran into issues when the personal information of former owners listed on dog’s identification tags went viral. Photos of the shelter’s pups also occasionally included a phone number or address of the former pet parent(s), thus allowing angry animal lovers to contact the former owners and harass them about why they chose to surrender their dog. It seems that this is the exception rather than the rule when it comes to finding assistance for pups via social media, but it does illustrate that once unleashed the power of websites such as Facebook with their incredibly high daily traffic can be used for productive and non-productive activities. Once posted online, information is truly primed for public consumption, so if you do opt to use social media as an animal advocate or simply as a pet parent, be aware of ALL of the information that you may be including in your post!
Images courtesy Pink Sherbet Photography and Tony Alter
HOW MUCH CAN YOU COMMIT?
The first step is to take honest stock of how much your household can contribute; that is, are you in a position to adopt an animal? Do you already have a dog or dogs, and if so, are they amenable to other animals? Do you have the space, resources, and time to commit to adding another member of the family? Or do you perhaps have the space but a more temporary option would be a better fit? Once you’ve taken stock of your resources and intentions, you’ll have a much better idea as to whether adoption, fostering, or perhaps even volunteering is a good fit for your current situation. And remember, volunteering makes a huge difference! Many organizations have small operating budgets and will take all of the help that they can get, whether it be admin help or walking dogs. If you are not quite ready to adopt or don’t really have the space, committing to regular volunteer commitments can make a significant difference in the lives of many dogs at once.
SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS
Once you know what your intentions are, you can look into your local options and start inquiring for more info. There may be local shelters that have dogs up for adoption, or you may know exactly what breed is a good fit for you and choose to seek out a rescue organization that specializes in that breed. Either way, be patient. You may come home right away with a dog, but odds are that the process will take time. This is in the best interest of you and your adopted pup – if a group is willing to just hand you a dog, how thorough are they really being in screening you? Once you adopt your dog, you want it to be a forever situation for both of you, so taking some time to see what your household is like and the sort of environment the dog’s disposition is best suited for is a good idea for all parties involved! And even though waiting can be excruciating once you’ve made the decision and commitment to expand your family, remember you’ll have plenty of time for snuggles, play, and good times with your new pup once you welcome him or her into your household.
Images courtesy CCT Thompson and Kristine Paulus
CHOOSING THE RIGHT DOG
As mentioned above, adding a dog to our family (even if you are currently a household of one, you will be a family when you grow to two!) must be a carefully considered decision. There should be a process involved, including taking into consideration the space you have available and the general activity level of your home. Think about where you would walk a dog – do you have a yard? Or access to a public park or trails? And how much exercise would you realistically give a dog? Rain or shine, nature calls, and we are the ones that need to make sure our dog’s needs are met. Additionally, if you opt to get a puppy rather than a mature dog, he or she will likely need more exercise and possibly more training. Every dog is different, but often certain breeds will have common characteristics. For example, some breeds are known to be more family friendly and may do better with rambunctious small children in the home, while others may relish a quiet, slower paced home based on their breed and age. Spend some time working with a breeder, a rescue group, or a shelter to figure out the best fit for your home before you start the actual process of acquiring a dog or puppy.
First and foremost on the topic of supplies, take a hard look at your budget and your expectations for the next few years. For example, can you afford good pet food, vet visits, and incidentals for a dog? Can you afford the considerable time that acclimating a new dog to your home will take? (This applies to a dog of any age! Even a ten year old rescue has been uprooted to come to you.) If you travel for work or leisure, do you have the resources to hire a trustworthy pet host to care for your dog while you’re away? If you truly are ready, one simple way to approach setting up your home for your new pet is to walk yourself through what will be a typical day: you’ll need a bed for him to wake up on, or even perhaps a crate if you’ll use that for training, you’ll need a leash to walk him, and he’ll need a collar and ID tags. Bowls, food, some safe and breed/age appropriate toys will all be important (on the toys – check with your local pet store as toy options vary greatly based on breed, size, and age). And don’t forget training! You can opt for private training, a session at a local pet store, or possibly another resource that your breeder or shelter recommends, but do your dog and yourself a favor and sign up for some sort of training. A dog that knows what her boundaries are is a happier dog, and it will also provide the opportunity for you and your pup to get to know each other better in a safe environment. There are also many amazing dog training books available, so don’t be afraid to browse your local library or bookstore and find a good fit.
Images courtesy smlp.co.uk and Brandy Jordan
Our Sleepover Rover webmaster Allan, has been fostering needy dogs for over 4 years for the Humane Society. He has taken in everything from litters of puppies to injured dogs that needed rehabilitation to become adoptable and has been instrumental in saving many lives in the process. One of those fosters was a 2.5 year old one-eyed pit bull that was brought in as an injured stray. He originally fostered him while his eye was still stitched up and healing, and during that time Allan discovered he had a bad food allergy towards most dog foods. Well, about a week after his fostering was over and he had returned him, the Humane Society called Allan saying they couldn't keep Jack any longer because he was reacting to their food, and they couldn't keep feeding it to him. Also, they didn't have the ability to test him to find out what he is allergic to, nor would they be able to buy him the special food that he would need if they did find out. They tried the local rescues in the valley, and no one could/would take him for the same reason the Humane Society couldn't keep him. They called Allan to see if I would take him as a last resort, and he just couldn't say no. His full name is Captain Jack and he's been a great dog. We wanted to acknowledge the great work Allan has done over the years fostering dogs, and share with you this great adoption success story. We hope you will look to the many wonderful adoptable dogs waiting in foster care or at shelters and humane organizations if you are considering adding a pet to your family!