Euthanization in Shelters: Can Social Media Help? | Teen Ink

Euthanization in Shelters: Can Social Media Help?

May 3, 2018
By drishti BRONZE, RANCHO PALOS VERDES, California
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Who let the dogs out?  As we all know, dogs are known as man's best friend, but all animals can be great friends to many people.  Although animals around the world are adopted daily, there is still a large percentage of animals who are euthanized because of overcrowding in shelters as well as a plethora of other reasons.  The number of animals dying because they are unable to be adopted is despairing.  As a way to increase the number of animals finding homes, social media provides a contemporary way to promote different shelters and animal adoption. 


In 1874, the Women's Branch of the Pennsylvania SPCA created the first animal adoptions.   Since the creation of adoptions at shelters, more and more animals have been able to find forever homes, but euthanization is still a problem.  Euthanization, by definition, is the act of putting a living being, especially a dog or cat, to death humanely.   Overcrowding in shelters has caused many shelters to euthanize a large percent of their animals in order to reduce the animal population size. However, the amount of animals euthanized is also due to illness and aggression.   Animals can sadly acquire an illness while in animal shelters and the disease can spread, because of this the animal has to be euthanized.  Aggression is also a large factor in why animals are euthanized. Aggressive animals are put into a controlled environment before they are placed into adoptions but unfortunately, some animals are still found to possess this behavior and have to be humanely put down.  

Annually shelters euthanize millions of animals, and according to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, the estimated amounts of deaths in 2008 was a whopping sum of 3.7 million. A percent of the lives lost could have been prevented with the implementation of social media accounts. 

Social media is a powerful tool, and shelters incorporating social media into their businesses have been able to increase the number of adoptions of their animals.    

Shelters that use social media to promote their animals have found creative ways to help potential buyers become actual buyers.  

One shelter that is already using a social media platform is the MSPCA Boston Adoption.  This MSPCA shelter is using Facebook to publish posts highlighting their adorable, adoptable animals.  Their posts show many photographs of their wide-eyed animals and also detail the background stories of these animals. 

Other shelters have also used innovative marketing tools to promote their animals on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.  Today, there are still shelters that do not have social media these shelters have outdated websites. 

Creating social media platforms for animal shelters is a great way to help promote adoptions and decrease the number of animals getting euthanized.  Social media has even helped many homeless animals find permanent homes.  To start posting, a shelter can simply take a photograph of the homeless animal and post it on social media which attracts potential adopters.   

The best part of social media is that it is easy to operate and takes seconds to share posts.  Since animals are now on social media, adopting is just one click away in finding an animal a loving, lasting home.  According to a California-based foundation called Maddie's Fund, a consultant stated: "is revolutionizing how we help animals".  The consultant, in her statement,  was talking about social media and how it greatly influences the helping of animals.   

Animals can be adorable, lovable, and loyal companions.  Shelters can create a social media platform, such as Instagram, to promote their animals for adoption.  Taking photographs of these animals can easily be implemented as a type of volunteer work.  Simply taking photos and posting them can help save many animals from being euthanized and give these animals a chance to have a family and home.


Boboltz, S. (2016, July 25). After All This Time, We May Finally Know Who Let The Dogs Out.
  DVM, L. M. (2014, October 22). Animal sheltering in the United States: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
  Euthanize. (n.d.).
  Gray, A., & Blume, J. (2015, July 07). 3 Big Reasons Why Animal Shelters Euthanize Pets.
  Animal Shelter Euthanasia. (n.d.). Retrieved April 15, 2018
  PetMD. (n.d.). Retrieved April 15, 2018
   How Social Media Has Helped Homeless Animals and Shelters. (n.d.).
  Hardy, C., Virata, J. and Brown, S. (2018). Social Media Boosts Cat Adoptions - Petcha. [online] Petcha.

The author's comments:

I hope this article can inspire shelters to use social media to promote their loving animals, and that these animals have a better chance of finding forever homes. I also hope that this article can reduce the number of animals getting euthanized.

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