Using Facebook to Help Needy Pets? You Might Be Doing It Wrong.

Fellow animal lovers — help the many pets who are in need of rescue by donating and using your skills.

Editor’s Note: This article was written by Heather Clarkson and originally appeared on her blog, Dog Hair & Bourbon. It appears here with permission and has been edited.

Comments like these are not helpful. Photo illustration by Pets Adviser.
Comments like these are not helpful. Photo illustration by Petful

Oh, the double-edged sword of Facebook.

Rescuers know it well — what started as a brilliant method for sharing dogs in need and using well-meaning volunteers has effectively become what many of us will consider the biggest thorn in our sides.

Facebook — social media in general, really — is responsible for the lives of thousands of animals that would have never made it out of the shelter alive. Suddenly, low-budget shelters with no ability to share photos and information of the dogs in their facilities gained a free platform to spread the word about their strays and adoptables.

Animals started finding rescues and adopters from all over, just because somebody saw their picture on Facebook and decided to help. Groups were formed for transport coordination, breed rescues, etc. and folks really jumped on the bandwagon to help the animals. I mean really jumped on the bandwagon.

I know I’m looking a gift horse in the mouth. Facebook is wonderful; Facebook users, not always so. What was once a blessing has turned into chaos and frustration. Many rescuers, myself included, have started avoiding social media due to the pandemonium it creates.

At one point (I’ve worked hard to rectify this situation), you could look at my personal Facebook page and legitimately think I was a dog. There were no pictures of me — just dogs! Dogs, dogs, dogs! Not even my dogs, but dogs of every make and model all across the country that somebody, somewhere thought I needed to be aware of.

Fortunately for me, I do have a social life and employers, and I would rather them see pretty little ol’ me on my Facebook page, not some hound dog in Florida.

I digress…

There is a right and a wrong way to use social media for the benefit of everyone — rescues and dogs alike. Unfortunately, many people have come to see social media as a way to feel needed and important. They have a purpose in life, even if it’s just sitting on their couch tagging everyone in kingdom come in a shelter dog’s picture. That, my friends, is the wrong way.

And below, I explain this in more detail, as well as things you can do to actually help your local shelter dogs and rescues.

3 Things You Need to Stop Doing Now

1. Cross-post, cross-post, cross-post!

If your Facebook name includes “Cross-poster” or “X-poster” or anything similar, don’t request to be my friend. I’m going to deny it.

Why? Because I really don’t want to get 50 notifications a day from you, tagging my name on pictures and sharing dogs on my wall. That’s my Facebook page! For me! Plus, chances are, I already know about the dog if it’s the type of dog I rescue. It has probably been emailed to me 5 times by 10 a.m., the shelter has probably already called me themselves to ask for my help, and I do check all the shelter pages myself.

Another issue I have with rampant cross-posting is that it scatters the information to the wind. Every thread has a different set of comments, and nobody ever checks the original thread for updates. I’ve all but ceased posting updates on dogs on Facebook because nobody pays attention.

Also, if I’m rescuing a dog, letting everyone know the status on Facebook is not my first priority. Believe it or not, coordinating with the shelter and local volunteers personally is my priority. And my guess is, any other serious rescuer trying to help that dog is probably doing the exact same thing, so they don’t need to see it on Facebook either.

Cross-posting these days does little more than create hysteria surrounding shelter animals. It feeds off the over-emotional users who aren’t checking the facts before posting, and frankly it’s making our lives (rescuers and shelter workers) more difficult.

Panic does not solve problems — coordination and action does.

2. “I wish I could help, but…”

Stop, stop, stop. STOP saying this. If you can’t help, cool. We get it. But there is no point in posting, “I wish I could help, but I’m 1,000 miles away,” or “I wish I could help, but I have 5 dogs already.”

If you can’t help, that’s fine, but stop cluttering threads with your sentiment.

I can look at a thread for a shelter dog with 40-something comments, and not a single one will actually be offering to help — they’re all just cross-posters tagging names and people saying, “Oh my, look at that baby, what an angel, I wish I could help.” You’re just trying to make yourself feel better about not helping, and nobody needs to see that.

Similarly, stop finding dogs in shelters that are a 5-hour drive from you, and posting, “I’ll take this baby but I can’t drive.” What a HUGE help you are. Unless that comment is followed by, “But I’ll pay to have the dog boarded and transported to me,” you just need to stay out of it.

Frankly, I think that any group who relies on the word of some random person on Facebook committing to adopting a dog and pulls that dog under that assumption is just asking for a world of trouble.

I’ve done it once, and lo’ and behold, guess who got stuck with a dog? Mmmhm. Fortunately for that dog, I don’t back out on my commitments, and she came into my own rescue program. Not every rescue abides by those same standards, however (and that is a topic for another day).

3. “Someone NEEDS to save this dog!”

This one really irritates me.

Unless that someone who “NEEDS to save this dog” is you, keep your dang mouth shut. Because at that point, you are taking it upon yourself to place responsibility on others beside yourself — and that, my friend, is a load of bull.

If you’re not willing to get off your butt and do something yourself, don’t expect someone else to do it.

3 Things You Should Do More Often

1. Donate

Whether I agree with rescues pulling based on pledges and sponsorship or not, the fact is that many do. Especially with dogs in the South, where heartworm disease is rampant, many rescues can’t afford to take dogs whose vet bills will run in the multiples of hundreds. The adoption fees will never cover the treatment, and that’s a surefire way to run a rescue into the ground — take dogs you can’t afford.

However, when dogs get pledges and sponsorships, doors open. That money can go toward vetting and/or transportation (because many Northern groups use professional transportation services), and it actually can be the difference to whether or not a dog lives or dies.

We all have little things we spend money on that we don’t need. If forgoing that daily latte means you can donate 20 bucks a week to getting shelter dogs out and to rescue, why wouldn’t you?

screen-shot-2014-05-15-at-2-32-07-pm

2. Get Off Your Butt

Seriously. Get off your butt and out from behind the computer. FOSTER.

Fostering is not that hard, really — I promise. Even if you’re just a temporary foster who holds animals for transport, you’re saving 2 lives — the animal you’re taking home and the animal filling its space at the shelter. Most rescues cover all expenses for fosters, and anything they don’t cover is tax-deductible.

You’ve all seen that meme that floats around Facebook with the cute dog that says, “I’m Alive — Because I Had a Foster Home.” It’s as simple as that. Fostering saves lives, more than anything else.

If you genuinely cannot foster, there are still other ways to help. Drive for transports, evaluate dogs in your local animal shelter or take pictures of their available animals. Become a general volunteer for the rescue of your choice and call references, help with data entry, do home visits and help at local events.

The folks who run rescues have jobs, lives, families and a million things to do that actually have nothing to do with rescue, on top of what rescue responsibilities they have.

You have no idea how wonderfully helpful it is to have somebody help us with the little things.

3. Use Your Skills/Time

Finally, we all have skills. A lot of rescues could really benefit from those skills. If you’re good with a computer, web design, graphic design, etc., offer to help build a rescue’s website or design a snazzy logo for them. I am so lucky that I have both a graphic and a web designer on my board. Because of them, my rescue’s stuff looks pretty awesome.

Not all rescues are that lucky, and they definitely don’t have the budget to pay someone to do it. If you’re a good photographer with a decent camera, offer to take pictures of foster dogs or dogs in shelters. A picture is worth a thousand words, we know, and it has been proven that better pictures get animals adopted faster.

Your skills could be used for just about anything. If you’re an accountant or a bookkeeper, offer to help with records. If you like to sew, make collars or beds that can be donated to shelter dogs or sold at events.

In fact, 2 of my volunteers make tutus in their spare time for us to sell tutus! The list goes on.

tutu-dog

* * *

Heather Clarkson, 24, founded a dog rescue for herding breeds last year. Her current foster pets include a Great Dane, a Doberman, a deaf cattle dog mix and an Australian Shepherd. This article originally appeared on her blog as “The Love/Hate Relationship of Social Media and Rescue.”

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246 Comments

  1. Rick Wall
    May 19, 2014

    Terrific article.

    Reply
    1. Pets Adviser
      May 19, 2014

      Hi Rick, looks like you found us through our G+ page. Welcome.
      Glad you enjoyed the article. As the writer of this piece told us, it’s not sharing in general that’s the culprit — it’s willy-nilly cross-posting and extraneous comments like “Somebody do something.” Those things cause more chaos, confusion and frustration than is helpful.

      Reply
  2. Garnell McMichael
    May 20, 2014

    As a rescue volunteer in Texas I cannot tell you how wholeheartedly I agree with this article. It is so exhausting listening to all the people that DO NOTHING, but yet bash rescues when they can’t save a dog because they have no foster, no funds, etc. Thank you for expressing what all the rescue volunteers and founding members go through every day.

    Reply
    1. Stacy Hopkins
      December 29, 2014

      I totally agree!!!

      Reply
    2. Indee Anna
      December 30, 2014

      where are you listening? on the internet? do you expect everyone who posts to be a savvy rescuer? Mostly they are just animal lovers trying to be kind.

      Reply
      1. Vita Barshteyn
        December 30, 2014

        Yeah, kindness manifests itself in actions.
        Their actions only manifest stupidity and impede with others’ efforts to save lives.

        Sometimes indeed speech is silver, silence is gold.
        Ever heard of that?

        Reply
    3. Hannah M.
      January 4, 2015

      Same goes for people who bash shelters for not being able to do as much, or go as far in some circumstances, as a rescue could. Negativity and judgment against the people trying to help animals (even under less-than-ideal restrictions) has never helped a single animal. Worst of all is when rescues and shelters bash *each other*. Like, WTF?! I thought we were all on the same team!

      Reply
  3. Melinda
    May 20, 2014

    I am agreeing with most of your excellent article, that is until reaching the part about temp fostering until transport – this South to North continuous flow of shelter pets a mission run amuck – so much is going horribly wrong in this practice, but it deserves a whole new article. No good idea remains unspoiled!

    Reply
  4. anna
    May 20, 2014

    Is sharing the post ok?

    Reply
    1. Pets Adviser
      May 20, 2014

      Ha. Yes, share away. 🙂

      Reply
    2. Laura Ann Stern Plaster
      January 1, 2015

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      Reply
  5. Lisa Smith-Elyea
    May 21, 2014

    Pets Adviser: what is wrong with cross-posting? I don’t understand how that can be such a big problem. If it were not for cross-posting, I wouldn’t have the dog I do now; I recently found a missing dog, and thanks to cross-posting, the owner was able to get in touch with me. Cross-posting can be a HUGE help in finding missing or lost pets, and in finding homes & fosters for strays. Please explain, thanks.

    Reply
    1. Pets Adviser
      May 21, 2014

      Hi Lisa, that’s so wonderful that you found your dog via social media. We believe the writer isn’t saying that sharing in general is “bad” or that cross-posting is either — but her opinion seems to be that some restraint is in order when it comes to cross-posting. In particular, she urges restraint in terms of empty comments that clutter up threats and cause confusion/frustration.

      Reply
      1. Lisa Smith-Elyea
        May 22, 2014

        Yes, I understood from the article that restraint should be used more often – when posting useless comments. However, you don’t really answer my question about cross-posting. Without cross-posting, how does the writer expect to find homes for any of these animals?

        Reply
        1. Pets Adviser
          May 22, 2014

          Hi Lisa, we can’t speak for the writer, but can just try to interpret what she’s saying. You can try leaving a comment for her on her blog: http://bourbondog.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/the-lovehate-relationship-of-social-media-and-rescue/.

          Reply
          1. Lisa Smith-Elyea
            May 23, 2014

            Thanks very much Pets Adviser!

            Reply
            1. Cheryl G
              December 28, 2014

              Tagging only clogs up ur wall or feed IF tagged within shared post comment.. It ONLY appears in ur notification section if tagged in the comments area. I do the 2nd way of tagging regularly.. Its used to have MORE people share and notify others who. May not know about tge animal.. If u don’t want to chk notifications you can ignore it. IT DOESN’T CLOG UR FEED OR UR WALL tagging that way.. I KNOW AA I PREFER MY PERSONAL PAGE BE PERSONAL ALSO & REGULARLY HIDE POSTS.. Its a little disheartening for people trying to help in any way they can. I cannot adopt foster pledge or volunteer BUT I CAN NETWORK

            2. Lisa Smith-Elyea
              January 4, 2015

              Exactly my point Cheryl. Of all my friends, over 500 are CRAZY about dogs and WANT to be tagged so they can help by re-posting and networking. Sometimes every share helps, we just have to use common sense before hand and read the comments to see if there are updates etc. THEN give all the details that are available. If there are no details – just the name of a town or city – those should never be re-posted.

          2. Laura Ann Stern Plaster
            January 1, 2015

            Comment on her blog?? wouldn’t that only waste her precious time??? SInce I can’t foster, adopt or donate today?? I think I’m supposed to just shut my pie hoe and leave the professionals handle it… Isn’t that what was written???

            Reply
        2. RescuedRussell
          June 20, 2014

          As someone in rescue – it’s not sharing/cross-posting that causes confusion, it’s when people tag everyone they know (common for cross posting). That causes the same dog to show up multiple times on a rescuers page, in their feed, etc… And it gets cumbersome to have to continuously scroll to find the dog you just secured a foster for, etc… SO, SHARING is ALWAYS a GOOD thing! It’s the TAGGING that needs to go. I actually had to unfriend someone because she tags me on every dog – ones that I’m already working with in some cases.
          I hope that clears it up a little.

          Reply
          1. Annie Lov
            October 25, 2014

            AND I don’t tag, but I do share on my Timeline & publicly! These animals need all the help they can get!!!

            Reply
            1. Cece LaLa
              December 28, 2014

              I encourage people to tag me because I thought it helped the animals in need get more exposure. And I love cross posters, and search for them to add as my friends on FB! I think social media has done amazing things for animal rescue! It’s obvious to me that the writer has little idea of what animal rescue was before social media – a few compassionate family members and an adoption event at Petsmart a few times a month with only your most adoptable animals. I am in awe of all the compassionate people who are taking the time to cross-post, comment, pledge, rescue or share! And for me, those comments the writer says we should not do, like ” Somebody save this poor baby” etc. help motivate me to continue sharing and pledging that animal! Lastly, if you don’t want your employers or friends to see all the pics of pets on your page, have two pages, one for rescuing animals & another for personal interests. I also believe you can choose your notification preferences in account pages. Idk, but my guess is that this writer is not going to last too long in rescue if she’s already full of complaints at 24. Hehehe!

            2. Linda Rainey
              December 30, 2014

              I agree Cece. I also encourage folks to tag me as much as possible. My timeline runs so fast that I miss a lot of my notifications but I share every tag notification I see. I also prefer photo tagging but have to be careful because FB will block you for too much tagging. If you photo tag the same couple friends with lots of friends then you get a really far reach because the photo goes into their photos and all their friends see the photo and most cross posting friends will share. I search out the rural high kill shelters that gas and heart stick kill and get those dogs moving. I work off the urgent albums from the shelter page when possible but most times it will be from a volunteer page networking the animals for the shelter. I try to stay with the original photo and continue to re share because every time I rs a tagged photo, then it alerts again and some that missed it before may pic it up and share this time around. I don’t like to see the threads jammed up with the Wishers & If Only folks , but you just have to be thankful they have compassion and heart and who knows…maybe they will try fostering / donating or volunteering. FB has so many security options under accounts that I know the writer could adjust her notifications and could also set her page where no one could post or message . I have seen pages that have no contact options. She could show her pretty little face and her four dogs for adoption as much as she wants and see how much her business grows with her nasty attitude. Friend me Cece and lets save some dogs!

          2. Guest
            December 29, 2014

            I understand what sharing is……..can someone explain what “tagging” is?

            Reply
          3. Sammie Lewis
            December 29, 2014

            I understand what sharing is………..but what is “tagging”? Honestly, I’m not sure I know………just started using Facebook about 4 months ago.

            Reply
            1. Brenda Cole
              December 30, 2014

              tagging is when you type a persons name in your comments and that little picture of them pops up and turns their name into a link. Then every ime someone comments on that thread, your friend (the link) will be notified.

          4. Lisa Smith-Elyea
            January 4, 2015

            Well, that’s you. NONE of my many friends in the rescue of Boston Terriers and other short-nosed breed are bothered by being tagged – in fact many of them WANT to be tagged. If you’re too busy to answer a few tags, perhaps you’re not in the right business.

            Reply
        3. Molly
          December 29, 2014

          Some people just do not use any rhyme or reason when crossposting. Some of the shelters on fb don’t allow out of State adoptions… I try to focus on crossposting animals in the states/areas within driving distance of me, in hopes that one of my friends might see one and actually want to help the cat or dog and be able to.
          And some crossposters don’t fully understand the different functions on fb (ie how to use them) and some do not read thread comments and understand them or have any connections to people who might be able to help on a local level for a specific animal. And some do not bother to determine a shelter or rescues policy to better figure out who to share the pet with. (Ie on their own timeline or in a specific group they are in)
          The writer isn’t criticizing crossposting or sharing flat out, she is criticizing people who just do ONLY that all day and the ones that create confusion.

          Reply
          1. Dana
            December 29, 2014

            This is so petty (the article and the defending of the article) & a really bad PR move on behalf of shelters everywhere. Do not bite the grassroots hand that feeds you.

            Reply
          2. Lisa Smith-Elyea
            January 4, 2015

            I understand all that thanks; I give lengthy details & explanations for EVERY dog I post about; I usually only share to the friends in that state as well, but in the summer months I share to a wider audience in case the animal travels through bushy or backroads borders. I assume most people use common sense when sharing about dogs that need adopting, are lost or found, or who need help with medical expenses.

            Reply
      2. Annie Lov
        October 25, 2014

        This writer doesn’t appear to me to be a true lover of animals!!! Wow…..24 & knows it all! I email rescues for ALL animals, not, just, dogs & have had, only, 5 people in the 11 months, since I’ve been doing it, ask me to take their email off my list! I do a lot of research, go to the original thread, go to the shelters page, etc. I’ve been instrumental in saving many, many animal’s lives! I am retired & live on $600 a month, so, can’t donate to the thousands of animals out there who need donations! I have many health problems, so, I cannot foster! My way of helping is to notify rescues, who by the way, don’t always have time to check on ones in dire need!!! I have a kitty…..easy to take care of. It’s a shame how people out there could care less about the cats & kittens!!!! I am not a crossposter! I share photos & info on animals in “high-kill” shelters with rescuers. If you don’t want to rescue these animals, then take your BS off the internet!!!

        Reply
        1. SP Texas
          December 28, 2014

          It really varies by rescue. If it is one that finds pets through emails, ok. Most rescues I know have relationships with shelters and generally are already aware of the pets in need.

          I believe the writer isn’t saying not to post, just that when it goes too crazy, a rescue/shelter worker needs to sift through a huge amount of information to even figure out what is needed. Remember, a lot of these are volunteers with limited time as it is. I’ve personally seen posts where it takes reading through close to 100 comments to find out what is the situation (including people correcting incorrect information other people repost), who has offered to help already, etc.

          People sometimes misuse some of the social networking features creating this chaos. I have “friends” who feel it is alright to tag the entire rescue group volunteers they know on every foster dog photo they post. No it’s not.

          By the way, if only 5 people have asked to be taken off their email, does not mean that the rest read the emails either – all mailboxes allow us to block emails at the receiver side. I think it would perhaps just work a bit better if the poster checks with the groups if they would be ok receiving information in the manner they plan to post it and how frequently first.

          Reply
          1. Twyla
            December 30, 2014

            Actually she IS saying to stop crossposting. The heading says “3 THINGS YOU NEED TO STOP DOING NOW” and cross posting is listed number one. She also goes on to whine about the needless comments. I successfully adopted my dog from 5 states away because someone cross posted. I looked in my area for the dog that fit my life, but at that time there were limited animals. Now, there are complete shipments of adoptable animals coming from hill kill states. Why? Because of cross posting. People saw the need on a daily basis and decided to do something about it. Yes, many comments get in the way, Yes it is hard to find the original thread, but please don’t stop cross posting! Get the word out!!

            Reply
        2. LoriBelle
          December 29, 2014

          “I am not a crossposter! I share photos & info on animals in “high-kill” shelters with rescuers.”

          Exactly what is your definition of “cross-poster?” You are cross-posting when you do this.

          Reply
          1. Catlady
            January 3, 2015

            Cross posting means posting the information on someone else’s page. I run a cat rescue, and have people posting about cats that are out of our jurisdiction, and out of our ability to help. This draws attention away from the cats that we are able to help. In spite of the fact that we delete these posts every day, and have clearly stated terms of use, people still keep on posting.
            Another annoying thing is hijacking a thread. People post information about a critter they are trying to rehome in a thread about another animal, trying to redirect attention to their benefit.

            Reply
      3. Kimberly Sarcinello
        December 28, 2014

        Agreed that some restraint is needed. Often with cross-posting (or sharing) people comment on the SHARE and NOT the original post. (Which the original poster may NEVER SEE.) That is why when I cross-post or share, I will point out that I am NOT the ORIGINAL poster. Many OP’s need to be reminded to INCLUDE CONTACT INFORMATION. Contacting the person who “shares” or cross-posts may not help the person who ORIGINALLY posted the request for assistance.

        Reply
        1. Brenda Cole
          December 30, 2014

          exactly. It’s knowing How to share that is at issue. Straight from the horses mouth is best, so that the comments appear on the original posters thread, so they see it. Also the original poster will be the one to update. I often used to share and would still be sharing a post where the animal had long since been reunited or adopted. So when you receive a shared post (cross post) click on the photo. For instance you might see me post BRENDA COLE – Shared – VEGAN WARRIORS- photo. The original poster would be vegan warriors, clicking on that would take you to vegan warriors page, clicking on the word photo or video will take you to the original post.

          Reply
      4. Sydna Mae Little
        December 28, 2014

        Are you answering these comments for Heather Clarkson?

        Reply
        1. Pets Adviser
          December 28, 2014

          Hi, yes, we have replied to some comments here when it seemed appropriate to chime in. Heather originally wrote this article for her own blog but allowed us to republish it here.

          Reply
      5. Twyla
        December 30, 2014

        Please read the article. It says “3 things to Stop doing now” and lists crossposting as #1. Please see the word STOP.

        Reply
    2. Sabina Gonzales Flagmeier
      June 19, 2014

      I could be wrong but I think she means cross posters that go through every picture and tag every rescue in their friends network in each of those pictures since there is a really good chance the rescuer is already aware of that animal. I dont think she means that sharing pictures is bad.

      Reply
      1. Cece LaLa
        December 28, 2014

        Is it even possible to go through every picture? I also think there is a limit of 50 tags per picture.

        Reply
        1. Molly
          December 29, 2014

          Yes, you are right, there is a limit on photos for how many tags it can accept. People also @ mention or ‘line tag’ in the comments. The one page I used to help, (when I was ‘new’ to crossposting) I didn’t know that the rescues that were allowed (these shelters I’m referring to, groups need to apply & be approved before they’re allowed to pull animals) to pull were already notified by email. Now, I try to inform new ‘crossposters’ about the ways this particular area/group of shelters work and what goes on.

          Reply
    3. Debbie A Richmond
      December 28, 2014

      I agree with you. I can`t foster, I can`t donate and all I have left is to share. I guess all the dogs I did save because I shared, was a totally dumb thing to do. I have 5 colonies that I feed every night with no help of any sort. All that takes my money. I can`t foster because I don`t have anywhere to put them. So what`s left? So, before anyone says anything, think about it. I take pics of the local shelter, post them, share like crazy. I`ve been doing this when I started being able to drive (16) When I see a pet that has been injured, I stop and render aid. I find a lost dog on the streets, I go through a lot of trouble finding the owner. What I`m saying is, everyone can do something, and you can`t tell people what they shouldn`t be doing, because they are doing WHAT THEY CAN. At least I`m trying to make a difference. I think in all the years of doing what I can, I`ve saved well over 200 animals, all on my own, with not any help from anyone. I did make a difference for those I helped…

      Reply
      1. Cece LaLa
        December 28, 2014

        You are a true animal rescuer Debbie!!!

        Reply
      2. Molly
        December 29, 2014

        Debbie, you aren’t the ‘type’ this article is aimed at. You ARE DOING SOMETHING, more than something. You are ‘doing’! Thank you for helping. 🙂 You know, you could create an Amazon wishlist for kitty food…people could buy it for you or donate to help you feed your colony kitties?

        Reply
    4. sick of this
      January 2, 2015

      Right Lisa!!! Seems like the only ones that have a problem with it are the ones that don’t do it! This article is actually complaining they’re to many dogs on their personal page and not enough pics of themselves. HA! A bit self centered don’t you think? If you were truly a dog rescuer it would be about the dogs. Make another page or just UNFOLLOW the people you don’t want posts from or unfriend them for Gods sake! I happen to foster, I have adopted, I volunteer, crosspost and advocate. The worst part of this stupid article is that is has offended some good people enough to quit!! So some of you need to get off your high horse and go save some dogs!

      Reply
      1. Lisa Smith-Elyea
        January 4, 2015

        Well said my friend! Well said.

        Reply
  6. Fantastic article. I can feel frustration and irritation. As for #2 there is a fine line between people just commenting for the sake of saying something and sharing their emotions + showing support with mentioning others. I understand it’s annoying for a rescuer to scroll through commens that don’t offer real help, at the same time people have a need to express their support in words. I understand both sides. No comments at all – and you might feel noone cares. If to require only comments with help, and if someone don’t comment, it will result that Facebook will not show your post on that person’s News Feed.
    I agree that everyone is able to do at least one real thing and no help is small, and they should go for it. I understand the frustration and being overwhelmed. Thank you for sharing an insight and steps for others. Just need to remember that social is social with it’s own behaviour patterns (not that it makes rescue tasks easier, but just to shed a light on why things happen that way)

    Thanks so much for doing a great job!! xox Natalie

    Reply
    1. Stephanie Stephens
      June 18, 2014

      The part you said about no comments means facebook wont show your post is very true. With the way Facebook is these days, it only shows the “top stories” and it only gets to be a top stories with lots of likes and comments. so all of those “praying this one finds a home” and “oh this one is so precious” comments are helping in their own way. Just dont put in “wish I could help but…..”

      Reply
      1. Molly
        December 29, 2014

        Remember you can change the News Feed by going to the News Feed, clicking the little triangle to the right of the words and selecting “Top Stories’ or ‘Most Recent’. Facebook reverts to the default Top Stories after a while, so you need to check it every so often.

        Reply
    2. Molly
      December 29, 2014

      I agree about the comments. Sometimes I make a comment about how appealing the animal is because, bottom line, the more ‘likes’ shares and comments, the more people will see the post.
      People forget that fb is all about algorithms & if a share has no likes & no comments… most likely no one will see it.
      I go through the posts in my News Feed and often ‘like’ every post I see, to communicate that I SAW IT. I click on the photo too & see how many shares & likes it has & often ‘like’ it to help the animal get more exposure but if it is too far away for anyone I know to help.

      Reply
  7. Dani Tant
    May 29, 2014

    Great article! Shared on FB

    Reply
  8. Maylyn
    May 31, 2014

    I’m not sure I understand. I have adopted three animals. I am concerned about the others out there who are in need of help but I don’t have the ability to take any more or foster, but I donate, and in my community on FB, we have the ability to to post lost and found pets along with pets needing a home. It’s amazing because of this social media exposure the number of pets that are reunited and/or find homes. It’s way better than posting fliers on telephone poles, etc. I don’t see the negative in this. I guess I haven’t run across the negative comments. I just see positive results of posting: pets being reunited and pets finding homes. Not every animal to be sure and it will never be 100% sadly, but that one that is saved or reunited is a small victory. Not everyone has the ability to help, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t concerned and want to express it. I don’t think they should be faulted for that. Criticizing is another matter, and, I agree, that if a person can’t be a part of the solution, they definitely shouldn’t be criticizing those who are working in the trenches to help. If you can’t contribute in some way, don’t criticize those who are working hard to save these animals.

    Reply
    1. Riley
      June 17, 2014

      i disagree about facebook and any other social media being better than posting fliers on telephone poles, etc. because there are some people that don’t have social media or internet, for that matter. If you only post it on the internet the dogs owner could live not far from you yet never finds their dog because they dont have social media and have no idea you have him. Don’t get me wrong posting the lost/found dogs can be helpful, but i dont think it should replace posting fliers. Though this article, i felt, was pointing more towards posting/cross-posting adoptable dogs rather than lost/found dogs. Just because they’re rescuers doesn’t mean they want their personal FB covered with every dog across the country needing a home. I also don’t think the article was faulting people who dont/cant help, though i feel everyone can do something. I understand not being able to help by adopting/fostering. I have 2 adopted dogs of my own and 1 foster dog at the moment so I absolutely understand. Their are pros and cons of Facebook and i’ve seen both first hand.

      Reply
    2. currentlyoccupied
      August 19, 2014

      people don’t realize how hard most shelters work to find pets homes, they contact rescue groups, no kill shelters the whole 9 yards but unfortunately so is everyone else. Space is limited every where you go and shelters try to keep pets until they can find rescues or forever homes but people bash shelters anyway, they preach on the evils of shelters, refuse to see everything they do and the cry when unfortunately pets have to be euthanized. For most shelters however this is a LAST resort, and even if a dog started out awesome after a month in shelter they can get aggressive, no matter how much the shelter tries to work with them and socialize them. Shelters don’t always have time to sit and play with the dogs all day, no matter how much they want to and that is why volunteers are SO important, but it is very difficult to get volunteers. Everyone wants to be a judgmental critic on social media because they are a safe distance away but guess what, they have shelters in their area and I can bet you that 9 out of 10 of those Cross Posters on social media aren’t ever at their local shelters!

      Reply
      1. SweetT from TN
        December 29, 2014

        What difference does it make what shelter people are sharing for… SHARING gets the word out there.. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS AT ALL!!! OMG 🙁

        “POST & SHARE ON PEOPLE…. SAVE AN ANIMAL’S LIFE!!!!”

        Reply
        1. LoriBelle
          December 29, 2014

          It’s hysterics like this is what she’s talking about.

          Reply
          1. A Real Rescuerer
            December 29, 2014

            Maybe somebody didn’t actually read or UNDERSTAND the article. What difference does it make? You WASTE my valuable time when you SHARE and CROSSPOST. I have only so much time to actually rescue, and your sharing just causes more phone calls and emails for me to deal with.

            Reply
            1. Nikita
              December 30, 2014

              We are trying to help…

              the confusing part is where many pages actually ask you to share, so now we get blasted for sharing WTF?!?!?

              I can understand the annoyance of a 100 posts saying what a cutie wish I could help and not offering help.

              But I sense a complete utter disrespect for the people who are trying to help in the small way they can.

              I live in Europe but have many Americans in my list, so I share, cuz thats whats been asked many times, I have no other way to help American animals (a sporadic donation is made but I am not wealthy).

              Dont even start about helping here, I do, but we as a nation dont murder and abandon our animals like you lot so that saves a lot of lives already

            2. Brenda Cole
              December 30, 2014

              no one is blasting you for sharing. apparently you need a little help with reading comprehension. THE WAY YOU SHARE MATTERS. click on original post, if you want to share , AFTER YOU take the time to read the comments. I get shares daily and I share as well, from original post (click the photo and follow the links next to posters name) and make sure the situation hasn’t been resolved before sharing, again by clicking photo or reading original post. In addition, if you are a sharer make the post PUBLIC, can’t share it if you don’t. I like to say, “If your hips aren’t moving than your lips shouldn’t be moving either” It’s ok to work behind the scenes and far less toxic as there is less “drama” to deal with when people get hysterical and steer the post offtrack.

            3. Mary Corbett
              January 14, 2015

              Nikita, of course they did…but, remember, these are just average people anxious over the nature of the post — they (this is important) DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT. Feel free to ignore them.

              In other words, being a well-meaning person does not mean you know what the hell you’re talking about. I’ve made mistakes through good intentions, I can’t believe you don’t know anyone in Europe who hasn’t done the same.

              Annoyance is very difficult to put up with, I agree. I think the reason I didn’t recognize it until you mentioned it is because I just assumed that anyone doing anything near as much as this woman (or countless other support and rescue people I have known) AND holding down a FULL TIME JOB (or how else does she pay for housing, food, transportation, etc for both her and the dogs (and in many cases: cats, small mammals, horses, etc) That much work? More than I’m able to do? WAY more than I could ever keep organized?

              She absolutely gets a pass — at least this one time. 😉

            4. Essa Adams
              January 27, 2015

              I have to agree with Nikita the disrespect in the article that is shown for sharers… it could be bent a different way so people understand and instead of feeling defensive, really hear the valuable words of the article. It takes time to know what to share. If there is missing info, detail it to be clear to anyone reading. Send it to the one or two that are in that area and can do something. Tell them exactly where and why them, so they don’t need to read through, not just a share w/o info out front to everyone.

        2. @Tytymandingo
          January 4, 2015

          It’s the difference between explaining your child is lost to police who can help look, or yelling across a canyon about all the missing children in the state, to tourists passing by on the road.
          Panic stricken cacaphony doesn’t benefit anyone in the actual cause.

          Individually, we are not the Ganeesh of animal rescue, and we shouldn’t just be blaring a trumpet on a whim.

          Reply
        3. Lisa Smith-Elyea
          January 4, 2015

          I agree with you SweetT – I think what folks are trying to say is that sharing before getting all the facts is the problem. Sharing “Lost Dog in Wyoming” or “Dog Lost at Main & King” without giving any more info – THAT’s what’s upsetting. And don’t ever criticize these people, who are working very hard and doing their best to find shelter dogs new homes. It’s the posting without giving any thought to details or updates that’s so irritating.

          Reply
    3. Molly
      December 29, 2014

      If you’re working with a group or page for a specific purpose, those of Lost or found pets – that isn’t really what she means.
      I used to read EVERY comment on a thread, to see if something was being done to help the animal in the photo. If I couldn’t see a comment stating so, I would share the animal, from its original post. Now, I scan to see if the animal has been rescued and I post that on the friends ‘share’ of the pet, so others know that one has been helped & can move on to one that hasn’t.
      Some people do not read the comments on animals & are interested in crossposting in volume, so they can feel like they are doing something.

      Reply
      1. Essa Adams
        January 27, 2015

        Same here. The computer skill I use is appropriate cross-posting and savvy in searching down matches so pets get returned to owners. Less for the shelters and rescues when they get home. Thinking to specialize my service into stolen dogs, OR a specific breed like Newfoundlands or huge working dogs… still thinking though. But like the article reads, the comments on threads hides the possibilities, the true information and weighs down shares. In cross-posting, going back to find more info is critical, most people don’t. Today, it was all on me. I did not scan back far enough on a lady’s timeline and find that her brother’s dog was reunited. I posted to 10 sites because he was lost on the Interstate of all things. Then found out they were reunited and had to backtrack, commenting where necessary, deleting. Telling those that shared to unshare, augh. Learned something about checking all the way to the date lost, that I did.

        Reply
    4. Adrian Sanders
      December 29, 2014

      THIS IS CROSS-POSTING

      Reply
      1. Adrian Sanders
        December 29, 2014

        THIS IS CROSS-POSTING.

        Reply
        1. Adrian Sanders
          December 29, 2014

          THIS IS CROSS-POSTING..

          Reply
          1. Adrian Sanders
            December 29, 2014

            THIS IS CROSS-POSTING…

            Reply
            1. Adrian Sanders
              December 29, 2014

              THIS IS CROSS-POSTING….

            2. Adrian Sanders
              December 29, 2014

              THIS IS CROSS-POSTING…..

            3. Adrian Sanders
              December 29, 2014

              THIS IS CROSS-POSTING……

            4. Adrian Sanders
              December 29, 2014

              THIS IS CROSS-POSTING…… (IF YOU ARE ANNOYED NOW, THIS IS HOW RESCUERS FEEL)

            5. Debbie
              January 1, 2015

              Then they should not post the pictures and ask people to share… they do it in every single picture I see. So either don’t post the picture and ask for shares or shut up because people are doing what they are asked to do. You can’t have it both ways.

            6. Dani
              January 31, 2015

              I have to ask. Did you read the whole thing? It did not say Don’t Post. It was about not making it HARDER for them with
              posting posts that will not help? That is the point. It is not telling
              you NOT to share. It is telling please don’t post I wish I could help
              and please read to see if someone has already taken care of this dog in
              the comments. And when you share make sure all the info is in the orginal part of your post so that people can see it straight up. In other words..things that make it easier for them when dealing with reading so many posts that have unnecessary comments on them. Or posts that do not have all the info on it…where some people just put Please help this dog…put where, the rescue etc.

            7. toddy
              February 4, 2015

              no, it actually is asking not to share “I got the picture already 5 times and the shelter called me personally about, too”… and not to comment if you can’t help. And as someone already that: although rescues and pounds do ask to share.

    5. Guest
      December 30, 2014

      I also follow a local lost and found pets page on fb. It does great work and reunites many animals with their owners, but when my pet was the one missing, I began to see how frustrating it must be for the admins. I appreciate everything that people did to help me find my pet, but there were so many shares and so many comments coming in 24/7 for days. Some I was notified of, some not. I spent hours upon hours sorting through comments and locating re-posts for any actual information or reported sightings of my pet, and that’s just about one animal. Let’s say you are a rescue dealing with many animals in need, there could be thousands of comments to skim through each day just looking for that one person who actually can help. It must be exhausting. Worth it in the end, if the animal finds a home, but still wastes so much time. These people have regular jobs, families, and volunteer to run these pages and rescue operations. We all want to help, but we need to be more efficient and more considerate. The best way is to share the post, but ask that no one comment unless a) they actually can adopt, b) are willing to donate, c) know where the lost pet is. And, even then, contact the rescue directly (by phone, if possible, to adopt or mail/website to send donations) or tag an admin with the information. That way the important comments reach the people they need to, as quickly as possible. When dealing with pet sightings or kill shelters, every second counts.

      Reply
    6. Amy Berry
      December 31, 2014

      The negative is in it is EVERYONE wishes they can do more and you don’t have to comment about how you wish you could BUT…. could you imagine if every single person who wishes they could take in another animal commented to make sure everyone knew they were doing something and wish they could do more? So when someone posts for a plea for help we’re looking for solutions not justifications as to why you can’t do it. Obviously the person posted wishes they could do more as well, otherwise the animal wouldn’t have to be posted and they would go pick them up.

      Does that make sense? It wasn’t meant to be mean but the truth is it’s clutters up the thread and what we need are people either pledging to donate, transport, or have some sort of solution or just don’t comment at all. The truth is we ALL wish we could do more.

      Reply
  9. ttttt
    June 17, 2014

    I am a foster and THIS IS ENTIRELY TRUE!!! DONATE FOSTER OR ADOPT. That is the 3 most important things you can do to help dogs in shelters. Stop writing what you CANNOT do and DO SOMETHING YOU CAN! If every one of the 500 commenters gave 1 dollar we would have 500 dollars a day to help us rescue associations.

    Reply
    1. KL
      December 29, 2014

      More importantly – People need to stop breeding because puppies are cute! YES! Puppies are Cute! But that is not a good reason to breed your dogs! JUST STOP IT! And if you do get a dog, make a commitment to keep that dog to the end of its life, not just to the end of its youth! And for the sake of all that is holy – if you can’t help, just keep it to yourself! No one wants to hear why you can’t help, and everyone reading the post is aware that someone needs to do something, but 72 people stating that they can’t but someone else should doesn’t help anything!

      Reply
      1. LDB
        December 29, 2014

        There are actually a few pages that go over their threads and remove those comments so that the people who want to help can clearly see what is going on!!! Sucks that these volunteers have to waste their time doing this in order to give the animal a chance… If more people would be pro-active instead of self centered and demanding “someone doing something” we would have more lives saved…I volunteer at events, foster, and advocate… I also cross post to targeted people so as not to over load someones page… There are right ways and wrong ways to use social media to achieve goals and save lives.. I appreciate the sentiment of someone trying to help but do it the right way and make it about the animals not yourself or your friends….

        Reply
        1. Sammie Lewis
          December 29, 2014

          LDB said, “There are right ways and wrong ways to use social media to achieve goals and save lives.. I appreciate the sentiment of someone trying to help but do it the right way and make it about the animals not yourself or your friends….”

          I couldn’t have said it better! Thank you!

          Reply
    2. opawtime
      December 30, 2014

      Very well said!! This is so true. We could probably have that much in a day with just a $.50 donation from everyone who contacts us lol

      Reply
    3. Debbie
      January 1, 2015

      I am really sick of the meanness of this article and you people who are “sick of cross-posting.” If you don’t want the help then DO NOT post the pictures and ASK people to share… they do it in every single picture I see. So either don’t post the picture and ask for shares or shut up because people are doing what they are asked to do. You can’t have it both ways.

      Reply
    4. sick of this
      January 2, 2015

      Don’t you think someone might want to see the dog that needs to be adopted or fostered? Everyone and everything that is done is important! Just limit the unnecessary comments

      Reply
  10. ttttt
    June 17, 2014

    Part of the problem with all the endless comments is these people are on the front lines and have no secretary to pillfer thru the endless comments about how cute the animals are. There are deadlines to get these dogs rescued and they often need to know do they have MONEY AND A PLACE TO PUT THESE DOGS once they pull them and if they have to pillfer thru these comments to see if anyone will actually help it is a waste of valuable time they already do not have.

    Reply
  11. Sue
    December 28, 2014

    Wow, complaining about people who care?? You clearly have no knowledge of what it feels like to care about animals and have no means of supporting apart from trying to post to others to help. How about you just ignore a lot of posts and get over it? This kind of article bashing decent people makes me want to withdraw all support.

    Reply
    1. Beta Starchild
      December 28, 2014

      Actually, sometimes “caring” simply involves staying the heck out of the way so that people who are able to do “boots on the ground” work can go ahead and do it. I’ve seen soooo many threads full of the “I wish I could but . . . .” garbage . . .this is just not the time to clutter the situation with your concerns about your own impotence. If you are doing a whole lot of crossposting and wringing of your hands in comments, withdrawing all your “support” may in fact be the best option for the dogs who need to be saved, clearing the ground for the individuals who can actually take some effective action to pull, transport, and foster them.

      Reply
      1. Cece LaLa
        December 28, 2014

        Isn’t the whole point of crossposting about finding people who can help? I find crossposting tedious and time consuming so I am grateful to anyone who will do it for me in order to give the animal a better chance at being helped.

        Reply
        1. 45mphk9s
          December 29, 2014

          Cross posting from the original post is what you should do. The original post will have the comments and information. If you cross post from your friend who got it from another friend who got it from another friend you lose the original post with the comments which probably includes the current status of the animal. I have followed the trail of the original post to find the animal was adopted, pulled from the shelter, etc. weeks or days earlier.

          Reply
  12. Allison Gray
    December 28, 2014

    This is an exceptional article! Thank you so much for sharing. I wholly agree that it can be frustrating and defeating for animal care workers (shelters, rescues, etc.) to post an adoptable animal and see a never-ending list of comments that range from how the commenter would just love to adopt but can’t for any number of inconsequential reasons, to just noting how much that animal looks remarkably like another animal the commenter once knew.
    I do love, however, seeing those comments that begin with “I’d love to adopt, but I can’t” and then end with “But I’m going to offer to transport that dog to its new home or pay for some of its medical bills!”
    Thank you again for such an enlightening article!

    Reply
  13. Tracy Jo
    December 28, 2014

    AND FOR GODS SAKE; STOP CRITICIZING the Good Sams who are able to take a picture of a dog in a bad situation & report it. STOP JUDGING!! Oh I’d steal the dog; really ?? You’re brave behind your keyboard in another state aren’t you ?

    Reply
  14. Ruth
    December 28, 2014

    If it weren’t for FB most of the animals in the shelter where I volunteer would DIE!! We have so many people who come in saying we saw a dog on FB that is in the shelter here. So if I stop posting them, then they don’t get seen and DIE! I am lost, what else do you want from me. How else am I supposed to save them if I don’t share their picture?

    Reply
    1. Molly
      December 29, 2014

      It isn’t the exposure of their photos, through sharing aka crossposting that creates problems, it’s the people who create confusion with the ‘extra’ stuff that doesn’t help…

      Reply
  15. Patricia Bosello
    December 28, 2014

    As a rescuer, volunteer and transporter, I applaud your article and agree completely! So exhausting reading comments that by the way, most can’t even read, tell you to do this, do that, but when push comes to shove, they have every excuse why they can’t help. God forbid you do something different … Then the fangs come out! FB is not the answer for helping animals other than to bring a bunch of nonsense talk, scams, back stabbing and egos. Hopefully a new system is created strictly for rescues, shelters, owner surrenders, with those who truly have the passion as I myself do. To make a difference.

    Reply
    1. Cece LaLa
      December 28, 2014

      My guess is that most, if not all of those comments are also followed up with multiple shares that did bring in pledges and rescues. I believe it is the “Crossposters along with their comments” who are “pushing” the hardest in making these rescues possible! And, if you’ re NOT seeing and feeling the PASSION in those folks who are commenting, then you are not actually reading them!

      Reply
  16. Monique Dupré
    December 28, 2014

    So
    if we are not allowed to have dogs, have no money to donate cuz we
    work full time and then some for min. wage to keep ourselves afloat, and
    now are told not share the posts because you do not believe we would
    love to help?? I’m sorry, but for the 10
    minutes a day I get to be online, if I happen to see a post for a
    missing or adoptable pet, I am going to share. It’s not everyday I see
    that to begin with because that is my only way of helping. I support
    myself with no one else and this article is going to tell me my best is
    not good enough!! B.S>!!

    Reply
    1. Kimberly Sarcinello
      December 28, 2014

      Monique…your best IS “good enough” and it does HELP. Sharing does help. From other comments & replies I have read here, I think people are trying to say that it’s more the excessive actions that do more harm than good. Excessive comments like “I wish I could help” and “Oh, poor baby” may make the commenter feel better, but they don’t help the animal. They often clutter the thread of comments which MAY actually include a comment by someone who CAN HELP. IMHO, many people do not realize that the original poster may never SEE the comments on the “share.” That’s why when I share, I add the original poster’s contact information (if it was given.) Have you ever shared, and then see comments on YOUR SHARE? The original poster does not see those. I am unable to foster, and I usually can not afford to donate, but I share, because it DOES HELP. Especially shares about lost/found pets, those are VERY helpful, as long as the person includes CONTACT INFORMATION in the OP. So, you keep sharing! =)

      Reply
  17. Rex Benson
    December 28, 2014

    ADD TO WHAT WE CAN DO … WHEN I SEE A DOG – CAT FREE OR FOR SALE IN OTHER GROUPS …I POST “GOOD FOREVER HOME WANTED .. NO BAIT OR DOG FIGHTERS WANTED .. ID CHECK “….

    Reply
  18. Monique Clark
    December 28, 2014

    I disagree completely with the cross posting. Two dogs in my home would be dead without it. if they weren’t shared on social media I would not have seen and adopted them…they were out of time and absolutely no takers pulled through. I do agree with the comments that are not useful. “someone help them” I do understand it comes from the heart but it is unhelpful. what it does is crowd the threads with unnecessary posts making it difficult for rescues and others working hard to save them find needed info, updates, and do pledge counts. That someone is you. Since I saw my bully on a cross post I have done the same and posted to rescues who had no idea of the dog and immediately stepped in and saved them. sorry if it bothers you but it does indeed save lives. and that’s all I care about. sometimes all it takes is the right person to see that video or picture to fall in love and decide that it is the pet for them. the goal isn’t just to find a rescue but a forever home.

    Reply
  19. MjrMissConduct
    December 28, 2014

    I agree. I can’t tell you how it irritates me when a thread gets cluttered with “prayers” or “wish I could help” posts. GTFO and do something, prayers and wishing gets is nowhere.

    Reply
    1. Sarah
      December 30, 2014

      excuse me but I think prayers can get you much further than you can ever imagine!

      Reply
  20. Dave Diamond
    December 28, 2014

    if there’s anything more unproductive than “you’re doing it wrong” I don’t know what it is.

    Reply
    1. Denise
      December 28, 2014

      I agree 100%. You stated very succinctly what I took several paragraphs to say. This article could have been much better from a different angle with a different tone.

      Reply
      1. Suz
        December 30, 2014

        The tone the article is written with is one of the worst parts of it and completely off putting to any message that the author is trying to convey. I believe that it is all part of the Entitlement Generation. The author is 24, which means she has very little life experience and definitely seems to lack people skills of any kind (many rescuers do, which is why they deal with animals and not people). Sure, she has passion for animals, I think we all probably do (at least those of us reading and commenting), but there are definitely better ways of saying it.

        Reply
  21. Neil Golden
    December 28, 2014

    Great tips for using Facebook positively. One slight correction though… Transport groups and transport coordinators have been around long before Facebook. We had to do it via email and telephone though. It’s a good idea to screen drivers’ credentials to ensure that someone who knows how to safely handle dogs in stressful situations is caring for them during the rescue journey.

    Reply
    1. Kimberly Sarcinello
      December 28, 2014

      Good points Neil. I am a registered volunteer with a cat transport network. I had to provide “credentials” proof of driving record, proof of insurance, and was required to sign numerous agreements, (rules of safe transport / code of conduct guidelines / release of liability, etc.) The transport network has a 100% success record with safe transports.

      Reply
  22. Denise
    December 28, 2014

    I think Ms. Clarkson should be ashamed of the negative tone of this article. What is she trying to do? Alienate animal lovers. I found it very condescending. As far as cross posting goes, it’s not a very smart idea to rely on comments to find someone interested in adopting. Those interested will message privately. That’s what Ms. Clarkson should have stressed. Allow people to say sweet uplifting things in comments and steer people to private message when interested in the pet. And the remarks she made about “I wish I could help but…”. I WISH I COULD HELP THEM ALL. But I have 3 already. Allow people to say these things and again suggest people email privately when interested. And yes someone needs to save this animal but those of us with several already can’t take anymore but are trying to urge others to get involved.

    The “get off your butt” comment was so distasteful. I do. Many do. We just might do it ourselves and not through a shelter or humane society. I personally have saved numerous strays and found them homes.

    Many of the things she railed about can be corrected if she used her brain and added one thing to her original posting of an animal….. please send a private message to those truly interested in adopting or fostering.

    Reply
    1. Emily
      December 29, 2014

      Well said.

      Reply
    2. LoriBelle
      December 29, 2014

      The “I wish I could help, but…” drives me nuts! The “somebody, please rescue this…” is just as bad. That doesn’t help anyone or any animal. It’s just annoying. I have a dog that must be an only “child,” but I don’t vomit that on every request for help with rescuing. My baby is 9, so maybe within the next 5 to 7 years, I’ll be able to rescue, until then, I keep my mouth shut!

      Reply
    3. Laura Ann Stern Plaster
      January 1, 2015

      well said!!! It is nice to see other comments that people actually do care about these precious souls.

      Reply
  23. Kimberly Sarcinello
    December 28, 2014

    This is a great blog! I especially agree with the “Three things you should STOP doing NOW.” Comments like “I wish I could help, BUT….” etc. do nothing more than clutter up the thread of comments. My other HUGE pet peeve is when there is a post about an animal in need, someone comments “There is a (different) dog/cat in XXX who needs help. Can your group do something?” Chances are probably not, and the comment gets LOST amid the “I wish I could, BUT” and “Someone please help” comments. Those comments benefit NO ONE. Great examples of what people CAN do to help. EVERYONE has something that they CAN do to help. Donating being the BEST option of all! I can not foster, but I transport. It’s what I CAN do. I donate what I CAN afford. Everyone CAN do SOMETHING to HELP. There is no need for the endless “I wish I coud, BUT….” comments. Just click “LIKE” and move on. No need to make comments that are not related to ACTION. (Those thoughts are a given, NO need to clutter up the thread.) DO something, DO anything PRODUCTIVE. Just be sure that what you are “doing” isn’t making it more difficult for the people who are getting it done!

    Reply
    1. Denise
      December 28, 2014

      They shouldn’t be relying on the comments section anyway when anyone who is interested can send a private message. If they hate all the comments disable them and add to the original post to send a private message if interested in the animal. See it’s so simple without blasting people.

      Reply
      1. Sydna Mae Little
        December 28, 2014

        One of my favorite rescue groups have no comment section, can only comment when you share. Good idea Denise!

        Reply
  24. grey witch
    December 28, 2014

    My #1 COMPLAINT is that no one goes to the the ORIGINAL post (meaning click on the picture then read all the subsequent comments to determine exactly what is going on). I don’t know how many times, I see someone start a new thread and it’s back to “square one” duplicating prior efforts after I’ve already spent time on the same post from someone else. Reading the original post & pertinent subsequent comments usually indicates a rescue(s) is working. But reading different threads with 50-60 subsequent comments is a chore. I have posted updated status especially in the case of lost/found/deceased pets only to have people think the pet is mine. People do not read!!!!!

    I don’t have a lot of $$$, but volunteer (search ads for needy dogs, home visits, & transport for 4 breed rescues) and if need be would overnight a dog but cannot foster, as my home is not large enough and I have a rescue of my own. It should be noted that transporting usually involves a substantial cash outlay (gas, tolls, etc) and time depending on where one lives.

    Reply
  25. Sydna Mae Little
    December 28, 2014

    Heather Clarkson, if the purpose of your article is to get a big AMEN from fellow rescuers, you have achieved your goal. I live in Florida, am on disability and am pretty much homebound. I donate to a humane society in Florida. Adopted 2 wonderful senior dogs and a 5 year old cat. I help a feral cat sanctuary in PA. She has her personal Facebook page for her family and friends. Then she has her feral felines page for friends and supporters, which I see. My greatest fear from your correcting ‘us’ is that people will feel foolish sharing these animals and the animals may suffer. Believe it or not you can hurt seeing these homeless or abused animals and feel the need to express those feelings without guilt. If people were to put in their comments all the animals they adopt and/or foster, and a list of all the shelters or humane societies they have helped, (like I just did), well, you would write another letter! I basically read the article, look at the pics and share. My advice which I’m certain you don’t care to hear, is that people making these post should always date the post and put the animals location, including the state ( Dumont Ave just doesn’t cut it) within the post. The only person any of us can change is ourselves.

    Reply
    1. Molly
      December 29, 2014

      Good point. Two (considered) senior cats I have now are alive because I adopted them from seeing them on fb. They were supposed to be killed the next day. The girl I’ve had 3 years, the boy, a year. I got them to be companions to my senior former alley cat who was used to having a companion but after she died, I didn’t get him a friend for 4 years? (It was emotional for me, she was 23 when she went)
      Anyway, yes, good point. And thank you for helping former pets.

      Reply
  26. Jeana Nolen
    December 28, 2014

    I could not love you more for posting this! Sharing far and wide with our rescue and network.

    Reply
  27. Kimberly Sarcinello
    December 28, 2014

    In the comments to this article / blog, I see many comments and replies asking why sharing and cross-posting is bad….It’s really NOT bad to do it, but more importantly HOW it is done. One example from MY experience: I saw a post on facebook about a stray TNR cat that needed to be cared for and possibly relocated to a safer location. Amid all of the “someone help this poor baby” & “someone do something” comments…I commented that I would step up. I would provide a shelter, and I would stop by each day to provide clean food and water and ensure the straw bedding was clean and dry, until a more appropriate location could be found. THEN, many people “shared” the post. (The comments are NOT included in the “share.”) So there were NUMEROUS posts about the SAME cat. Each new share started ALL OVER AGAIN with the “someone help this poor kitty” comments. I located as many of those “shares” as I could and commented ON EACH ONE a link to ONE post (by me) that included my contact information and UPDATES. Also, people commented BEFORE reading through ALL of the comments (cluttered with well meaning sentiments.) If they HAD read through ALL of the comments they would HAVE SEEN that something WAS being done. So basically, sharing CAN be a good thing, but people should use discretion in HOW they share. =)

    Reply
    1. Pets Adviser
      December 28, 2014

      That’s a great real-world example that illustrates the potential problems so well.

      Reply
    2. Jellin027
      December 29, 2014

      Lightening up on the ol’ ‘CAPS LOCK’ would make your posts a lot more legible and pleasant.

      Reply
      1. Mary B. Corbett
        January 14, 2015

        To me, a ratio of uncapped to capped words, as well as — of course — the amount of necessity or insanity warranted by the situation, is more important to me when encountering a sea of caps (get it? “whitecaps”? In this post I never noticed them and, I must say, i can easily be irritated by unwarranted, “loose” capping.

        Reply
        1. Jellin027
          January 15, 2015

          Read it again and maybe you’ll notice how irritating it was to read. Completely takes away from the message she is trying to deliver.

          Reply
          1. Lea Anna
            January 21, 2015

            I could read it much easier than yours! Stop your bitchin’ & get back to sharing & saving animals & read my post above!! Then be thankful!!

            Reply
          2. Dani
            January 31, 2015

            I did not find it irritating. What I read it as was she was emphasizing certain words to make people pay attention. And those points needed to be emphasized because many people do NOT pay attention.

            Reply
            1. Jellin027
              January 31, 2015

              No, if you try and emphasize too many things, people will just tune you out. Too bad you don’t get that.

      2. Keli
        January 16, 2015

        The caps didn’t bother me, it merely conveyed her level of frustration of people inadvertently taking away her time in trying to do real rescue work. Commenting negatively on her usage of caps, however, did bother me. I can’t see that her usage of too many caps (or too little caps, not enough caps or no caps at all) could possibly bother anyone enough to miss her message. She’s out there actively trying to help animals in need, please be respectful enough to support that regardless of her punctuation.

        Reply
        1. Lea Anna
          January 21, 2015

          Someone popped off at me for using caps! Tough poo poo to those who don’t like it!! I have bad eyesight & I’m going blind, so, if you don’t like it, that’s, just, too, bad!!!

          Reply
          1. karretop
            February 5, 2015

            PEOPLE NEED TO BACK OFF ONTHE CAPS. I RECENTLY SHATTERED MY ELBOW SO i AM TYPING WITH ONE HAND AND ITS JUST EASIER TO DO THE CAPS. GET OVER IT PLEASE – I AM NOT YELLING AT YOU!!!

            Reply
    3. Lisa Smith-Elyea
      January 4, 2015

      Of course there are well-meaning but dumb people who automatically share everything they come across, but that’s NOT me. I always read the comments first to check for updates & other details, then post if nothing has been done. I donate a goodly portion of my meager check every month, and volunteer locally on a regular basis. I think that Heather Clarkson is just being a spoiled millenial who would rather post selfies of herself rather than the dogs that need rescuing, adopting, or help for medical expenses. I’m not dismissing the good work she does for her rescue group, but I don’t believe she represents the majority of people working to help find shelter dogs new homes.

      Reply
    4. Partners in Animal Rescue
      February 28, 2015

      We are actually working on solving this issue creating a website specifically designed with rescuing and animal welfare in mind. We have been saying for a long time that one of the biggest problems we see is how many threads are created for the same animal, sometimes via a shelter friend page and sometimes via individuals’ pages. Unfortunately, in both cases, if you aren’t friends or you ask a question someone doesn’t like or you don’t copy ALL of the information, it can cause a real problem. People end up running around not knowing what is going on amongst the various threads and often time is wasted and sometimes the animals still lose their lives because somebody missed a rescue/foster offer on a thread they weren’t aware of or somebody who could have helped never saw the thread because the original poster didn’t like the person for some reason.

      We hope everyone who wants to be a part of a site like the one we are creating will visit us at http://www.PartnersinAnimalRescue.com and leave your name and email so that once we are ready to launch, we can let you know!

      We WILL create the solutions needed because we know that together we CAN save more lives.

      Reply
  28. mrandolph76
    December 28, 2014

    As a fellow rescuer, volunteer and foster, I agree 100%. The “please someone save this baby” angers me every time. I am also bothered by people bashing. Yes, people aren’t nice to dogs, they neglect them and abuse them and give them up for bad reasons, but griping about these horrible people does not help the dog, the shelter or the rescues.

    Reply
  29. Denb
    December 29, 2014

    you miserable bunch – how about nobody cares – sod the rescue animals – please don’t post of FB and dear God show any sentiment ovewr thesae animals – I think this proves that like most rescue places it’s about money not the animals – How dare you tell anyone what they can do on FB or what they shouldn’t do – who the hell do you think you are. Please don’t ado[t from these people they don’t appear to have any care there are plenty of places with animals for rehomong without lecturing the public about what they like and don’t like!!!

    Reply
  30. Pat Webb
    December 29, 2014

    I am a SHELTER to RESCUE/Foster Transporter and I LOVE THIS…. Everytime I get tagged, I have to pull my vanm over and check my phone to see if there is an Emergency Transport I am trying to be notified of. I DO NOT RESCUE (per say) So tagging me for a rescue is not only timely, a waste of space, but I can do nothing except DELAY my transport when I get tagged. I have started notifying everyone (once I make delivery) that I would ask they NOT TAG me , because it only delays my trip and delays these precious souls from finally getting to their destination. I do not want to be rude, I know they are only trying to save a life but I agree, if your name has CROSS POSTER in it I will not accept a friends request from you!

    Reply
  31. Karen Rebel
    December 29, 2014

    I think facebook is instrumental in saving shelter animals lives. My boys were 2 days from being killed and were 2 states away. I would not have gotten transport or sponsorship without it. I became more aware of the huge number of kill shelters and the need for rescue and sharing the animals to give them a better chance of being adopted. I do not tag, I give full info and I keep updated on the animals I post on my separate fb page which is specifically for shelter animals in the south. The contact person is always posted and it is known that we only share and do not actually handle the adoptions but sometimes have connections to expedite holds and arrange transportation. I know many people post willy-nilly and say things that just don’t help save the animals. I know it is frustrating beyond words but this article comes off more as hateful than a show of frustration. If please don’t or do doesn’t cause people to understand what not to do exclamation points and rudeness aren’t going to endear them to you and make them care what you have to say. Just tell them how to do it right without admonishing them like children because the majority do care just need some pointers.

    Reply
  32. Wendy Risher-Lunko
    December 29, 2014

    The only reason I have my latest rescue is because someone shared him on Facebook. Had they not shared him, I’d not have noticed him, and as I wasn’t looking to adopt, I wouldn’t have found him. But, apparently, according to the author, my friend needs to stop sharing/cross-posting… Tell that to the dog that, rather than being dead, is sprawled out, sleeping on our bed. I think he’d agree that cross-posting and sharing shouldn’t stop!

    Reply
  33. SweetT from TN
    December 29, 2014

    #Tunica HumaneSociety
    #PetsAdvisor
    I think your “FOOD FOR THOUGHT” post should be deleted…
    That’s so sad that person is posting something like that… It’s confusing to people trying to help in the matter they can do best…
    Not everyone can take in a dog or cat, So sharing is their way of helping.. Never know who might see the post and drive for miles to get that Dog or Cat!!!
    I took in a dog 7 yrs old, owner died and the family was going to put her down… She will be 14yrs old Jan. 2015 and is now blind but still she sits with me, sleeps with me and is my little buddy, wouldn’t have it any other way!!! 3 of my 4 dogs are rescues along with 1 cat..
    SO I SAY:
    “SHARE ON PEOPLE, YOU MAY SAVE AN ANIMALS LIFE”
    Shame on them trying to discourage people from sharing.. They need to get off FB and/or start another page and leave the animals to people that CARE…. No matter how we can help, It Something!!!
    – SHAME ON THEM!! –

    btw, when a post is “shared” all the comment go with it, so I don’t understand the comment of Kimberly saying she had to hunt down the post and add her comment over and over again..??.. And why didn’t you just go and do what you posted instead of reposting you would help – Just do it already… Or maybe I just didn’t understand what you were trying to say.. AND IF So, I’m Sorry, but if you wanted to help, I wouldn’t be chasing posting – I would be going to the animals, Cat, in this case….
    But HEY, that’s just my opinion…

    Reply
    1. Denise
      December 29, 2014

      Apparently Tunica Humane Society has removed the post. I can’t find it anymore. I’m glad they did because I think it upset many of their followers.

      Reply
  34. dana
    December 29, 2014

    This is so petty (the article and the defending of the article) & a really bad PR move on behalf of shelters everywhere. Do not bite the grassroots hand that feeds you.

    Reply
  35. SweetT from TN
    December 29, 2014

    Abused puppy causes Internet stir

    SELMER, Tenn– The story of an abused West Tennessee puppy has gone viral across the world after he was picked up by a foster rescue.Chip, a 12-week-old lab, met Julie Marecki just days before Christmas.
    WBBJTV.COM

    ~see it does HELP to SHARE!!!~ SHARE ON PEOPLE…..

    Reply
  36. PitbullGodfather
    December 29, 2014

    THANK YOU FOR THIS ARTICLE!!!!!! I say it all the time. Stop clogging threads with pity. Help or STFU.

    Reply
  37. Debbie
    December 29, 2014

    Wow… I have seen dogs I helped to find people and rescues for be saved. This article is really mean and well… my Facebook page only exists to help dogs. If this article is how the rescues all feel then I will just delete it. I could not feel worse, pointless or more useless after reading this article. I did foster for a while until we could not for reasons I will not make public, but if you don’t have money to constantly donate and you can no longer foster and I was a part of a rescue group and I am friends with many others who are part of other rescue groups and there is so much backstabbing and people acting badly that I do not wish to be a part of that scene. If there is no place for me to help except via Facebook and you are now telling me it makes no difference and should no be done because you don’t appreciate it and it doesn’t really help then I guess I am out completely from trying to help. Sad… you just single-handedly lost a resource for the dogs.

    Reply
    1. MG
      December 31, 2014

      Don’t make that choice, Debbie! By reacting this way you are allowing the pov and tone of an article written by a 24 year old determine your life, your emotions. Don’t do that! Keep helping dogs and filter out negativity. There are many comments on here from other rescuers clarifying what IS helpful with crossposting and sharing and what is not. As for the original article, it is just someone’s opinion and deserves no weight in your life. Shine your light and help the dogs!

      Reply
  38. Jerilyn Capaccione
    December 29, 2014

    I can see that many people do not actually click on the pics of animals on FB and I use to do that also to see what is going on with that particular animal. You have to click on the picture to see what is going on before commenting or your comment may be after the fact-the animal is already rescued, fostered or the worst thing, already PTS. I know it takes time to do this but if we really want to help the animals, we need to read each and every post of an animal and see what is going on with that animal and as was said in this article, it would cut down on the number of people just sharing, liking and really making it harder for rescuers to sort through all the posts/comments to try to save the death row animals. I share animals all the time because I am retired, on a fixed income and am unable to pledge, adopt or any other means of helping right now. I hope in the future to be able to do more but that is all I can do right now and I feel that just sharing gets the animals shown here on FB so that rescues can look at them and determine if they can do something for them. I agree that this is probably wasting the time of the rescuers when they state they are doing something and then someone comes back and begs for someone to do something. If we are going to use the social media for saving animals on death row, we need to read the posts for these animals, determine what is going on and take it from there. If an animal has already been rescued, go on to the next one–if an animal has been already PTS, don’t keep sharing and liking. Maybe if people would just take a little more time to read through each and every post, if you are busy that is understandable, or it you work and you just don’t have time to do it but this is probably what is causing the problem here on FB for the rescuers. I try to read every post and comments before doing anything for that particular animal if needed. It’s not going to do these animals who are on death row any good if we just post what we feel for the animal and don’t really get help for them from rescues. Yes, we all feel bad for those who really need saved but rescuers don’t need to hear this–they already know these animals are in danger and they do their best to save them. All I do is share and pray for these angels unless they are already being taken care of or are adopted/fostered already. I don’t see that this is harming what is being done for these angels. God does answer prayer and I believe because we as humans love animals is why he answers our prayers for these precious angels who are on death row. Yes, not all are saved but I have seen many saved just since only I have shared and prayed for them for the last year and no one is going to tell me prayer doesn’t work. God cares about these angels because he created them. I understand it must be frustrating for rescuers to sort through everything on FB but until people start reading what has been written/comments etc. it will continue to be like this until animal lovers stop to read what is posted, actually read the whole comment about a particular animal! Sorry. I just feel also that many comments shouldn’t be made, rescuers already know we want to see these angels saved. Just get to the point and share if that is what is needed or share and pledge.

    Reply
    1. MG
      December 31, 2014

      Exactly! While crossposting we need to slow down, click on the pic, check status, and then share from there. I wish there was a handbook for FB crossposting/advocacy that addresses ways to best utilize this magnificent tool, to it’s most effective best. It’s been a struggle learning the ins and outs of the world of animal rescue and how best to help. I understand the complaints and corrections in this article and agree with some of it. I must however disagree with the negative and critical tone. Educate and advocate, but with KINDNESS and POSITIVITY. It is not only more compassionate, but will be effective and not alienate the allies you need. Case in point, there are a lot of disheartened crossposters on this comments thread…that is NOT a good result. We have to work as a team for the benefit of all concerned, and most of all, the precious animals. Most of us are learning and doing our best.
      Thank you to all the rescuers and crossposters helping animals every day!

      Reply
  39. TCC
    December 29, 2014

    I can see some validity in this persons point of view, however, by telling people they shouldn’t cross post, share or comment seems to defeat the purpose of spreading the word. When someone does any of these things, it is read by more and more people. That in itself brings more awareness to not only that particular dog, but to so much more. If someone is interested in a dog, they shouldn’t be “taking it” in the post anyways, they should be contacting the rescue directly. If that dog has been adopted then the door has now been opened up to another dog they may be interested in. All of the “issues” this person wrote about in their blog could easily be fixed by managing their own settings correctly which in turn would allow them to be more productive in the way they want to be. Blaming the masses for their productivity issues and asking people to basically STOP seems counterproductive. Take away the audience and you will be complaining that no one is paying attention to your rescue/needs.

    Reply
  40. sedna101
    December 29, 2014

    This is a GREAT article! I did rescue for years before FB, and it can be an incredible tool…but it has always driven me crazy when people post their meaningless comments about “poor whoever, somebody ELSE do something”.
    For YEARS, I’d get all these posts about an animal in need, with no mention of what city, state or country they were in! Sure, active rescuers are going to follow hundreds of posts back through layers of shares to see if there is any mention of location…NOT. And then later, they finally add a location when a bunch of comments ask; but seriously: do they think I check back on hundreds of posts daily to see IF they have added a location? It’s just a waste of space on my page.
    So, I agree 100% that FB is a great tool, if people use it to effect, rather than to imagine their comments mean anything to saving that animal. I’m posting this article widely!

    Reply
    1. sedna101
      December 29, 2014

      BTW, I have fostered over 50 dogs in the last 8 years. It is the most fun thing I’ve ever done: I get to meet all these beautiful souls, help them, and receive their gifts of grace. Every one has taught me how to be a better person, and I am grateful.

      Reply
  41. Aimie
    December 29, 2014

    It is very clear on this thread who is a “cross-poster” and not one
    actually able to do something. Of course these people can not see and do
    not get the perspective from the other side. Most of the time I have
    limited time available to look through threads and determine if we can
    help the dog. When there are a zillion comments and tons of separate
    threads not linking back to the original one, I run out of time. Often I
    deem there is a dog we can help, to find out the dog was already saved
    and my time was then wasted on what could have been spent on another
    animal in need.

    We are not saying to not share or network the animals, but there are correct ways and wrong; problematic ways to do it.

    For
    those people saying the author or the rescues telling you it is a
    problem are heartless and don’t care, are most probably the people we
    are talking about. You let your emotions get in the way and are actually
    able to do nothing, but it makes you feel better to give your two sense
    on the threads.

    If you want to help and can do nothing more,
    share away. Just make sure to always share from the original thread and
    keep your un-needed comments to yourself.

    Reply
    1. Laura Ann Stern Plaster
      January 1, 2015

      I think if the article was less hostile people would be more receptive.Most people don’t want to be problematic. Kind, clear non-blaming instruction would be more effective in getting the point across.

      Reply
      1. Karen Rebel
        January 6, 2015

        I thought the original post was hateful and hostile but being told not only our help but our comments were “un-needed” (ummm I think Aimee meant “unnecessary” or maybe unwanted) I think it’s clear now. These people who want to criticize the rest of us can’t take criticism themselves. I think facebook is instrumental in saving shelter animals lives. My boys were 2 days from being killed and were 2 states away. I would not have gotten transport or sponsorship without it. I became more aware of the huge number of kill shelters and the need for rescue and sharing the animals to give them a better chance of being adopted. I do not tag, I give full info and I keep updated on the animals I post on my separate fb page which is specifically for shelter animals in the south. The contact person is always posted and it is known that we only share and do not actually handle the adoptions but sometimes have connections to expedite holds and arrange transportation. I know many people post willy-nilly and say things that just don’t help save the animals. I know it is frustrating beyond words but this article comes off more as hateful than a show of frustration. If please don’t or do doesn’t cause people to understand what not to do exclamation points and rudeness aren’t going to endear them to you and make them care what you have to say. Just tell them how to do it right without admonishing them like children because the majority do care just need some pointers.

        Reply
  42. BR
    December 29, 2014

    Friends of Levy County Homeless Pets needs to that “heed” in this post. The Administrator needs to be removed for her “DRAMA” SHE POSTS…..which cause many problems! Saying “this dog will die in 2 hours with the Heartstick Kill Shelter in Levy County….Which is far from the truth! She is cruel, she is a person that can NOT take, what she gives out! As she will block you….She is very dangerous in her DRAMA POST of the animals. Needs to get from behind her computer she hides behind, get off her butt and ACTUALLY do something! Instead of placing guilt on everyone! She only has made it where people are turning against her site! This was a very GOOD post you have made and I hope they will take “HEED” in it!

    Reply
  43. J. Sawatsky
    December 29, 2014

    Easy enough to just disallow tagging on the post, no? I don’t know why but this just rubs me the wrong way. Stop whining about the very media that is saving dogs everyday. You come across like you’re reprimanding children for actually caring.

    Reply
  44. LoriBelle
    December 29, 2014

    hmmmm by reading just some of the comments here, it is obvious that a lot of these folks are guilty of not reading previous comments on FB posts. “Why can’t I cross-post or share or whatever,” has been answered many times over. READ the previous comments before posting the same question over and over. This is a good example of what drives rescuers crazy.

    Reply
  45. Jackie Russell
    December 29, 2014

    I agree with the article. The whole point of this is what is best for the cats and dogs that are sitting in a shelter. Honestly, I would love to foster a cat or a dog but my landlord has strict rules about how many cats and dogs can be in an apartment.
    I usually share cats and dogs from a shelter or rescue to help to get them transportation, to get food, funds, or sponsership for the animal as well as a rescue for that animal. I try to help by posting animals that have a day or so before being put down. It breaks my heart seeing that and many rescues don’t always get the post until it’s do late. Many rescuers have fosters or people that they use to pull the animals but many can’t be saved. The only time I tag is when it’s a cat that I was intereseted in a rescue that need to find a home or needed a foster. I try to help because I do not drive and I try to donate when I have extra money but when I have to take care of my pets it’s important to. I love seeing when an animal has been fostered or rescued but the heartbreaker is when a rescue tries to get in and save an animal and they had been put down because they didn’t have any one step up for them it’s just a sad feeling knowing that some one could of stepped up for them. I wish that all the shelters would go to a no-kill shelter so they give an animal a chance to finding a forever home. It would help the volunteers and the rescues so they can find a forever homes.

    Reply
  46. Lorin
    December 29, 2014

    So glad someone finally put this into words. The only thing I would add is when people make comments on posts about adoptable animals like “I am interested in this dog/cat, send me a PM.” STOP IT. Shelters and rescue groups do not have time to be writing to you about animals. Don’t be lazy or half-hearted and if you are truly interested write them, apply online, or call. It’s on you to take the steps to get in touch about an animal, not them.

    Reply
    1. Laura Ann Stern Plaster
      January 1, 2015

      maybe they are unsure of whom to contact??? It’s not always crystal clear!!!

      Reply
  47. Cynthia Henley
    December 29, 2014

    I think that those of us heavily involved in adoption and trying to get the word out understand how inundated the internet becomes with all the need. I NEVER comment unless I have something specific that I can add that may truly help. I never share on my page unless there is some specific reason that I believe I can help that particular animal, and more often I specifically contact the potential help. I do occasionally post reminders that gifting pets is not a good idea unless everyone is on board; that pups will be pups and I post photos of the damage they WILL do; that elder dogs provide great love but also need special needs that must be attended; how shelters need money but if that is not available, how about clean old blankets and towels, and the absorbent parts of the newspaper; how you can volunteer at the SPCA and other places to clean kennels and to walk the dogs. I carry food, water, a leash, a blanket, etc. in my car and have from time to time enlisted others in helping me catch dogs. But at the same time, I am in Houston and I KNOW what is going to happen to a dog that is street savvy if captured and put into the shelter. (And SPCA will absolutely put down ALL pittbulls & mixes.) If the dog is injured, I get help in capture but if they look healthy and savvy, I throw a bag a food out and wish them happiness.
    Mostly I wanted to say that you article is super helpful for those who don’t really know how to help – and what they can do. All of us ache every night for those cold on the street (and when I know where a pack is “living” in the woods, I’m back the next day dropping off blankets. I know many may disagree with me on this but my heart is in the right place, and having been in rescue for 8 years, I’m comfortable with my decision.)
    Folks, contact a local shelter. Contact a private shelter. Many times we need fosters for dogs who are receiving heartworm treatment because they MUST be kept quiet. Most shelters are 501(c)(3) so what you donate you get a tax deduction for & if you purchase for a dog you are fostering, you still get the deduction.
    Not sure how to proceed – ask. Animal lovers have the biggest hearts in the world and you WILL be welcomed to join any of us. Cheers!!

    Reply
  48. Cindy B.
    December 29, 2014

    Excellent article! the only thing I would disagree with is this statement: Suddenly, low-budget shelters with no ability to share photos and information of the dogs in their facilities gained a free platform to spread the word about their strays and adoptables.
    Petfinder.com and Adopt-A-Pet have been around for way longer than facebook and both are free. A shelter only needs apply for an ID to have the ability to post photos and information about their adoptable pets. Otherwise, well done. Sooo tired of chasing down an original post to see if a pet still needs help.

    Reply
  49. Pegzz61
    December 29, 2014

    This “Heather” who wrote this blog back in May, should be very careful for what she wishes! I, personally, was insulted by her insinuations and criticisms and would like to caution her for being so judgmental toward people she doesn’t even know! She’d certainly be the FIRST person whining if she wasn’t receiving attention and support from her Facebook “supposed” friends!!!

    Her line, that is part of her bio, that states, “Let it be said that my rants are directed only toward the idiot humans I interact with, never the animals…” tells me that she needs to grow up and develop some compassion. Am I one of the “idots” toward whom she’s ranting??? “IDIOT HUMANS” Nice!

    I volunteer my services to our local rescue program. I created an annual month-long fundraising challenge, the proceeds of which go to pet rescue. I am a member on our city’s Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, I have adopted a rescued puppy mill mama, and yes, I tend to share many of the posts that come my way in the faintest hope that a connection somewhere may be struck because of it!

    After having read what she has to say, I’ll be sure to direct people AWAY from her altogether – with her swollen ego and high opinion of herself, she doesn’t sound like a person I’d trust. Period.

    P.S. SHAME ON YOU The Whole Dog Journal, I would have expected a little more diplomacy and integrity in you.

    Reply
  50. SusanF-VT
    December 30, 2014

    I do share posts, but I will only do so if the pup/cat’s location is known.

    Reply
  51. Beverly Gilley
    December 30, 2014

    I had no idea that the many hours I spend trying to help dogs/cats by crossposting the pleas to rescue groups and the public were hendering you. I will stop immediately trying to help save animals. I am physically unable to go and do the things I used to do like transporting and belonging to a rescue group. I have no money to donate since I live on social security now. I honestly thought I was doing something to help – but now that crossposters have been publicly shamed by this article, well you won’t have to worry about my participating anymore. I feel sad for the animals that may suffer if all of us stop crossposting – but you might just get your way. And your cruel comments about we do it to make ourselves look important? I do it because I love dogs and cats, and I thought what I did helped. Don’t worry, this one is through. Beverly Gilley – Sulphur Springs, TX

    Reply
  52. Beverly Gilley
    December 30, 2014

    Why was my post removed? Does anyone see it, maybe it was moved to a different location that I haven’t found yet? Beverly Gilley – thank you

    Reply
  53. Riene Wyatt
    December 30, 2014

    I really enjoyed the article. I’m a shelter volunteer/foster and the “I wish I could but…” makes my blood boil!!!

    Reply
  54. Cinda
    December 30, 2014

    When I comment I hope someone else will see value of fostering,I speak of our experiences in the hope others will do same.Yes we raise money ,community awareness,spaying and neutering,,training your dog so they they don’t end up in shelter,transport,spend buckets loads of money, my husband sits on board of no kill.helps to get grants,etc we don’t do it to make ourselves look good we love

    animals especially dogs.All our foster have been a sucess,save for 1 in 30.we try to inform by example.If you don’t have a penny go walks some dogs for shelter give a few hrs of time,if you train give some hrs.I don’t cross post ,don’t even know what it is.Yes people sometimes waste my time but in the process I try to inform them about real ways we can all help.Having a platform for helping and educating can be annoying but lets try not to alienate people.Educate them Nicely

    Reply
  55. Cindy Flavell Demmer
    December 30, 2014

    What people need to remember on these shelter animal threads is that if you CAN REALLY HELP, please make a PHONE CALL to the shelter or the rescue organization! That way, your offer to help will not get caught up in the clutter! Other than that, I see nothing wrong with crossposting or whatever you want to call it. Networking works….I’ve seen it time and time again.

    Reply
  56. Judy Roberts
    December 30, 2014

    I honestly thought i was doing a good thing, thinking even if i couldnt take the dog, someone from my friends list might., or someone on their list, I have 2 rescues, 3 total. I donate to our local shelter. I have offered to transport. I havent offered to foster because im sure id be a failure, our county here in Ontario allows 3 dogs only. Thank you for the info.

    Reply
  57. *****
    December 30, 2014

    I agree with the article. However, sometimes I comment just to keep the thread alive. There are so many animals in need and so many posts that some of them get overlooked. I ask for updates; not because I expect someone other than myself to do something, but because it helps me to know whether or not to re-share. I also delete posts I have shared of an animal in need if they found rescue, resources, or a home. It helps to declutter and prioritize.

    Reply
  58. Kelly
    December 30, 2014

    I do agree with parts of this article …
    I must state though that you make it sound as if your the only one out there trying to help and actually doing it correctly.
    You’ve made it sound as if we common folk should just stay out of your way !
    This I must disagree with ….
    You’ve made yourself sound like a spoiled
    child.
    Just expressing my thoughts on this which happens to be my constitutional right just like helping however , wherever & whenever I choose ….

    Reply
  59. Saundra Adams
    December 30, 2014

    Ok, I repost the animals with a comment in hope that someone will open their hearts and home to these poor little things. I have 7 animals that I rescued, I live on $960 a month SS, I pay all of the bills and including support my adult son and his wife, no jobs here and when my son finally got a job my car kept breaking down so he lost it. When I am done paying all of the bills, I have $11-$25 until the next month. We have two vehicles broken down, no money for repairs,we live in a rural area, how am I fairing, once again I have been bit by a deer ticks, going through chills fever, can hardly move , the pain is excruciating, sick at my stomach, horrible head aches, muscles spasms, my kidney are not working well, go to the hospital..how would I get home again, we have no transportation here where I live,. I am in horrible pain, aching all of the time and can barely walk, it this a pity message, no it is to let you know that not all of us can really help, and by sharing photos with comments we are sincerely hoping this will help in some positive way.Prayer, I say prayer all of the time that these children of God will be rescue, given forever homes, where they will be loved, taken care of and their lives finally filled with love. Do not report?? Just read your messages for help and go onto the next message, not on my shift, I am a woman of God and God says we are the stewards over the animals. I try my hardest to help in some small way. Yes, I see many posts of animals in need that are very old posts as well.

    Reply
  60. Brenda Cole
    December 30, 2014

    yep, unfortunately a lot of us who are great with animals, have skills left to be desired when dealing with people. The only spot light in rescue should be on the animals. If you shine people will hear about it, no need to keep the light trained on your rescue because it exists,. It’s light will shine because it succeeds. JMO

    Reply
  61. Pam Jones
    December 30, 2014

    I too agree with this article, I am a crossposter, there are better ways to handle this problem. Some how people need to be educated and educate the children. I do my best to remind people to Spay and Neuter , Adopt/Rescue/Foster Donate/Pledge. Crossposting used in the right way does work.

    Reply
  62. Sally Chaney
    December 30, 2014

    Get over yourself. This is nothing but someone’s rant. I’m all for doing whatever someone can to help any and every animal.

    Reply
  63. Maria (Mia)
    December 30, 2014

    Now I am left totally confused after reading through all of the comments and honestly do not know whether to share posts or not anymore.
    I adore animals but currently am not in the position to foster anything right now (I hope to when my circumstances change- it would be irresponsible of me otherwise).
    I have liked so many animal shelter pages and groups (globally) and try to help in the only small way that I can: by pressing the share option.

    Now, just like the rescue centre workers, I do not possess the time to go through the endless comments to see whether or not a rescue has been fostered or not. That sounds lazy but I would be at the computer for hours going through so many posts, and as a full time mother that just is not possible.
    I do not comment myself though nor do I tag anyone; I just share.

    Could the original post not be edited to update the animal’s current status or just be taken down once a foster placement or funds for care for an animal has been found? Or does this not show up on future shared posts? (I have never tried this myself, so genuinely have no idea).

    Also, perhaps requesting on all original posts that people should not cross-post or comment unless they are able to directly help (and that they should click on or share the original posting) may alleviate much of the problem.
    I find with some people you have to literally spell out your desired instructions (politely) and explain briefly why.

    I am just left feeling like I may have caused possible harm rather than good by sharing, which makes me feel bad. I just thought I was spreading the word and helping animals in need.
    :/

    For what it’s worth though, I think animal rescue workers do an amazingly hard and emotional job. The world is a far better place with you all in it and you restore some of my faith in humanity 🙂

    Reply
    1. MG
      December 31, 2014

      Share on, Mia! I would ignore the tone and some of the comments in the article. I agree that the way we share is important. Here are a few tips from my own hard earned lessons in crossposting: click on the pic and you will get to the original thread. Scroll through the comments and see if there is an update (sometimes they have already been rescued, etc). If the animal still needs a share, then share from that original post. This helps enormously. Sharing from a shared post dilutes and confuses, so keep to the original thread.
      The other thing I’ve learned to do is SHARE STRATEGICALLY-post to breed specific groups when possible, for example. Another beneficial share is to the lost/found groups for that region. So many animals in shelters are lost pets… Hope this helps 🙂

      Reply
  64. opawtime
    December 30, 2014

    Heather you are awesome! This is the most honest, to the point, informative article I do believe I’ve ever seen regarding rescue. Our rescue gets bombarded all the time, we are a small group and guess what – we pay most expenses ourselves. Yet, we get the dreaded messages, “you have to help this animal” do we get any help? Fosters? Donations? No. Do we help, yes, most of the time because we want to. But it gets hard, then of course you have the few that leave nasty comments or make you feel bad when or if you cannot help. We have rescued so many without any help, usually a thank you for saving this life, which is nice and we do appreciate it, but come on people. This is a serious problems all over the world and if you truly love and cherish animals you will take Heather’s advice and actually help! I would like to add a huge, huge, thank you and my deepest gratitude for those who do help us, help animals and other rescues. You can still cross-post and network and help in that way while you foster, volunteer and donate – we do!

    Reply
  65. Jonathan Goshea
    December 30, 2014

    Eh, not a huge fan of this article. Sounds like people don’t understand how to fully use Facebook. Shares will tell you where it is from. I get it, there is a lot coming in, but sharing it can get it to the person that might be able to do something about it. This almost sounds like, if we can’t help, then no one else should try. If people are tagging you to much, tell them, not the world. I get the wasted comments, I agree with that 100%. This comes off as very rude, which is also not helpful. As someone that use to do foster/rescue and now still helps out on pet transports now and then, I understand the frustration. Asking people to read all the comments before sharing is never going to happen. Look at this article, it has 137 comments, I don’t have time to read through all the comments. Now I have to think, does the person writing this want it shared since we were just told not to share? Some people will share and that is the extent they will do, take it and be happy as it does help. It may reach to that one person who can help.

    Reply
  66. animal_voice
    December 30, 2014

    There
    is a lot of good information in this article, and I feel it can serve as a
    teaching tool. But I also feel there is too much unnecessary criticism. I can
    feel for both sides. Social media being what it is, many do the best they can.
    I look at my own skills in this area, and I know I am challenged. When it comes
    to helping animals/wanting to help but unable to, I don’t believe we can hold
    out for idealism. I have helped numerous animals, but I am not a rescuer.
    Regardless, I have had appeals linked to me that torture my soul, and there is
    nothing I can do for the most of them, however, on rare occasions, there is
    something, however minor, I can do. “We can’t do great things, we can only do
    small things with great love.” Mother Theresa

    Reply
  67. Fuzzy Pooch
    December 30, 2014

    Reading the article and the comments, there are excellent points on both sides of the fence. The frustration many rescue people go through is readily apparent. On the other hand, I can see where people who have not worked in rescue professionally or as a volunteer may be turned off by the tone of the article. One thing shelters and rescue professionals may want to consider is that many people who contribute to the social media frustration are unaware of the time and effort it takes to run a rescue operation since they are relatively new to owning pets or having just rescued their first animal. In my opinion, there needs to be an effort by the shelters and rescue organizations to educate those who are unaware of the complexities of running a rescue operation. Many shelters already provide education to adopters regarding the animal. New animal lovers also need to be taught the best way to use social media to help animals in need and how to work effectively with the rescue organization. Otherwise, the rescue professionals will continue to be frustrated and possibly get burnt out and those who want to help may turn their backs on helping due to misunderstanding the issue.

    Reply
  68. sarahbates
    December 30, 2014

    Thanks for your insightful comments. I will heed your advice.

    Reply
  69. sharon illenye
    December 31, 2014

    two comments. when a person rescues an animal, people should ask- how did you find out about THIS DOG/CAT? and second, when a person puts a comment on a rescue thread- I wish I could help but etc etc there is a $5 pledge charged to them.

    Reply
  70. truthon
    December 31, 2014

    Good points made in this article … but there is arrogance also. I suspect that most have committed “this mistake” of simply making comments ( I know I have) but consider that the more people see the many who are caring the more others might be prompted to support the rescues or foster or adopt.

    Reply
  71. isis297
    January 1, 2015

    I have actually been working on something to take rescuing and cross posting to a new level…to do away with so many of the things you complained about ESPECIALLY the multiple threads owned by multiple people many with egos too big for their heads to fit through a door! Unfortunately, I am still working on the funds to bring my idea to fruition, but I WILL and when I do, we will be able to save so many more lives by working together more efficiently.

    Reply
  72. Stacy Keenan
    January 1, 2015

    You can’t blame people for blindly cross posting when shelters are shouting “PLEASE SHARE TO SAVE THEIR LIFE!” on every photo. Did you know everything there is to know about rescue when you started out? Did you not make any beginner mistakes? I highly doubt it. Your post, for me, really hit a nerve, as it reminds me of my dealings with certain rescue people early on in my rescue endeavors. Eight years ago, a group of us “newbies” were bashed online by some “big-time” rescue founders for this exact type of sentiment: “You’re just trying to make yourself feel better about not helping, and nobody needs to see that.” I was told something similar, because God forbid, I made the mortal mistake of making a sympathetic comment about an extremely emaciated dog that I passed along to a rescue group.

    What those “seasoned” rescuers, like yourself, did, was assume that because we weren’t doing things “right” (by their definition), that we were just bleeding heart non-helping annoyances like the people you are describing above. What those “seasoned” rescuers did NOT know, and I very poignantly told them before giving them a final eff-off, was that ALL of us were already rescuing and fostering, already spending our hard-earned money (which is non-replenishable via donations or fundraisers), volunteering our skill sets and personal time to saving dogs. The fact that you lump EVERYONE who expresses the immense heartbreak of seeing a dog they cannot help into the category of NOT currently helping is a great way to discourage new people from getting involved in rescue and insulting those who are already helping in ways you may not be aware of. Instead of being rescue mentors, those rescuers alienated an entire group of people who went and formed a new chapter. It was an early lesson for me in dealing with the personalities that exist amongst rescue groups, thankfully we didn’t let it discourage us.

    This comment: “I’ll take this baby but I can’t drive.” How about educating this person, do you think everyone just automatically knows there are online networks and services for transport? Pass along a name, a group they can get in touch with… if they really mean it, it may save that dog’s life. HELP THEM HELP.

    Here’s a thought… you’re a rescue. Why bother looking through a long thread when you can just call the shelter to see if the dog is still available, if your intent is to rescue it? If you’re being tagged, make it clear to your friends to stop. Don’t have a rescue page that is invite-only via a friends request and you can’t be tagged—create a “like” page. If you don’t want everyone on your friends list being privy to dog-related posts, you can create a rescue list that excludes your non-rescue friends. Educate the shelters you work with on how to better post their animals. But don’t stand on a soap box and rant, for you may inadvertently discourage someone who may help, already be helping and/or rescue someday.

    Reply
  73. Susan Steineke
    January 1, 2015

    This is really just talking about reading the comments, not just on rescues but on all things. How many times have you gotten a share to find out later the human has been found or captured. Or the dog has been returned. Put some of the sharing energy into finding out if you still need to even share. Learn how to find the original post. Heck even people share about dog food recalls that are 5 years old because they didn’t even bother to read the dates! Just read before you share, and please share if you need too but don’t clutter up the threads with useless comments. It is all about the animals so don’t take things so personally.

    Reply
  74. sick of this
    January 2, 2015

    I hated this article!! We had a couple people stop networking for a kill shelter because of this article. They felt offended and felt they were being attacked. I’m not sure about most people that started doing animal advocacy and crossposting but no one was there to say you do it this way or that way or any of that! Everyone does it differently!! If a rescue doesn’t like it tell the networker nicely that they don’t to be tagged or contacted!! We are all here for the same thing and what pert of it that you do does not make you any better that anyone else!!! It takes all of us to help and still they are being killed!! Nothing about this article has any real truth to it!

    Reply
  75. Debbie Pilkington Miller
    January 2, 2015

    I TOTALLY DISAGREE with this Article! If you do not want Cross-Posts on your page, then you need to get out of the business because you apparently aren’t in the business for the same reason! It has saved millions of pets by finding their owners or at least getting them to a rescue instead of a Kill Shelter!! And I don’t mind the comments on my page…at least I know they saw them! As for the people who don’t want OUT OF STATE pets on their pages…you are WRONG not to allow this…Dogs are turning up all over the US and being re-united with their owners…WAKE-UP!!!

    Reply
  76. Don
    January 2, 2015

    Cross-posting is like praying.
    Because actually doing something like donating or giving your time would be inconvenient.

    Reply
  77. cafenitz
    January 2, 2015

    Reading the comments is like a lesson in what the author is talking about. So many posts with reactivity/hurt feelings/bashing the author, etc. All as off-point and unproductive as the social media behaviors she mentions. People who love animals are passionate, well-intentioned folk who deeply feel the urgency of the animals’ lives at stake, so it naturally follows that feelings run high. My advice: Listen, observe, research, think about the best way to help animals and keep your ego out of it. There is so much noise in the swift-moving stream of social media. Consider not adding to it in the case of animal rescue.

    Reply
  78. Guest
    January 2, 2015

    This is a good article, and something that I would never have thought about. I’m glad to hear the truth because I am one of those sharers on FB. Just as an FYI, though….I share because I know plenty of people on my friends list who are still looking for that designer purebreed dog, and I want them to SEE how many there are out there needing homes. I share because I know friends who have not neutered or spayed, and I want them to be reminded that it is important. I share because I personally know people who just might consider fostering or adopting, but if it was not put in front of them to give them an idea…they would never even think about it. I share because it seems like every other week, someone on my FB list loses a pet, and they just MIGHT see a dog that they feel a spark with. FB and seeing these stories and pictures has opened my eyes and made me so much more concerned to find a way to help…I only share because I am hoping others, many with the means and options to help, might do so. I appreciate this article, though, because those of us who do care need to know how we can REALLY help, especially if we cannot foster or adopt ourselves right now. I am so grateful for the rescues that words cannot express…

    Reply
  79. Lori
    January 2, 2015

    I would tend to agree with getting lost in cross-postings since comments don’t link back IF you’re needing help quickly to rescue a pet, BUT when Facebook made it more difficult for smaller groups to show up in people’s news feeds unless the posts receive lots of Shares and Comments, it became more of a necessity to ask people to do so in order for more people (including people that already follow a page) to see those posts. We ask people to Share our pets that are up for adoption, and for people in the area of a lost pet to Share. We welcome comments – even the ‘I wish I could, but …’ – because more activity on that posts means there is a better chance Facebook will actually show it in our fans’ news feeds. Tagging is different because it posts to people’s personal pages and not just the news feed. Now THAT can get annoying.

    Reply
  80. Ilona Schmidt
    January 3, 2015

    I agree on all points but wished she’d written point 1 a bit differently. I know what she means, dogs being shared who are already rescued because noone bothers to look up the original thread, wild crossposting to other rescues that are already full… but on the other hand, sharing of an old boxer lady from a shelter in Georgia led to her rescue and she’s now living out her years in Colorado. Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with that, or? Sharing Lost and Found dogs is helping tons! And considering that many strays are lost dogs there’s lots of potential in sharing. So point 1 of the list should be taken with a grain of salt, imho.

    Reply
  81. Valkyrieza
    January 3, 2015

    The author’s attitude is horrible and entitled. Instead of offering ways to help you judge. Thumbs down.

    Reply
  82. Ann
    January 3, 2015

    wow, harsh

    Reply
  83. Jeffrey Pettigrew
    January 4, 2015

    Keep it local! Chances are, that your circle of friends live close to you. It doesn’t help much to share posts about a pet in California, for example, when everyone on your friend list lives on the east coast. I live in Indiana, and most of the posts I share are within the state. Facebook is a wonderful way to find homes, if used in the right way. So far I have found homes for 6 cats, and 2 dogs I had fostered using Facebook. And, yes, I also hate those posts that say “I wish I could help”
    but it’s so far away” there are lots of homeless pets everywhere. Help the ones where YOU live.

    Reply
  84. recentadopter
    January 4, 2015

    This author makes some great points.

    I recently adopted a dog from a kill shelter after seeing his page on an advocacy Facebook group. This dog was in isolation and I wouldn’t have seen him had I just gone into the shelter. So, social media does provide a GREAT service for these dogs.

    However, there was a tremendous amount of false info left as comments on the thread and it was really confusing to wade through so many people speculating on the dog’s status. First one poster said he was safe, then there was follow up saying they were mistaken. Then another poster implied that isolation = not available to adopt by the public (not the case, he was being secluded because of kennel cough but was available). To be fair, another poster helped me to understand that that wasn’t the case, but I was really confused at first. Everyone spoke with such confidence but no one really *knew* anything, and it took me awhile to realize that these commenters weren’t affiliated with the advocacy group or volunteers at the shelter and were really just speculating. The shelter seems to be the best place to go for RELIABLE info. I really
    am grateful for these posts, but I wish people would be a little more
    careful about the information they spread.

    Then, despite posting a photo of him safe at home that night and saying he was adopted, there were dozens more shares of his thread, some as late as a week after he was adopted, plus dozens of comments burying mine that said only “shared.” I know people’s hearts are in the right pace, but I would assume cross-posting a safe dog takes attention away from those who still need homes. Please read all of the comments before posting.

    Reply
  85. Val Blakely
    January 4, 2015

    You have to take the bad with the good… so don’t use FB if it annoys you… me, I think the more people that see that face, the more likely it is to find a home.

    Reply
  86. Ashley N.
    January 4, 2015

    I agree with the sentiments, but man what a condescending way to say it. I would never want to read anything this woman has to say ever again, just because of the way she speaks. Her tone is horrid and off-putting, while her message is a good one. /sigh

    Reply
  87. PitMom
    January 6, 2015

    You do not have to agree with everything you read on the internet…. I am no expert… I just love animals…. wonderful animals have found wonderful homes thanks to social media…. so yes… i will not share everything i see… but if i do see something i feel i would like to share…. i will… as for rescuers that get irritated by all the posts… tough….. find another job then…. some of the statements in this article i find offensive…. but that’s just me

    Reply
  88. cityliving12
    January 6, 2015

    wow, Gabrina. Very unfair to people who are working their asses off to do humanitarian and incredibly difficult work. Kinda mean. And that goes for you who agreed with her. Adrian is clearly overwhelmed and fed up –trying to do good work while well meaning do-nothings get in the way. I read this and felt I learned some things not to do.

    Reply
    1. Gabrina Garza
      January 23, 2015

      I’ve been a foster mom for 10 years. I’ve had over 500 dogs. I have “worked my ass off” doing long distance transports, spending all of my free time at adoption events, and working at a shelter as well as a spay/neuter clinic for a humane society. I get it’s difficult work. And I get that some people in rescue are complete a-holes who feel no one is doing as much as they are. I guess they need their egos fed to prove something.

      Reply
      1. Dani
        January 31, 2015

        Then do you get the part about not making it HARDER for them with posting posts that will not help? That is the point. It is not telling you NOT to share. It is telling please don’t post I wish I could help and please read to see if someone has already taken care of this dog in the comments. It has nothing to do with egos. It has to do with how much time they have in a day and how much they have to wade through to find the one person willing to help. There is nothing wrong with saying if you can’t help please do not tie up the thread with posts about I wish I could help. It is all about time constraints and how hard it makes it with so many animals needing help.

        Reply
  89. Vicki
    January 7, 2015

    Amen to everything you said in the article. One more comment: it is particularly disturbing when people on the thread start insulting one another:
    1. not helpful duh
    2. contributes to the reputation of rescuers as crazy and not good with people, only animals
    3. use your energy to go to the shelter and get that dog-that’s what I did.

    Reply
  90. Penny
    January 7, 2015

    I came to realize the problem with cross posting some time ago. I make it a point now to read all the comments to make sure someone first is or is not already stepping up. I try to make sure I find the original post and comment and share from there. I understand the frustration with all the well intentions of people just posting the usual “please help this baby” etc. it does strike a nerve with me sometimes. This blog is point on and i will share it and do my due diligence in the future.

    Reply
  91. Servant22
    January 9, 2015

    A little harsh, could have gotten the point across with honey vs vinegar……

    Reply
  92. sj
    January 12, 2015

    I could not agree with this article more! Thank you so much for writing it. I run a California group of about 10k members (Pet Place) and we do not allow crossposting for these vary reasons! It’s so hard to explain to people why crossposting doesn’t work as well as people think it does, but you worded it perfectly. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this!

    Reply
  93. AJ
    January 13, 2015

    I love this article. Number two has, at times, made me want to rip my own throat out I get so aggravated!

    Reply
  94. Marnie Robbins
    January 16, 2015

    I can see there is an issue but this article seems to be written with anger and assumptions about peoples motives. I think the article would have more impact if “Thank you for trying to help and here is a better way to help” attitude was used instead of an accusing attitude.

    Reply
  95. Laurie Garrison
    January 18, 2015

    I would have never adopted my last two cats if people didn’t share their post. So, you don’t want us to share, then don’t ask us to share……. Since they don’t care or have the time to keep up with comments, then I can find better things to do and let the animals death be on their hands.

    Reply
  96. Laurie Garrison
    January 19, 2015

    After reading this I will not share, comment on any more rescues, friends and shelters page, I never did tag unless I knew someone was looking for a specific breed. You don’t want my help fine, but to you guys that don’t want us to share I will state this. I found my last cats because someone shared their post…… He may have not gotten out of the high kill shelter if I didn’t see that post, but again fine with me if you don’t need the help. I can find better things to do with my time. If I see one shelter, friend or rescues page asking for us to share, tag or comment their post I will show them this article and tell them to stop asking.

    Reply
    1. youarereadingthis
      January 26, 2015

      Wow, how petulant. I don’t think anyone needs to stop sharing–they just need to do it in the right way.

      Reply
  97. Gentry Davis Gary
    January 19, 2015

    I read this article or blog several months ago and have thought about the context, etc since then. Although the writer has the right to voice her opinion and surely she mean’s well with taking the time to write it and all but I found it helpful in some regards and in other’s condescending and just rude. To tell us as I’m one who share’s as much as possible in the hope that who I’m sharing with will share and so on in the chance that someone in that area or has the means to rescue the dog or cat I’m posting about. I don’t do it for any other reason but that I CARE! I don’t do it to make me feel important or it just makes me feel good. Who gave her the ability to see and read our minds and thoughts to know what and why we are doing it? I have personally seen some result’s thankfully for my effort’s and will continue to do so. I don’t do what she hates so much like saying ” how sad” etc. I just share the poor animals that deserve so much better than being on death row or stuck in a cage. I think everyone has a right to do whatever the feel on ” social media” as long as it’s constructive and helpful and not derogatory or insulting. Give the uneducated and uniformed a break and just be thankful that some people can’t help but truly care about the plight of the animals.

    Reply
  98. Yotie
    January 20, 2015

    This is SUCH a good article! I’d include the classic;

    “I think I can take her. See ya this weekend, Molly.” 😉

    Where the poster never bothers to adopt, visit or even update that he can’t help her.

    And praying. Please. If an issue is so big you can’t do anything about it, By all means, lean on The Big Guy. But adopting a dog an hour away? God gave you a car and legs.

    Reply
  99. Dani
    January 31, 2015

    Do you get the part about not making it HARDER for them with
    posting posts that will not help? That is the point. It is not telling
    you NOT to share. It is saying please don’t post “I wish I could help”
    and please read to see if someone has already taken care of this dog in
    the comments and have all the info up front so that people who see it can find it without wading through a bunch of unnecessary comments.

    Reply
  100. Melissa Smith
    January 2, 2016

    Hi John! Thank you for this valuable info — I hope that many people consider donating their time in this way. So many animals can get to good homes if we can all just pitch in and give help with transport!

    Reply
  101. Kate Riviello
    January 2, 2016

    Really wonderful effort here in this blog but I would like to add my two cents. I am a rescue on FB since it started and two years before that I was on myspace. I actually brought with me my network of about 1,000 TO Facebook (reluctantly since they had no music lol). Anyway I have no idea why you would not want to be friends with people with “crossposter” in their name – I specifically have added those folks and consistently have achieved a greater share base. Secondly when people make a comment on a thread such as “I wish I could help but…” it just means they are acknowledging the thread and are sharing (rather than just typing “share”) so in other words I believe you are not translating that sentiment into what it really meant. As well with the comment, “someone needs to save this dog” – well yeah someone does. These comments are a kind of footprint to say that they acknowledged the dog or cat or thread, left their sentiment and will share and follow-up. I would never ever be a hall monitor to a crossposter – they are grown adults AND my friends so they can mostly say whatever they wish as long as they crosspost! As long as they DONT say “the dog was rescued” or “pulled” or “there is no need for donations” or any such disposition of which they know not. I have gotten to know my network rather personally – soooo many of my friends here are disabled or on fixed incomes. Everyone has something special to contribute and I love every one of my friends for whatever gift of support they can lend.

    Reply
    1. Melissa Smith
      January 3, 2016

      Kate, first I have to say I really loved your comment. It is so positive and you make some really valid points. What a lot of people don’t understand about Facebook is that comments and Likes are what causes that post to be bumped to the top of a lot of feeds. (I didn’t either until I started using Facebook to advertise my own business!) Good luck with your rescue efforts, and thank you for bringing your perspective!

      Reply
  102. Trish
    January 4, 2016

    Interesting but not truthful. You want to try to claim Facebook was the start of networking dogs online and transport networks formed because of that?

    “Suddenly, low-budget shelters with no ability to share photos and information of the dogs in their facilities gained a free platform to spread the word about their strays and adoptables.”

    I don’t think so. Been involved in rescue since 2001 and it’s sites like RescueGroups, AdoptApet, and Petfinder that get most of the dogs placed in rescues or forever homes. And they’re all free for the shelters and rescues to use. Transport networks have been around for decades. None of this started on Facebook. It just migrated there, but still operates via email groups and other networks.

    Crossposting (via email, not Facebook) has been bringing new rescues into our network for years. It’s a great tool, but not on Facebook for the very reasons you’ve mentioned.

    Tagging names in a thread of relevant rescuers for the breed is very worthwhile and continues to get dogs into safe havens. Randomly tagging your friends who you think should adopt a dog is pointless.

    Agreed on not accepting someone’s word on Facebook that they want to adopt a dog. I think people do that to get someone to go and pull the dog to safety. Definitely don’t trust alleged adopters on Facebook to follow through. Serious adopters are not trolling Facebook threads looking for a dog. They’re on dog adoption sites and submitting applications to rescues or going into shelters to meet multiple dogs in person. Even then, I’ve had one adopter go through the whole process even up to adopting the dog overnight and then returning him the next day, finally admitting she applied just to get him out of the shelter. Lesson learned: Never pull a dog from a shelter that you aren’t willing to foster yourself until adopted. There’s lots of dog flippers out there these days calling themselves rescues and if it turns out the dog you go pull for one of those types doesn’t have a perfect temperament, they’re likely to walk away leaving you with the dog because they can’t flip it fast and make a buck or two. Good rescues don’t care how long the dog is in foster. They wait for the right fit for both dog and adopter. Screen your rescues. Check their backgrounds. Talk to their vet and local ACO. Check their websites. Do internet searches on them and see if anything (good or bad) comes up that gives you a better feel for their capabilities and commitments. If you’re still not sure, get someone near them to to a site visit. If you can’t get a solid comfort level about the rescue, don’t work with them. There’s no training program for rescues. Quality rescue work comes with time and experience and yes making mistakes along the way and hopefully learning from those mistakes. The best way to get started in rescue is to volunteer with one or more other rescues before starting up your own. Spend a year or two watching how they do things. See the outcome of their choices. Then decide on policies that will work well for you, the dogs you pull, and your eventual adopters.

    “Someone needs to save this dog.” Yeah, totally agree with you on that one. Ugh.

    For the 3 things you should do more often, you pretty much nailed it except I think you could put more emphasis on fostering. That’s what really saves the most lives. That plus sponsoring and driving combined can really achieve quite a bit. You don’t need to do all three, but do one regularly if you really want to make a difference for dogs.

    Reply
    1. Melissa Smith
      January 4, 2016

      Trish, I think you have some really great information here to help people make good decisions — and also to alert them to “flippers”. That is a term I had not heard before, but it’s definitely something I will be aware of from now on. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  103. Amy Marino
    January 4, 2016

    Crossposting saves lives. We need to do that! We need to get the word out these cats and dogs need help, and this is a wonderful way to do so! And when someone likes my post, that does not help. Sharing is caring. I’ve been doing this a year, and posting these pictures is what the rescues do. We should share them, since we might know someone who wants them!

    Reply
    1. Melissa Smith
      January 5, 2016

      Amy, great info from the horse’s mouth, so to speak! Thanks!

      Reply
      1. Amy Marino
        January 6, 2016

        Thank you. We have different people to network to them, so we can reach a wider audience when we crosspost-friends, groups, etc. And when they share, it can only help!

        Reply
  104. Pamela Collins
    January 5, 2016

    Every time I see this post on Facebook it pisses me off, because obviously someone doesn’t know how Facebook works. Every time I comment, like or share on Facebook that is over 1,000 of my friends that see it in their news feed!! I ALWAYS go to the original post to see if the animal has been found first or rescued before I share, which I don’t do a lot of because of this crap and I KNOW that all my friends will see my like or comment anyway. I have saved many animals from the shelter by posting them on the news station pages on Facebook, KHOU11, abcnew13, NBC, 17 dogs to be exact, just on our news stations pages. That doesn’t include all the others I have been able to have rescued. I ONLY rescue disabled/OTI’s/elderly, but any social media recognition is great! Have you thought about all the elderly people out there that do not know where to go to find their missing pet, and they do not have social media? Neighbors see these photos and help the elderly find their pets. No, I guess not! The ONLY thing I do agree with is, make sure you check the original post FIRST. Petful, you might want to TEACH first then complain. Some don’t know how to use social media, especially the elderly!! When you post stuff like this you discourage others, because now they are afraid of doing something that will make others mad. I say share far and wide, because we all know how far animals can travel or be stolen and be thousands of mile away in just two days. Everyone has good intentions of helping all these furbabies, and it offends me even, that one/several of you would complain about it. Get off your butts and TEACH , and quit complaining. As far as the screw ups of others, that is part of your job in networking animals! Get over it, it happens! You should be thankful if you really care about the animals!!!

    Reply
    1. Pamela Collins
      January 5, 2016

      One more thing, some of us people are the ones donating all the money to the animals shelters.

      Reply
    2. Melissa Smith
      January 6, 2016

      Hi Pamela! We do care very much for animals, and that’s why we welcome other perspectives. At the end of the day we all want the same thing — all animals to have a good and loving home.

      Reply
      1. Pamela Collins
        January 7, 2016

        All I am asking is please don’t discourage people, I have been doing this 20+ years. EVERY like and comment helps, whether it is wrong or right. Do the Math, if every person has 800 plus friends on their Facebook that is how many people see the animal. Sorry I was so mad yesterday, but I have seen this post over and over, we need everyone to get involved, if you don’t like what they do, then teach them. Some people don’t know how things work on Facebook or other social medias. They get discouraged and quit when others complain, I have seen it through the years. Thank you for not attacking me, but this makes me really concerned.

        Reply
        1. Melissa Smith
          January 7, 2016

          Pamela, I love that you expressed your viewpoint! The most important thing is to try and do the right thing for the animals. It can only be beneficial for everyone if we all see and consider with open eyes all points of view. I’m learning myself just reading through the comments!

          Reply
          1. Pamela Collins
            January 8, 2016

            I am in my 50’s and I only wished we had of had social media to reach people through the years. We have tripled the amount of people to educate and volunteer since social media started. I just don’t want anyone jeopardizing it. Every like and comment is advertisement for that furbaby. That is how Facebook’s algorithms are set up. HUGS! Pawsome!

            Reply
  105. Deb
    January 6, 2016

    Heather Clarkson, You are wise well beyond your years. I don’t run a rescue but I donate money and foster as often as possible so your comments ring true to me. Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  106. Ghost
    January 7, 2016

    TRUTH. All of it. But #2 and #3 are the WORST. Seriously folks… STOP cluttering the threads with useless comments. People who are legitimately trying to help do not have time to wade through hundreds and hundreds (sometimes thousands) of junk comments just to find out the current status of an animal – if it’s safe, still needs help, has been adopted/pulled for rescue already, what’s going on, etc. If you wish you could help, but you just can’t, that’s totally fine! Just keep it to yourself. If you are angry with dog or cat’s former owners, great… we all are! But again, keep it to yourself. The only comments on the thread should be from people who are actually doing/coordinating something. Rescuers/potential adopters need to be able to scan a thread quickly and find out exactly what’s going on. By cluttering up a thread with hundreds of junk comments, you are actually doing the animal-in-need a great disservice and delaying it getting the help it needs.

    Reply
    1. Melissa Smith
      January 7, 2016

      Ghost, great perspective from this side of the issue!

      Reply
    2. Lola Richards
      April 8, 2016

      and if one wants to be able to follow the dog and know how it’s doing
      one has to post a comment on the thread-I post and share for a lot
      and sometimes pledge too- comments do NOT clutter things up that much and the more comments the more ppl might see the need to help, and either help or share too. if ppl don’t SEE the thread, they can’t help.

      Reply
  107. AngelinaAri
    February 25, 2016

    Aren’t dumb and useless comments better than no comments at all? It gives the post much more attention. We are grateful for every dumb comment, because it will lead to more people seeing the post. About using your time and skills…some people have no skills. Really, I mean zero skills. It would actually waste my time to deal with them. Also, fostering is difficult. A lot of people can’t handle it emotionally. Then there are the other pets in the home to consider. Fostering is a huge commitment, which is why we don’t let just anyone foster, even those who are willing. One final note- not everyone spends extra money a day on lattes and useless crap. There are genuinely good people out there who just don’t have the means to make a donation.

    Reply
    1. Melissa Smith
      February 25, 2016

      Angelina, I have to admit I am watching this thread closely — I have never been deeply involved in Facebook and the ramifications for posting versus not posting, so I am looking to learn. I am really appreciating that people from both sides of the spectrum are commenting!

      As for lattes, I know I don’t have the money for them! If I do splurge, I have to admit it’s on a .99 cent candy bar, ha!

      Reply
  108. E.B.
    May 8, 2016

    I love animals and feel sorry for them that are lost or in need of help. I do have 2 dogs and 3 cats. At one point years back my husband became a groomer and we were going to donate time to a shelter. Within a very short period of time after he became a groomer, he became disabled. He can not be left alone and can’t be away from home for a long period of time. I try and help the animals by sharing lost/missing pets. Is this wrong? That what it sounds like to me. I have my hands totally full. What would you suggest?

    Reply
    1. Melissa Smith
      May 9, 2016

      Hi E.B.! I have been following this conversation with some fascination, myself. It looks to me like it’s a divided issue – some organizations want the shares and some don’t. What I decided to do for myself was just send a quick message to organizations I see on social media. I ask them if they prefer shares or not. That way I know I’m not “stepping in any digital doo-doo”, Lol!

      Reply
      1. E.B.
        May 9, 2016

        I like your picture. Hubby and I both are retired LEO. Thanks for the info.

        Reply
        1. Melissa Smith
          May 9, 2016

          Aw! Thank you! LE support is my other passion, Lol! Thank you both for helping keep us all safe!

          Reply
  109. Teresa Kingery Hiner
    May 8, 2016

    I work full time and the only thing I can do to help is share these post and hope that someone close to the animals can help. When you tell someone with hundreds of friends from all over to stop, then you may be yourself taking away that animals life because if people can’t see the post, they’re not going to be able to help. So…since the only thing I can do right now is share the post then that’s what I’ll do !!! Don’t tell people who want to help but can’t to stop doing the only thing they can to help !!! And don’t sit on your high horse and judge us for what we are able to do !!! You should be glad that the post are reaching so many people, not bitching about it !!!

    Reply
    1. Melissa Smith
      May 9, 2016

      Hi Teresa! It certainly is a divided issue. I decided that before I share from different organizations, I will message them first and see what they prefer. That seems to have worked out well – they appreciate the ask and then I know I am doing the right thing for them.

      Reply
  110. renee borghesi
    June 29, 2016

    I realize that this post is a little old, and I don’t usually comment on these things anyway but I just have to say something on this one. I am an animal activist and have been for 30+ yrs. so I know all sides of this subject but what amazes me is that some rescuers( especially SOME of the younger, newer people) seem very angry and insulting to others who are only being kind. Example:The commenters who say that they wish they could help but can’t for whatever reason. These people shouldn’t be criticized, it is at least a show of support and solidarity. Seeing such concern in comment after comment can light a spark in someone who had never paid much attention to something before. For some of us, a show of caring restores some faith in humanity after seeing so much cruelty in the world that sometimes we wonder if anyone does care. And to tell readers to get off of their butts and computers…wow. I agree that fostering is a wonderful thing, but it is very unfair to imply that if one doesn’t foster that their efforts are less than yours. In fact, the computer is one of the most powerful tools that we have today. Since the rise of social media, being able to passing around petitions and write letters to lawmakers, we have made huge changes. I do understand parts of what the writer is eluding to here but the overall tone of the article seemed arrogant and presumptuous. I read this article because I was thinking of starting a special FB page separate from my personal one, just for my animal stuff…not a rescue page but a page to post about some of the issues of animal right going on now, just to bring awareness, but after reading this, I don’t even know if I want to deal with the drama with the snarky folks out there who seem to just want to insult others for the way that they choose to care. I think that post like this may push helpful people away. I don’t mean this as a put down in any way,to you, Heather, I really comment you,for the work that you do with animals, but as I read here, you are only 24 years old. I think many of your ideas and thoughts may change and grow with time and hopefully many more years of rescuing, but in the meantime I hope that you won’t be so judgmental that you push away supportive people as we need all of the help we can get in fighting against animal abuse.

    Reply
    1. Melissa Smith
      June 30, 2016

      Renee, thank you for sharing your insights! If you want to start a page for animals, I say go for it! We can always use more attention on the issues facing our four-legged, furry family members. And I agree with you totally on the power of social media. It can do miraculous things!

      Reply
  111. jelani sample
    July 10, 2016

    Hello to those of you looking for baby to adopt, I’m Mr JELANI by name,lots have a set of twins, boy and girl here, they don’t have all it takes to take care of them as they have made their decision to put them for adoption,During their pregnancy they had used no drugs, cigarette or alcohol. interested couples looking forward to adopt the babies should please contact:([email protected]) , they don’t just want the little children to suffer anymore please HELP by coming to take them from us thank you very much..,

    Reply
  112. Melissa Smith
    December 21, 2017

    Thanks for the input, Diane! It’s a great idea to have web-proficient people offer their services as a donation!

    Reply

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