How social media, mountain views and paddle boards are helping animals from the Cochrane Humane Society find homes
There’s little question Alberta’s mountain lakes are eye-catching, but add in a hip sport and cute animals: it’s a recipe for social media success.
Coming aboard the latest insta-worth adventure is Cybil.
“She is two years old and she’s been at the shelter for quite a while now. She’s one of [the Cochrane and Area Humane Society’s] long-term residents and she’s looking for her forever home,” Rashelle Elburg said.
Elburg and her girlfriend Christine Newman started the Paddling Dogs initiative last year.
“When you’re on a paddle board there’s an instant trust that’s built.”
They owned four dogs but had two of them pass away suddenly, leaving them with the decision about whether or not to adopt new animals.
Instead, the pair decided to spend their extra time volunteering at the Cochrane and Area Humane Society, offering to take the animals out for some exercise.
“We started just putting it on Facebook and Instagram and people keep on sharing and sharing,” said Elburg. “It kind of puts them in a different light since they’re outside doing something.”
With most of their social media posts being shared thousands of times, there has been an added bonus.
“We started with a German Shepherd-mix named Bow,” said Newman. “He was adopted within 24 hours.”
The pair had a 100 per cent success rate their first year, finding new homes for every dog they took aboard. They’ve also launched Hiking with Hounds using a similar strategy.
“We’re giving the dogs a social media makeover but also we’re encouraging their adoptees to be active,” Newman said.
So far, the dogs are also showing their appreciation, too. “I’ve never been dunked, yet.”
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