Using facebook to get dogs adopted

If you’re reading this blog you’re probably interested in pet photography and saving homeless animals — and about a billion of us are also on facebook — so why not use every possible resource to speed up adoption?  My friend, Erin Hannigan, is not a photographer –she’s a world-class oboist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra but she is always looking for ways to get dogs adopted.

A couple of years ago she started posting photos of her foster dogs on facebook and because she had a following of music lovers, she tapped in to a whole new market for adoptions.  Most of us have lots of dog lovers as our facebook friends so we see endless (BAD) photos of dogs on the euthanasia list at the local shelter or see photos our friends post. But Erin started doing quick little cell phone videos and cell phone photos of her fosters and TELLING THEIR STORY. People LOVE stories! Now people tune in on a daily basis just to see what the latest foster is up to over at Erin’s place.  And it’s working!  She has so much web traffic that her fosters almost always get adopted before it’s time to place them in the shelter (she fosters Moms with their pups). Music fans (and her personal friends) all over the country have shared the adventures and adopted Erin’s puppies.  It’s a true success story. Here’s Erin with one of her foster pups.

erin hannigan artists for animals dallas

So how can you use social media to help homeless pets?  Maybe a blog?  Or a facebook page talking about your adventures in pet photography?  Or make some cute little videos with your cell phone and post them on YouTube! You don’t have to have professional photos.  But make them clear and uncluttered. Play the cute card. This is just one creative way to help dogs get adopted. She’s now set up a facebook page just for her foster dog stories — so check it out and click LIKE so you’ll get the latest updates!


  1. Yes this is a good idea but we have to be so very careful and dogs can fall into the wrong hands for the wrong reason so easy. Please somehow somewhere post this caution about advertising dogs for adoption.

    1. Yes, Donna — but we don’t advertise dogs for adoption DIRECT OT THE ADOPTER. They have to fill out an application and go through the Rescue group or the Shelter first. We just get people interested and then send them through proper channels.

  2. I just found your blog via Pinterest. So much valuable information! I started volunteering at our local shelter a little over a year ago. At first they told me that they had enough photographers but I was persistent and they finally let me come in to work with the animals. The day after my images were posted they had people coming into the shelter mentioning my photos specifically. Ever since I have been volunteering once a week.

    I volunteer with another photographer and we have been discussing making a 2016 calendar to raise money for the shelter. It looks like you have some helpful tips that I will read up on.

    While on vacation last summer we visited Best Friends Animal Society, what a special place.

    How awesome to be on the CBS Sunday Morning show! I used to watch it every Sunday BK (before kids).

    Thank you for being so generous with your knowledge. I added you to my Bloglovin’ feed.

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