Maddie's Pet Project

Help homeless pets with your Facebook page

By Mark Robison

Mark Robison

Want to help pets in need but cannot take anymore yourself? Got 15 minutes to spare? We’ve got a challenge for you.

Social media is filled with pet images and stories, and the vast majority of those posts – while cute, hilarious or heart-breaking – often don’t help pets in need. We’re guilty of this, too. We post adorable photos of our pets and enjoy getting likes and hearts from our friends. (And we’re going to keep doing this!) But we got to thinking that we wanted to try something more helpful.

So my colleague Kimberly Wade and I challenged each other to pick a pet who is available for adoption from a local shelter or rescue group and share that animal’s photos and details on our personal Facebook pages, with the request for others to share the post – or to look for a pet who needs adoption and do their own post. Our challenge for each other is to do this once a week. Maybe every other week or once a month is better for you. Or just do it once – it helps to see how easy it is.

Here’s all you've got to do, and really 15 minutes is way more time than it should take for you to do this:

Go to Petfinder.com or Adoptapet.com, input your ZIP code, and click search to find animals available for adoption near you. Then scan through some of the animals until you find one who catches your eye, and share them on your social media. That’s it!

The great thing about those two websites is that they have share buttons so you can just click a social media icon on a particular pet’s page to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a few other platforms.

You can also find a local shelter or rescue group by searching in Facebook or even Google, then go to their pages and share directly from there. Or if that doesn’t work for you, you can copy-paste the address of a page showing an animal for adoption and paste that into a Facebook post with a few of your own comments.

It’s all simple, doesn’t take more than a few minutes, and may find that individual animal a good home much more quickly.

Imagine how many more cats and dogs could find homes if just 100 people in Washoe County accepted this challenge. Imagine if 1,000 did.

We all like to complain about social media. Here’s a way to use it for good. Let us know if you accepted the challenge by emailing us at the addresses below – or, better yet, tag us in your posts and we’ll share your posts, too. We’ll write an update later this year about how the challenge went.

Mark’s Facebook tag: mark.robison.reno

Kimberly’s Facebook tag: kimberly.chandler.315

Reach Mark Robison at mrobison@humanenetwork.org and Kimberly Wade at kwade@humanenetwork.org. Mark is co-executive director and Kimberly is campaign manager for Maddie's Pet Project in Nevada. Learn more at maddiespetprojectnevada.org or facebook.com/PetProjectNV.

CAPTION: Bodie was literally about to be euthanized at a shelter when Mark Robison and his wife, Dianne, adopted him.

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