Saturday, February 20, 2010

Social media

photo by Nikki Audet

Nico, a deaf and battered Dogo Argentino, was doomed to spend the last few days of his hard life in an L.A. shelter utterly without hope - that is until animal rescuer and photographer Nikki Audet took a photo of him and posted it online on a blog she runs with rescue partner Jf Pryor, The Mutt Scouts’ blog (Be sure to read through the rest of their blog as well. It'll break your heart one moment and send you over the moon the next).

The photo deeply affected many people who saw it and pretty soon it was being sent all over the internet. Connections were made, another rescuer got involved, a shelter on the other side of the country offered a spot for Nico, transports were arranged, and finally, after several weeks of working with Nico, a permanent home was found.

And Nico transformed into this dog:

photo by Deena Crouch of Humane Society for Hamilton County

You can read the details of Nico's cross country transport here and the full story up to Nico's adoption here and of course Nico has his own facebook page so if you want to know what he's up to now, you can go here. This is all truly inspirational.

I've been having some discussions recently about online social media and if and how it helps get animals saved. I don't have any hard numbers but I think we are all starting to realize that the more we are part of the wider community, the easier it will be to achieve no more homeless pets, and the internet helps turn the world into one big rescue community.

It certainly worked for Nico.


Anonymous said...

Thank G-d for Nikki Audet. And thanks to everyone involved for Nico's transformation. Proof again, of we needed it, that there is no such thing as hopeless if we care enough.

Will i read the blog? No way! My heart is already so scarred and patched that I don't have room for another crack. Better to concentrate on hoping...

Laura HP said...

That first photo is heartbreaking. I can see why it had such a strong impact. What a spectacular story and an amazing transformation, he looks like a different dog! Huge compliments to everyone who made that happen.

I think social media can only help, anything that gets more people involved and gets more people viewing the animals can only improve their chances - that's why we started the TAS Facebook page (86 fans now!). Social media, good attractive photos, an easy-to-navigate the new tech-y world, these are things that any good shelter needs because they can be huge assets when it comes to 'wooing' potential adopters.

House of the Discarded said...


Ian said...

Haven`t read the blog yet.
First photo broke many hearts in this house.
2nd photo is absolutely amazing.
Off to read the blog.

This is why we like to read the updates on the dogs that you post.
Although they may not have had the hard life that Nico had,their eyes shine brighter once they`re home and it`s nice to see.

Anonymous said...

I went to the blog and saw the rest of Nico's photos...what a sweet, gorgeous boy. You can tell he knows he is now with people who care about him.
My dog was deaf for the last couple of years of his life and it made him have terrible separation anxiety...he went from being a a dog who was fine when he was left alone, even when I was working 8 hrs., to a dog who would bark and constantly look out the front window for me when I went to the store for 15 minutes (lucky for him I wasn't working then). I think it throws some dogs off balance because they don't have that sense anymore (my dog knew he couldn't just relax on the couch and he would hear me coming in so he constantly had to be alert at the window to make sure I came back)...and this is a dog who was well loved and secure in every other way. That's why my heart broke for Nico. Abused, broken down already and deaf on top of that...can you imagine being thrown into some hell-hole jail and you can't even hear what's going on around you? He must have been terrified.
I know I was like Anon.#1 who didn't even want to look at the blog but I'm glad I did...he looks so much better (and happier) in his "after" he knows life will be better from now on.
My thanks too, to everyone out there who rescues dogs like this...I don't know if I could do it - I'd probably end up as a puddle on the floor every day - but it's what I aspire to do someday.

deborrah said...

yes yes yes! i'm discovering by being involved with facebook etc, i am able to participate in rescuing at-risk animals by sharing their stories. rather than feeling helpless because i can't adopt or transport, i spread the word (and pictures) every chance i get! hurray to all you wonderful rescue people!!!

Mommyof2girlz said...

That first picture made me tear up, so heart braking but I am so glad to hear there is a happy ending to this story and he looks amazing now. Thanks for sharing!

A Pet Nanny Plus said...

So glad to hear he has a happy life now.

Lynda said...

Terrific story! Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

I have a soft spot for the deaf ones - as you know!