What started out as a trendy mobile app that people use to unlock specials at local businesses and share their day with their friends is morphing into a powerful way to get help local animal shelters get deserving dogs adopted.
Launched by leading animal welfare organization Best Friends Animal Society, National Animal Shelter Check-in Day will be held at participating shelters across the country Saturday, Nov. 12. People are invited to use their mobile phones’ Foursquare geolocation application to bring attention to dogs waiting for good homes.
Best Friends worked with Foursquare to add “animal shelter” as an available category for locations, and this Saturday, folks will visit those local shelters to “check in.”
“This single easy action will help bring awareness to the unseen dogs waiting in shelters to be adopted,” said Jon Dunn, senior manager of online strategy at Best Friends Animal Society.
“When supporters check in at the animal shelter, the shelter’s location will be shared automatically with all of their connections via social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. And we’re asking people to not just ‘check-in,’ but to adopt, volunteer or simply take a photo of a dog available for adoption and share it with friends,” Dunn said.
Austin Pets Alive! of Austin, Texas, is one of the shelters participating and Melissa Miller, public relations manager, her organization is enthusiastic about participating.
“Austinites love to use location-based services and apps to share their destinations with friends, and we hope that by offering extra incentives like a raffle and adoption gift bags for those who check-in, it will motivate newcomers to visit our shelter and perhaps find a new furry family member.”
Cary Lieberman, executive director of Greenhill Humane Society in Eugene, Ore., said: “We have found that social media has been a great way to get exposure for pets awaiting their forever home at the shelter. Checking in on Foursquare during the National Shelter Check-in Day while volunteering, visiting with the dogs or cats, or adopting, is a great way for people to become involved in helping to save lives.”
Ben Swan, public information officer for Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society in Santa Fe, N.M. said his organization is pleased to be working with Best Friends on this inaugural social networking effort to save lives.
“This National Shelter Check-in Day will give us great visibility to let people know about the wonderful animals we have for adoption. I’m so surprised to hear people still go to breeders for their pets. When people come to Santa Fe Human Animal Shelter they will fall in love with our dogs (cats too) and make a match for life,” Swan said.
“Our goal is to mobilize communities to get involved and help invisible dogs be seen,” added Dunn. “The Invisible Dogs campaign is all about shining a light on local shelters around the country and letting the public know that there are incredible animals waiting for a home. They just need to be seen. The National Animal Shelter Check-in Day is another way to make that happen.”
To find out more about National Shelter Check-in Day and the Invisible Dog campaign, visit the Nov. 12 tab on invisibledogs.org. Best Friends’ Invisible Dog campaign is being sponsored by Petfinder.com.