Tuesday, August 20, 2013

It's a Very Good Thing..Saving Shelter and Other Homeless Animals via Social Media

For anyone who loves animals, Social Media is a useful, formidable tool for saving the lives of countless shelter animals who otherwise wouldn't be seen at all by the public. As we all know, the Internet is the wave of the future, and so why not use it for doing good and getting "thrown away" cats and dogs homes, far from the misery of death row in shelters. It costs nothing other than time to share posts to friends, who then share to their friends, and the exposure of an animal up for adoption just continues to snowball. People who share these animals are known as "crossposters". Contrary to popular belief that we are fanatical or crazy animal people, we're a caring bunch who just want to help save lives. I question those who don't care about animals, because it takes compassion and caring to help something that is totally dependent upon others for help with no promise of anything in return for the helper, other than the satisfaction of seeing a life saved.

My precious cats living the life indoors as incredibly pampered housecats!

My cats are all rescues. They came from various places in the country and being deaf, they were "special needs" so owners and breeders tossed them aside for hearing animals instead. My Matisse came from a hoarder, who just had way too many cats in a one bedroom apartment (I think she had over 32). The truth is, they are no different than other cats other than the fact that they are visually oriented and need to stay indoors. They eat, sleep and love like other cats. I truly recommend a deaf or blind cat, since they have big hearts and love to be loved.

If you want to help save animals on Social Media, a good place to start is Facebook. Friend other cat lovers and crossposters, and then share their posts. As you do it, you will find the sources that they use (shelters, rescues, and other places who have animals that need homes). In time you will amass a large group of people who will support one another in the endeavor of saving lives. It's a beautiful thing to see grow and spread. Ignore critics who think we're crazy cat or dog folks, who cares what they think. I have had nearly no criticism from others for what I do, which has been encouraging. Even if I had, it wouldn't stop me because the cats I help would die without assistance. And they still do, it's not all rosy in the world of saving shelter animals. You save some, and still, others are lost. But, in time, less are lost as the popularity of sharing homeless pets grows.

In the rescue world, there is a network of those who save animals, from the crossposters to animal rescues, transporters and fosters. Rescues help out people who want to adopt but need the help of an animal rescue in order to do it (not all shelters are like this). If you see "Rescue Only" on an ad, that means that only rescues can get the animal out of the shelter..BUT, they can give it to you afterwards, if you pass their criteria for adopting (usually a short form with a nominal fee). Foster homes are used to take care of animals sprung from death row but not in permanent homes yet. They take care of the animal until the adopter adopts the pet. Sometimes this is used when you are far from the shelter you want to adopt from. A rescue will "pull" the animal from the shelter, and then transport will bring it to you (often free of charge). Fosters will bridge the gap between the animal being pulled and getting it sent via transport to you, if needed. My cats didn't need fosters, they were brought directly to me from other states and I paid nothing but the adoption fee (fifty bucks, roughly). I give them donations or gifts if they allow it, some don't accept anything but it's a nice gesture since they worked so hard and so long to bring the animal to me.

So, when you find an abandoned kitten on the side of the road, do everything in your power to find a home for it (or keep it!), otherwise bring it to a cat rescue, not the shelter. Shelters notoriously put animals to sleep soon after they arrive. They are overrun with animals and I don't agree with what they do, at all, but that is the truth of the matter. Another place to take an abandoned kitty to is a cat sanctuary. They should be registered with the state, and have licences. Google "cat sanctuary" and your state, for the names of ones in your area. Let's keep innocent lives from being killed and help them out a little. You save not only their life but create room in a cage for another animal to be saved by finding an adopter for a shelter animal. Let's keep the flow going and go save more lives! By the way, my parents have rescued many animals, throughout my life. They, too have saved many cats. It's in the blood, I guess..and I'm proud of that :)

This is Cinnamon (Cinny), a Maine Coon mix that I rescued from the balcony of an apartment building I lived at many years ago. He was left on the 7th story balcony without water and very little food, as his people moved out. I lived a few balconies away and it was July, very hot and he was distressed, so I contacted the apartment management and they let me go in and get him. Mom and dad came to see him at my place, as mom said to dad, "We are NOT getting another cat!". The minute they saw him, they both wanted him. And he is their pride and joy ever since.