Beaufort Co. Animal Shelter volunteers drastically change outcomes of pets on Facebook

WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Animal shelter volunteers in Beaufort County are getting creative and taking their efforts online in an attempt to find homes for cats and dogs that would otherwise be euthanized.

The volunteers began to bridge the gap between animals and potential families in February 2012.

“They come into our local shelter, and they make sure that these animals get on to a Facebook page and that they’re seen by the public,” said Marty Poffenberger, veterinarian.

The Facebook page, ENC Shelter Dogs, is run solely by volunteers at the Beaufort County Animal Shelter in Washington.

“A bunch of us who were really interested in the dogs here, we were just looking for a way to help network these dogs,” Nethercutt said, “rather than they come in, nobody knows they’re here, and then they’re gone.”

Their efforts appear to be working.

“This has vastly improved the adoption rate of our shelter in Beaufort County, and it’s greatly reduced the number of animals that are put to sleep,” said Poffenberger.

Since the page was set up, the adoption rate increased from 30 to 80 percent.

“This is the kind of thing that people that care about the shelter and work with the animals have really looked forward to,” said Poffenberger. “Seeing improvements in those numbers…equate to the lives of dogs and cats.”

Nethercutt said they’re not always successful, but their efforts help give animals a chance.

“We give them every opportunity that we can give them,” said Nethercutt. “Don’t get me wrong, we don’t save every one of them; there are some that we can’t help.”

Volunteers with ENC Shelter Dogs spend their time off from work helping the animals, but they want everyone to know they can aid in the progress.

“There’s something that everyone can do,” Nethercutt said. “People don’t need to just raise their hands and say ‘Well there’s nothing I can do to help.’”

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