According to the Humane Society in the US, 7.6 companion pet animals enter shelters in the US. But nearly 3 to 4 million of them are euthanised each year – which means that every 13 seconds healthy, adoptable pets are put down. This isn’t only happening in the US – it is happening in Canada and the UK as well.
Through her active social media presence, Sheryl Joyce Founder and CEO of Pet Pardon discovered an incredible network of animal lovers that are sharing the dogs and cats on death row that are destined or already on a ‘euthanasia’ list. The euthanised are made up of stray dogs and cats, owner surrenders, survivors of puppy mills and dog fighting rings to name a few. Many are sick, banned breeds, or have failed a ‘temp’ test. Unfortunately, many are just killed for space.
She had this to say: ‘Sadly, the prevalence of eliminating – many of which, are perfectly healthy animals is very common in the United States. After being a part of this amazing community for almost two years, I realised that there was a void in the animal care space and there was no platform that connected all of the conversations (about a specific animal) in real time.’
She goes on to say: ‘As a result I created Pet Pardon to raise awareness of the number of animals who are being euthanised. Using the Pet Pardon app animal lovers will be able to share the animals on ‘death row’ with their networks to save as many as possible from imminent death. I am pleased to be launching a campaign to raise money to fund this important initiative.’
The reasons cited for euthanasia are fairly common to all countries – with many of the shelters bursting at the seams with strays. Owner surrenders are also a common occurrence and older and unwell pets are often brought to shelters due to the financial burden of ongoing vet care – they simply don’t have the room. Sadly, bigger and older dogs are harder to place in homes, and breed-specific legislation in many regions has made pit bulls, for example nearly impossible to place – so they are usually killed first.
No matter the reasons, right now, animal lovers that include shelter volunteers and staff, rescue groups, fosters, and potential adopters from all around the world are networking these animals on various social media. In spite of best efforts, there is a real need to bring all of these networks together. For example, oftentimes, an animal has been saved on a specific channel and is still being networked on another – which takes up valuable time that could be used on networking another in need.
However, the biggest reason for developing the app is to address technical glitches where specific social channels think that networkers are spammers as they are tagging (sometimes) hundreds of rescues and other animal advocates at the same time. So their accounts are being flagged, subsequently suspended and sometimes even deleted.
This is obviously very distressing as networkers are often racing against the clock to save an animal.
How will the App work?
As of right now, there is not one app strictly dedicated to networking animals at high-kill shelters specifically the animals on the euthanasia list. As such, the Pet Pardon app will have key features that the other social networks don’t including the ability to:
- Create lists of shelters, rescues, fosters, adopters in specific regions
- Track pledges
- Seamlessly share with other networks and track progress
- Tag as many people as possible