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Facebook Friends Saving Man’s Best Friend In Irving

By Jay Gormley, CBS 11 News
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(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – With floodwaters threatening southern Louisiana, the Irving Animal Shelter is expecting to receive 77 animals that are being evacuated from the New Orleans area.

Those animals are likely to find their way onto Facebook. Irving resident Christy Wilson rescued a pit bull after reading the shelter’s page. The dog was scheduled to be put-down.

“There’s so many dogs out there,” she said. “You can pick animals at three o’clock in the morning.”

The Facebook page contains the photos of about 70 animals up for adoption.  At first, the thought of using Facebook as an adoption tool seemed odd to Fred Sanderson of Irving Animal Services.

“I didn’t quite understand what that meant and I went, okay,” chuckled Sanderson. “Then I got impressed when I started seeing the numbers.”

The Irving Facebook page was launched eight months ago. Since then, more than 1,000 animals have been rescued or adopted. That’s double the normal rate for that time period.

“We’ve sent animals to Kentucky, Las Vegas, New York, Florida and all around the U.S. because of this page,” said shelter employee Natalia Maravi.

The Facebook page is also brutally honest. It includes an “urgent animals” section that shows the dates that dogs are scheduled to be euthanized. Irving Animal Services say when visitors see that, they’re more likely to adopt.

Shelter officials say the success of Facebook has been overwhelming. Only one percent of the hundreds of animals that have graced the page have been put down, so far.

With nearly 5,000 Facebook friends, the city-run shelter is receiving calls from other shelters across the country, seeking advice on how to set up their own Facebook pages.

It seems that man’s best friend now has a lot of Facebook friends.

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