Austin Animal Shelter Relying More on Social Media
By Carlos Morales
With the shelter receiving record numbers of animals, tools like Facebook and Twitter help let the cat out of the bag, so to speak. Currently, the center maintains a “no kill” status, which means 9 out of 10 animals are adopted, transferred or returned to their owner. It’s a task that would be a lot harder without social media.
Sarah Hammond, the center’s foster program coordinator, says the shelter’s social media presence helps her reach new volunteers, and return pets to their owners.
“Without Facebook, I know we wouldn’t be where we’re at today,” Hammond said.
Since the center moved to its new location last year, it’s operated at 100 percent occupancy. And for Hammond, that means the need for an online presence is greater than ever.
“We’re now realizing that when you’re dealing with this volume of animals, we’ve got to take the pets to the people,” she said.
One way the center does that is through humorous, attention-getting events like Kitty Palooza – featuring feline talent like Stevie Ray Paws, Purrvana and Claw-nye West.
While the center uses humor, it’s to a serious end: More than 300 cats and kittens will be available for adoption this weekend. And if each cat is adopted, the shelter will drop under capacity.
“That will be the answer to our prayers,” Hammond said. “It won’t take long for us long to fill back up again. But it will give us some breathing room.”
Kitty Palooza kicks off 9 a.m. Saturday at the Austin Animal Center, 7201 Levander Loop.