Update: Facebook saving lives of pets at Rowan Animal Shelter | Pets
SALISBURY - Social media is saving the lives of hundreds of unwanted dogs and cats in Rowan County. Ever since Rowan County Animal Control started profiling animals on Facebook, the number of adoptions has skyrocketed.
On Wednesday morning 9 year old Sydney Hardman of China Grove, her mom, two sisters, and little brother turned up by 7:15 in the parking lot at the Rowan County Animal Shelter on Julian Road. The shelter didn't even open until 11, but they wanted to be sure they could adopt a poodle mix that had been shown on a Facebook page dedicated to profiling the shelter's animals and finding them new homes.
The families persistence paid off, and the dog, now named "Bruno" went home with his new family.
"Business is booming right now for us when it comes to adoptions," Clai Martin, Rowan Animal Control Director told WBTV.
What's behind all this puppy love? Well, Facebook. Volunteers created this page to advertise potential pets.
"It just tells you about the dogs and stuff and it show pictures, anyways, and it like shows pictures and stuff of the dog, tells you when it's going to be adopted," Sydney's sister Shay told WBTV.
Bruno was on the page, and so are many others. In June of last year the shelter had about 36 adoptions, this year, 166.
"The other day we adopted 18 animals in one day," Martin added.
It's great for the shelter, great for families, but even better for the animals themselves who are finding homes, even so, there are still plenty more still hoping for a more personal acceptance of a their friend request.
The Facebook page is called Friends of Rowan County Animal Shelter. Martin says they have adopted pets to families all over the southeast since they started posting the pictures.
On Wednesday night WBTV was contacted by Candace Honeyucutt, the volunteer who had the idea of creating the Facebook page that has now
been so successful. Honeycutt explained how it all came about:
I noticed that the Rowan County Animal Shelter had not updated their adoptable animals page on the website for over a year. When I inquired about it, I was told they didnt have the staff or time to keep it updated. It made me mad that there were so many adoptable animals at the shelter and that no one would ever know they were there. Most people do not want to stroll through the shelter because it is sad and depressing to see all those eyes looking at you hoping that you will take them home. I decided to do something about that. I contacted Clai Martin, shelter manager and asked if I could volunteer my time to take pictures of the animals with the hopes of networking those pictures to rescue groups and on Facebook. I created this page in mid February with the hopes of just being able to atleast help a few more animals get a second chance at a forever home. Since mid February, the shelter is averaging about 107 adoptions monthly. Before then, they were averaging about 30 adoptions per month. Besides working a full time job - I am constantly on facebook or email networking these animals in the hopes of finding them wonderful homes / rescues.Maria Pannell, shelter office manager, has been a great help. I am in constant contact with her to stay updated on animals coming in and the ones who get adopted. Anytime I have a question, I know I can call her and will get the info I need quickly. I cannot believe the amount of positive response I have received from this page. And all I was hoping for when I started was to get atleast one more dog or cat adopted! This goes to show that if you have an idea..no matter how big or small, it can have the potential to make a huge impact.