Today is the birthday of a dear friend of mine. For her special day, she could have done or asked for anything. But she only asked for one simple thing. She asked everyone to share a dog in need in a high kill shelter. A simple task that takes two seconds, and that is all she wanted. My first thought when I read her request this morning was that many dogs would be saved today because of her. But I also knew that many people wouldn't share, because they are afraid posting pictures of dogs who are slated to die will bother their friends. Or they think that their share won't do anything to help save the dog. They could not be more wrong. Every share makes a difference. Every share gives a dog with very little hope a higher chance of making it out alive.
Nathaniel is one example out of many. He was a scrawny, unhealthy mess of an old dog in a high kill Georgia shelter. No one gave him a second look, sitting in his kennel facing the wall. His eyes were infected, he was heartworm positive and to most people he was not a dog they would want. But one dedicated animal lover took his picture and posted him on Facebook. A few other people shared his picture, and because of that he came to the attention of a wonderful family in Florida. They didn't care that he was sick, or that he was old. They fell in love with that picture and refused to give up on saving him. It took them many phone calls before they found a rescue who would help, but soon Nate was safely out of the shelter and his new dad drove many hours to get him and bring him home. Instead of dying terrified in a shelter, with an injection given by an employee who has likely done this so many times that they can no longer bring themselves to have compassion, Nate now spends his days lounging in the Florida sun and snacking on celery and apples between meals.
Most shelters and animal control facilities don't receive a lot of attention from the public. And a lot of dogs aren't at their best in a scary, noisy shelter environment, so they get passed by when people do arrive to meet the dogs. These same dogs are loving, well adjusted dogs outside of the shelter, but never get a chance to prove themselves. When a volunteer or shelter employee posts pictures of the dogs on social networking site, more people see the dog than just the few who walk through the shelter. Someone in the next town or even in another state may fall in love and the dog who was slated to die in a shelter becomes a member of a family and gets a second chance at a good life.
It takes two seconds of your time, and could save a life that would otherwise be lost. So click the share button the next time you see a dog in need posted. Help network the thousands of dogs in need daily. You will be making a difference. So take the sharing challenge. Commit to sharing just five dogs a day on your social networking sites. Just five dogs, ten seconds of your time. And challenge your friends to do the same!