On August 30th, 2017, a sweet dog named Georgia was adopted, and all of our staff and volunteers gave a collective cheer.
Georgia had been at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA) for over a year – a year and five months, to be exact. HSSA received Georgia in early April of 2016, as a transfer from another Arizona shelter. We could tell right away that she was a very scared dog. We knew it would take work to get her to feel comfortable with us. What we didn’t know was just how persistent Georgia’s fear would be. We tried everything we could think of to help her calm down and feel comfortable, including placing her in foster homes so she could get individual attention and get out of the shelter environment. Unfortunately, through most of her time here, she was having a very hard time getting adopted. But sharing a pet on Facebook can save their life!
In late August, we captured a wonderful video of Georgia interacting with a staff member that she trusted. In the video, Georgia was licking peanut butter out of a Kong toy. This video really showed a side of Georgia that the public hadn’t seen before. This sweet but scared girl was more than capable of opening up and building trusting relationships if given the chance. Having her real personality showcased on social media made a world of difference for Georgia. She was finally seen as the loving and gentle dog she truly is underneath the fear. Now, she has a loving forever family.
How YOU can help
Sharing our posts may seem like a small action, but it is one of the best things you can do. When you share our posts, it allows them to have a wider audience, and it helps more people see our adoptable pets. Don’t forget: not everyone on your friends list “likes” our page, which means they won’t see our posts unless you share it!
Tagging your friends or family in the comments of our photos gives someone else the chance to take action on the photo. Keeping an eye out for friends who may be looking to adopt and tagging them is a great way to keep your friends in the loop and show our adoptable pets on their feed!
Commenting & Liking
When you like or comment on our posts, your friends can see that you’ve interacted with that post. This puts our page and our adoptable pets on your friends’ radars, again expanding our audience! Have a question about an animal on our Facebook page? Our social media team is ready to find the answers for you. Commenting and asking us questions is a great way to find out more about an adoptable pet.
How HSSA helps
Posting high quality pictures of animals on social media
Many dogs are overlooked when people walk through our kennels. In a shelter setting, a dog may be afraid or simply not acting like their true self. We treat each dog to a personal photoshoot in the marketing office. This is where we take the pictures you fall in love with. It is a chance for each dog to come out of their shell, smile, and have their real personality showcased, which gives them a better chance of finding a forever home. HSSA also partnered with The Shelter Art Foundation in fiscal year 2016. The Shelter Art Foundation is a non-profit that provided HSSA with photography equipment and training on expanding our digital presence.
Write bios that show their personality
Social media is a great way to get more people seeing an animal. However, a picture alone can’t give you an accurate idea of an animal’s personality. Our job is to give potential adopters the best and most accurate representation of each animal. We want adopters to know as much as possible about the pet they are adopting before bringing them into their homes. By writing bios that tell people more about what each animal is really like, we fill in the blanks and help both the adoptable animal and the adopter find a compatible match.
We are ready, willing, and able to do our part, but we need your help. Georgia is just one of many pets who go through our system every year. Her story, however, is not unique. Often, pets have a hard time getting adopted because of their visible discomfort in a shelter setting. The quality of a photo and bio posted on social media and the amount of shares, comments, tags, and likes an animal gets can truly mean the difference between getting adopted quickly and remaining in the shelter for a long time.
Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hssaz to see pictures of our adoptable pets, and don’t forget to interact with our posts! You might just help a pet in need!