June is Social Petworking Month
June is Social Petworking Month. You may be asking yourself: "Petworking? What does that mean? Pawbook? Snapcat? Instapet?"
As adorable as those sound, it's not Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram for pets. Social Petworking Month happens in the U.S. annually throughout June. It is an incredibly easy way for humans to help homeless and sheltered animals find their fur-ever homes via social media.
Nationwide, approximately 6.5 million animals are surrendered to shelters in the United States annually. That makes it extremely hard on the shelters and their employees when it comes to cost, care, and space. Unfortunately, this means many shelters are kill-shelters, where innocent animals lose their lives due to illness, overcrowding, and lack of funding.
While the "Adopt, Don't Shop" movement has gained much attention and recognition in recent years, some people still don't fully understand the benefits of adopting a furry companion from their local shelter versus a breeder or a pet store. Some of the best, most loyal, and deeply loving animals have been shelter rescues. Social Petworking Month helps get them adopted.
How Can You Participate?
Utilize Your Facebook
Facebook is a great way to get an adoptable animal's information out to potential fur-ever families. Most shelters and rescues already have Facebook pages where you can share their posts and links to adoptable animals. But if not, all you have to do is go to their website, look at all the animals available for adoption, get some info on a few potential pets, create a post on Facebook (with pics!) and make it shareable.
Many areas also have local groups dedicated to finding good homes for animals. Make sure to see what animal-friendly groups your area may have, and join them! Even local vegan groups are a great resource to help in-need animals get into loving homes.
Hashtag on Instagram
Another easy way to get some attention to these animals is via Instagram. Hashtags are an excellent tool for spreading information, especially by geolocation.
You can visit or volunteer at your local shelter, take 'Gram-worthy photos, post them to your page, tag the shelter location, and load them up with relevant hashtags. (Make sure they are specific to your location.) You never know who could be scrolling by!
Snap Your Friends
Snapchat is another great way to get your friends involved in shelter adoption. Take a day trip or spend some time volunteering at your local shelter, and snap some pictures of the available cuties while you're there.
Send snap pictures and videos to all your friends! Someone you know could be in the market for a new furry friend, and you could be the one to bring them together. Or someone they know might be looking for a new companion. Or a friend of a friend of a friend may be looking… it goes on!
Twitter is an excellent source of rapid-fire information and could be another fantastic way to get some attention towards your local shelter's adoptable pets.
If they don't have a Twitter account, you can visit your local animal shelter's website and copy the link to their adoption page. When you Tweet the link, a preview of that webpage will likely appear, with a picture of the animal themselves. Once again, make sure to utilize your hashtags. Use as many relevant and geo-specific tags as you can. Once the retweets start rolling in, you'll reach a broad audience of potential pet parents.
Spread the Word
There are so many different ways and platforms that you can use to spread the word about animals from shelters that need homes. Social Petworking Month is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness about how desperately these shelter animals need (and deserve) good and loving homes.
People love nothing more than a story of love, rescue, and companionship! Shelter animal love should be showcased everywhere to encourage others to do the same. If you've personally adopted a shelter pet, you can also use social media to showcase your companion and how lucky you were to find each other.
Social media can be an incredibly useful tool when it's used correctly. Posts and information can spread at the speed of light and reach audiences that may have otherwise never known about certain things. You could inspire someone to foster, adopt, or volunteer their time.
No matter which platform you do it on or how you decide to do it, the goal of Social Petworking Month is to get as many animals into their forever homes as possible. Promote your local shelter, share foster posts, volunteer your time, create your own posts, do whatever you can.
There's no action too small when it comes to helping homeless animals become a part of someone's forever family.
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash