The day starts, like lots of other days of the week. I wipe sleep from my eyes to see the piles of papers, that magically grew in size over night on my desk. My cell phone has already alerted me that the funds are low in my bank account (thanks technology, nice wake up call!) Armed with nothing but a cup of coffee in hand, I open my laptop and get to work.  

Well, wait, first things first, let’s see what’s going on in Facebook-landia. Hmmm, a friend’s baby does a cute thing, my sister went to this crazy party mmm hmm, oh a fellow SuperHero is networking for this shelter dog that needs a home! Suddenly I go from a bumbling Clark Kent to a dashing Superman (er, Super Grrl more like). 

Faster then a speeding bullet, my brain conjures up the names of rescues that might be able to help, more powerful then 10 workstations, I tag those names and people in the comment line and hit send! Another day, another dog aided…

Well, hang on you say, was that dog really helped by me just clicking away on my keyboard? Ok, I wasn’t the actual person who pulled the dog from the shelter to safety, no. Is the dog for sure safe? Hopefully. Did it cost me a penny or a whole lotta time I don’t have? No. Did I actually help this dog? YES! 

(Photo courtesy © DC comics, thanks DC!)

Sharing this dog’s info with people on Facebook alerts people/rescues that this dog needs help and if they can’t help, maybe they know someone who can. Case in point, meet Princess.

Princess was hit by a truck. Her owner took her to the shelter and just wanted to put her down, who knows, maybe the owner couldn’t afford the bill, right? Her legs weren’t working, she was in pain and needed help. The only reason I knew about Princess was because someone posted her sad photo on Facebook. After seeing her photo, I shared it on my good friend Lou Wegner’s Facebook page, (Lou is the founder of Kids Against Animal Cruelty and constantly networks for animals). Lou turned around and contacted The Onyx and Breezy Foundation to donate to her vet bill. They said yes and a whole team of superheroes went into action to save the day! All this because one person took the time to put out the bat signal. I don’t even know who originally posted, but I know it was a hero.

This is just one story of many, every day. However, superheroes can’t be everywhere at all times, and there are waaaay more animals needing help then there are superheroes, at this time. That’s where you come in. You can help save an amazing animal’s life, while waiting in line for your grande latte, for no money and still have time to discuss the intricate plot points of the last Orange is the New Black episode. C’mon, I’ll show you how easy it is to be a hero!

Step 1. Facebook friend a few rescues. Why a rescue and not a shelter? Volunteers connected to rescues are the ones generally who post for the shelters. They take pictures of the animals who need to get out, they know how long the dog has before it’s time is up and they know if it has medical and/or temperament issues.  

It'll look like this (Actual photo posted 08/21/14, if you wanna help, the info is right there for you:)

Step 2. Take a look at the animals they have currently posted. Make sure they are animals that are in a shelter and not one that the rescue has in their system already. Obviously, the animals in their system are safe from euthanasia, the shelter animals are not. 

Step 3. When you see an animal’s picture in the shelter, there are a few options you can take (listed in order of helpfulness):

  • Tag the name of a rescue in the comment line.
  • Share the photo on the timeline of that rescue (if permitted to).
  • Message the rescue directly.
  • If you have a contact from that rescue, message that person.

That’s it, that’s how you start. Now to be a SUPER, superhero, here are a few extra steps to take that can really make an impact.

  • Friend more rescues. There are all kinds, some are breed specific, which is great if you see a specific breed in the shelter needing help. There are rescues all over the USA, so if you’re friends with a few in a state and you see a post from one rescue in that state, you can tag the other rescues nearby to come help that one.
  • When you see a photo, open it up and read the comments. It’s totally possible that while that photo was circulating, someone may have already pulled the animal to safety, yay! No need to waste a rescue’s time by tagging them for that animal.
  • Never post negative comments, especially about someone in the thread. It wastes time and certainly doesn’t help that animal in need. Prayers are good, put them together with sharing and you’ve got a winning combo there.

Now, I will say, you’re going to experience some let downs, can’t avoid it until we have a better system for saving animals. You’re going to see some photos that you wish you could unsee, might make you cry even. But, more times then not, you’re going to see positive results.

Even during the craziest day, when all your money has run away from you, knowing you helped an animal to safety kinda makes you feel like you could fly, like a superhero, because that’s what’s you are!

(Photo courtesy © DC comics, thanks again DC!)