Animal Facebook helps homeless pets

By AAP with AG Staff 21 December 2010
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Orphan dogs, cats and rabbits have been given their own Facebook profiles to help them find a home.

A NEW BREED OF user has joined Facebook to make friends – they’re homeless, furry and often have a penchant for Postman Pat and the music of Lil’ Bow Wow. Most of them have unusual names such as Prancer, Mitzi, Chalky, Noodles, Butterscotch, Bugs and Billie and they reside at the Auckland SPCA.

The branch says it has signed up its orphaned rabbits, dogs and cats to popular social-networking websites Facebook and Twitter in an effort to encourage people to adopt. The cyber-campaign had already been a success with seven animals adopted and several put on hold, SPCA spokesman Martin McKenzie says.

Prancer, a three-legged Staffi cross, was adopted within two days of her profile going online. “Some people think dogs don’t get around very well on three legs but trust me, I cope just fine,” Prancer says on her profile. Prancer’s previous owner took her to the vet, after she broke her leg, but never came back for her.

Mitzi, a kind-natured Staffordshire bull terrior who “loves to play and have cuddles” and who has 15 Facebook friends, says her favourite movie is Point Break and favourite television show is Animal Migrations. 

Martin says the animals were keen to make friends and share their interests with potential owners. The campaign was a quirky way to help change the lives of animals in desperate situations. “Social media sites are a great way for people to get to know the animals before they make the decision to adopt and be their friend for real,” he says.

In Auckland, five dogs, four cats and three rabbits currently had online profiles and were available for adoption.

Many of the SPCA animals had made friends with New Zealand celebrities including radio host Marcus Lush and musician Liam Finn, Martin adds.

SPCA Facebook page