Eva, a 2-year-old chihuahua, was given to Front Street Animal Shelter in Sacramento after she had birthed several litters of puppies and started losing her teeth.
Delaina Nimmo saw Eva on the Front Street Animal Shelter Facebook page, and adopted her after coming into the shelter.
“I came to look at some puppies and they didn’t have the puppies and I saw her and fell in love,” said Nimmo.
Over the past six years Front Street has tapped into the power of social media to help animals that are struggling to be adopted by posting creative videos and photos exhibiting the shelter’s available pets and their personalities on Facebook. Since focusing on the use of Facebook, the shelter has been able to increase the number of animals spared from euthanasia from 20% to 85%.
Eva is the type of dog with needs that kept her from being a top adoption candidate. She has recently been diagnosed with a heart murmur, but Nimmo plans to keep her.
“I’m still not giving her back,” said Nimmo. “We’re talking to the surgeon and see what he says and see if anything they can do.”
With over 190,000 Facebook followers, the shelter has had many of their videos go viral, reaching millions of views.
“We’ve seen a huge spike in our success since we began utilizing Facebook to reach out to our community,” Ryan Hinderman, public information coordinator at Front Street Animal Shelter said in a statement. “Through our staff’s hard work and by building our community through Facebook, our organization has completely transformed and we are now saving more animals than ever before.”
Ending euthanization of animals in California is an issue that has been picked up on a state level. Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed making Califorina a “no-kill” state, which would help to “achieve the state’s long standing goal that no adoptable or treatable dog or cat is euthanized,” according to the budget summary.
In his 2020-21 state budget proposal, Newsom allocated $50 million for the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program to develop a grant program for animal shelters.
In 2019, there were 6,426 adoptions and 912 euthanizations of cats and dogs in Sacramento county, a decrease from 2018 when over 1,000 were euthanized and 6,756 were adopted, according to county statistics. The shelter attributes Facebook to their success in saving more animal lives.
“Facebook is a vital life saving tool for our shelter. When we’re full, our adoption promotions are shared far and wide, resulting in lines of hundreds of adopters,” said Hinderman in a statement. “When we have an animal with special needs that isn’t getting adopted, Facebook helps show them to the world so they can find a loving home like all the other pets.”