Facebook Isn’t Just for People

by Diane Blankenburg

I consider myself a “techie” person and rather computer savvy. I minored in computer science and my first professional job was as a software engineer. That said, I have not been a huge fan of Facebook—I just cannot imagine that anyone would care about what I had for dinner and I’m a bit reserved when it comes to posting the details of my life online. But social media is now a way of life and to be successful in any venture, it is a necessity. In my work in animal welfare, it has become a powerful tool in so many ways, ultimately even saving lives.

At Nevada Humane Society (NHS), social media has helped find foster caregivers for kittens who need to be bottle fed with no time to spare. It has helped raise funds for emergency veterinary care. It has been a source of sharing ideas that have made programs better or helped animals get adopted faster. It has rallied the troops for legislative hearings. And it has even reunited lost pets with their families.

Samson, a young tabby cat, accidently escaped while his family was moving from Reno to Pennsylvania. They could not find him even after postponing their move. After reaching their destination and notifying NHS, they sent a shirt from a family member and a tape recording with their voices calling his name. After the shirt was placed in a humane trap and the recording was played nearby, he was caught—six weeks after he went missing. Unfortunately, Samson was a bit underweight and suffered from a kitty cold and also a broken leg endured from living on the streets. After surgery and TLC, he was finally ready to fly home.

NHS asked for help on Facebook and a Southwest Airlines employee offered her employee credits to cover the cost of the flight. Earlier this week, she flew from Oklahoma City to Reno, met an NHS staff person with Samson in tow, and flew with Samson to Pittsburgh, before flying back to her home in Oklahoma. The Southwest crew said he was the most well-behaved kitty they’ve ever transported and now he is happily reunited with his family.

So if you are a reluctant Facebook person like I was, I hope this encourages you to reconsider. Please visit and “like” Nevada Humane Society’s Facebook page and stay in touch with how you can help save lives. Even though Facebook participation is not a natural activity for me, I truly understand its value—especially when it comes to making lifesaving differences for animal welfare groups and the homeless pets that are in their care. 

Events that Help Animals

Adopt your very own Dog Vinci, Cattisse or Petcasso during the Reno is Petown Adoption Promotion at Nevada Humane Society. Cats: $10; dogs: $50; kittens (under 4 mos.): $35 or two for $60. 2825 Longley Lane in Reno. Open Sunday – Friday, 11:00 am – 6:30 pm and Saturday, 10:00 am – 6:30 pm. More info at NevadaHumaneSociety.org.

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