I was touched by the effects of social media yesterday in a big way. An advocate and volunteer for BARCS (Baltimore Area Rescue and Care Shelter) posted a cry on Facebook for help for a little dog that was found yesterday, whom they named Dean. Dean was found in a sewer and had been left there to die, apparently some time ago. He is blind in both eyes, abused and malnourished. After the rescue, people commented that they had heard barking in the sewer but didn’t think to call anyone.
Dean got back to BARCS and because of his condition, ended up biting a staff member. BARCS had taken in 20 other dogs yesterday and the desperate call went out for someone to volunteer to shelter or foster Dean, as they didn’t have the resources or the room to keep him even for a night.
Within minutes of the post on this caring advocate’s personal Facebook page, the comments and sharing began to happen. Her post was shared dozens of times and shared on others pages from there.
When I read all of the activity yesterday evening, it reminded me of just how powerful social media really can be. Yes, it can seem overwhelming and addictive and less-personal. But, used in the right way, it is such an extraordinary tool to reach people and connect.
Dean was rescued last night and is headed to a shelter in Georgia, where hopefully, he can get the intensive care he needs. It’s horrific how cruel people can be and Dean’s story is a very explicit example of that. It is, at the same time, brilliant how kind and caring other’s can be. Just a few years ago, Dean’s story would have been much different. In such a time-sensitive crisis, without the power we now have to spread the word so quickly, Dean may not have gotten another chance. Social media really does enable us to be more human and more connected. It offers us the chance, everyday, to look outside of our own world views and see through someone else’s eyes, or in this case, Dean’s.
For more information on BARCS: