Reena awaiting adoption, 2011.
"Crossposting these days does little more than create absolute hysteria surrounding shelter animals. It feeds off the over-emotional users who aren’t checking the facts before posting, and frankly it’s making our lives (rescuers and shelter workers) more difficult. Panic does not solve problems, coordination and action does."
-- DOG HAIR & BOURBON: The Love/Hate Relationship of Social Media and Rescue
You know the folks who RT death row animals but never tweet a follow up. You know the folks whose panicked replies to rescues' posts make it hard to pick out the pets' status and the important contact information. You know the folks who retweet retweeted photos with no contact info. Maybe you have tried to track down the original post but in the end can't find who to contact to save a local kitteh.
Be an effective crossposter. Link to the original source. Follow up by quoting your original tweet with a note that pet was saved or destroyed. Delete your previous tweet so it isn't RTed for weeks and weeks after the pet has been saved or destroyed.
And PLEASE, if you are tweeting pets in rapid succession, stop and take a breath. You're upset by the carnage but have you become frantic? Are you crying? Stop. You are hurting yourself, you are hurting caring friends, and you are helping little if at all.
Try doing something. That will help more than #cheaphashtagactivism.
- Foster. RTs alone can't save pets. There has to be a homey place to house them, NOT a warehouse full of cages.
- Adopt, especially an older cat, a disabled cat or a black cat as they are less likely to be adopted. Again, RTs alone can't save pets. No-kill shelters have to adopt out pets to make room for new rescues.
- Volunteer at a local shelter. Answer phones, file papers, socialize the animals, clean cages, whatever you are able to do.
- Donate. Each time you crosspost, share or RT, donate a dollar to the shelter mentioned in the post. This may help the shelter pull a death row animal. Simply crossposting, sharing or RTing can't do that.