Social media is great for getting your message out there—the Montgomery County Animal Shelter (MCAS) in Texas can certainly attest to this.
The county-funded shelter does not have an advertising budget and instead has turned to Facebook to help with their marketing efforts—and with much success, thanks to the great team of staff, volunteers and community supporters.
Photos of the shelter’s new canine arrivals up for adoption are often posted on their Facebook page in hopes of helping the animals find new homes. The photos are taken by a team of volunteers, explained Todd Weller on the shelter’s Facebook live show on June 11. The team has a lot of fun dressing up the animals and helping to bring out their personalities in the photos.
As a volunteer himself, Weller donates his Sundays to taking photos at the MCAS. “It’s very rewarding,” he says. “We had a couple that… drove all the way in from Waco because they saw one of our pictures online of a dog named Henrietta, and they just loved the picture and came in and snatched Henrietta right up and Henrietta went to a forever home.”
On Facebook live, the MCAS team said they are proud of their high rate of live releases—up to 90% at times. They are working hard to move toward “no-kill” status through the ongoing support from the greater community through adoption, fostering, and transport options for their animals.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters every year. Most are dogs and cats. But there is some good news—this number has declined since 2011 estimates of 7.2 million.
Some weeks, the shelter can take in more than 500 animals. They say they’re always looking for more hands on deck, and that anyone interested in volunteering is very welcome. Weller and the photo team take photos of new arrivals every Sunday from 11:30 a.m. In addition to taking photos, volunteers can also help bring the dogs out to photographers or edit the pictures by cropping and photoshopping out their leashes.
Melanie Sun for NTD Television