As mentioned in a previous post….animals are my passion, I would do anything to help them…would you? An animal does not ask to be abused or abandoned. An animal can’t help when there are tough economic situations in a family and ultimately being surrendered to a local shelter and losing its family and hoping to find love again.
Non-profit organizations always need help in the form of donations or volunteers. So let’s find it in our hearts to prepare a free proposal to the Oakville & Milton Humane Society.
That is why I have chosen to help the Oakville & Milton Humane Society (OMHS). As OMHS says “helping those that cannot speak for themselves!”
A few years ago when I visited the Oakville & Milton Humane Society to make my annual donation and renew my dog’s license, I noticed a sign in front of the main entrance that said the shelter was in need of several supplies please donate what you can. They were looking for household items that people toss on an average spring cleaning (i.e. towels, bed linens, blankets, Dixie cups to name a few). I asked the staff “how is anyone supposed to see that sign when it’s so far from the street, try putting it on Facebook. Do you have a Facebook page for the shelter?” the lady replied “yes, but it’s not updated regularly”. Since then they have been more active on Facebook and even opened a Twitter account and posted videos on YouTube of animals and their stories of how and where they were found. Quick note: they’re pretty darn tough to watch.
OMHS’ Mission is to educate and create public awareness for responsible pet ownership, provide care for animals in the shelter and those in need of care by rescuing (domesticated, exotic and wild) animals within the Oakville and Milton surrounding area.
Over the past two years the OMHS has increased its web presence by use of social media tools and is now using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. However it takes resources (volunteers) to update these tools regularly in order to stay active amongst the community and keep the viewers educated and maintain public interest. Unfortunately I feel the mission is getting diluted.
We (as in pet owners) should be responsible and know where the local shelter is in our community. The OMHS has a website that contains useful information for pet owners and tips on emergency situations. Check it out…
‘Like’ their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter
Facebook & Twitter Activity: frequent posts announcing news of pet adoptions and the status updates of the recent ringworm incident at the shelter. Or individuals that have lost a pet will post on the Facebook wall with photos to help find their loved one. However the “mission” is lost and not linked to providing Education, Care and Protection. The same people are posting over and over again and the shelter needs to reach more people to open their homes, volunteer or get donations (monetary or supplies).
YouTube: the latest posting activity was on December 4th, 2010 and of the 13 videos posted, there has been minimal viewing <500 approx. Take a moment and view this clip (tissues are a must before you press play):
It’s sad but I don’t think it’s effective. OMHS needs to put a HAPPY spin on animal adoption, rescue and donations. I’m not sure about you but when I’m watching t.v. and I hear Sarah Mclachlan “Angel” I know its the SPCA commercial and I’m racing to find the remote to change the channel or I’m going to bawl my eyes out.
Issues that must be addressed using the current resources available:
1) Stress the Mission statement & how to help those who can’t speak for themselves
2) Attract more followers and active bloggers to spread the word
3) Show how rewarding pet ownership, donating and volunteering can be to a new audience
4) Attract “people that are on the fence” between a pure-bred vs. a rescue
5) Inform the community of pet ownership laws passed by government and Continue to educate the public
So how to start spreading the word amongst the on-line community?
Let’s start with dog park websites & forums: