We know not everyone is glued to social media 24/7. But we don’t want those people—who are you?!—to miss out on these incredible, incredibly clicky, stories that we shared in 2021.
Each one shows the power of community-focused sheltering to keep pets with people and out of animal shelters—they also show just how engaging these stories are! People want to know what organizations and individuals are doing to keep families together, and pets out of shelters. They want to know, and they want to help.
Yes that’s us very subtly encouraging you to make sure you are including *these* types of stories in your social media, your marketing, your fundraising, and more. The stories about the families you preserved with your crisis fostering programs, your low or no cost veterinary programs, your pet food pantries, and all the other support you and your community are providing.
New Year’s resolution: Share these stories with us, too, so we can spread the great news and fill your feed with inspiring content in 2022 and beyond!
Now, in no purr-ticular order, 10 of our top social media stories of 2021:
Check out this moving video about a friendly dog named Jupiter who went from sleeping outside at a construction site to adoption into a loving home, without ever spending a night inside a shelter.
When Luis’s family was evicted from their home, BARCS in Baltimore helped Luis go into a temporary foster home while his owners found a new place for them to live. Instead of being surrendered to the shelter, after three months Luis was reunited with his owners—in their new home.
Jose needed emergency surgery, after his paws were caught in some elevator doors. (Ouch!!) But Jose’s owner didn’t have the funds for such expensive care. So the pair went to Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, D.C., where Jose received the surgery he needed, and two weeks of inpatient care, before he was reunited with his owner.
Would you look at this good dog! This is Rocky, whose family was unable to care for him while living through a crisis. Verona Street Animal Society in Rochester, New York, placed Rocky in a temporary foster home until he and his family could be reunited.
Oh Brownie! Brownie got loose from his home, and then got caught in some wiring while trying to hop a chain link fence. KC Pet Project in Kansas City, Missouri, found Brownie after he’d been stuck on the fence for several days. He was carefully removed, then rushed to a vet clinic for emergency care. While recovering at KC Pet Project, Brownie’s owners were tracked down through the shelter’s Lost and Found website so the family could be reunited. That’s not all: KC Pet Project then rallied the community to raise funds to pay for Brownie to have his foot amputated.
This story’s got lost pet reunification, low cost/free vet care, mutual aid, and a very happy ending thanks to community-focused sheltering.
Max and Lucy were separated from their owners during the terrifying California wildfires, which burned the family’s home. Chico Animal Shelter evacuated the dogs, and took care of them—for a year, until their family was back on their feet. Look how happy and relieved they all were, to be together again. ❤️
This stunning boy is Gyro. Gyro’s owner moved into a care facility and could no longer care for him. Instead of bringing Gyro to the shelter, his owner’s family used their social media networks to find him a wonderful new home. Gyro was able to go from one home where he was loved, right to another, without ever entering the shelter.
There’s nothing like a heartwarming reunion story! Ruse came to Fresno Humane Animal Services with no microchip—but he was clearly owned, because he was wearing a collar, with his name written in Sharpie. Soon after that, the shelter got an email from Ruse’s owner saying that this was his dog. Fresno Humane Animal Services asked if Ruse’s owner would like the dog to be microchipped, neutered, and vaccinated before he went home, and Ruse’s owner gladly took them up on these services.
You can see in these pictures that Ruse and his owner were thrilled to be back together—and with his new microchip, if Ruse gets out again it’ll be easier to get him home.
Safety net fostering saves a family again. When LaShondria was evicted from her home, she did not have to give up her dogs. Instead, Lifeline Animal Project in Atlanta placed the dogs in foster homes for a month—and you can see how happy the family was to be reunited, when LaShondria came to pick up the dogs and bring them to the new home where they’d all live together.
A house fire took Bre’s family’s home. But the family didn’t want to lose their beloved dog, too. South Suburban Humane Society, just outside Chicago, was able to place Bre in a foster home for as long as it took for her family to get back on their feet through their Pets are Family program.
We want to share more heartwarming stories like this in 2022. Keep sharing your stories about supporting the human-animal bond for a chance to be featured on HASS social media or blogs.