Using social media to help cat rescue

Torbay Weekly

When I started out in rescue over 35 years ago, there were no social media, no internet and no email - all rescue work was carried out on a local level, as was fundraising... we stuck posters in windows!

Same with lost and found cats, you advertised them in the post office, local bus stop or in your window.

Now, of course, we have so many wonderful resources at our fingertips, even if those of us over 40/50 struggle to embrace or utilise them at times!

I do not believe there are either more nor less cats needing homes now, compared to past years.

While it was less common to get your cat neutered, so lots of accidental litters, I find nowadays more people are encouraging their cats to have litters as a source of income, whether reputable or back street breeders.

If those cats go missing, and are un-neutered, then they will end up either pregnant or a fighting tom.

Social media is a great resource to get information to lots of people quickly - lost cats, urgent appeals and even fundraisers are all highly successful.

We have helped countless cats through social media platforms, reuniting them with happy owners.

I am learning all the time how new apps can be utilised to the benefit of the cats in our care.

We recently had the good fortune to reunite a cat who had been lost for quite a while.

It was sheer chance that one of our volunteers was trawling through lost and found cats on various Facebook pages and matched this lovely black and white cat.

One phone call later and an incredibly lucky cat was back home with her family!   Extremely rewarding for the volunteer!

Sadly, the downside, we have heard of people having their animals stolen, and the thief phoning the distressed owner demanding a reward, of course, all anonymous.

We would urge people to contact the police in these circumstances, as with any internet threat.

Just because someone claims to be with a rescue does not mean they are – check credentials.

As ever, we need volunteers, so if you’re a whizz with social media, please do get in contact!