June is National Pet Adoption Month, and according to the ASPCA, approximately 2.7 million animals are adopted each year.
We interviewed Lynne Bengston, co-founder and director of Safe Hands Animal Rescue, a Twin Cities-based non-profit that connects rescue dogs with forever homes. Lynne told us about what it takes to rescue pets for adoption and how she uses mobile tech to make it happen every day.
923.9: The number of miles between Minneapolis and Harlan, KY.
Safe Hands was born in 2006 when Lynne discovered a shelter 923.9 miles away in Harlan, KY, that couldn’t accommodate the volume of animals arriving at its facility every day. Since then, a Safe Hands van makes the trip twice a month to the shelter and brings back as many dogs as possible to Minnesota to find forever homes.
255: Total dogs that have been rescued so far in 2015.
Safe Hands does not have a physical shelter in Minnesota. The organization has a large network of volunteers and families who house the dogs until they are matched with a forever home. Lynne’s wireless device serves as her mobile office, allowing her to promote the dogs across social channels from wherever she is so they can be placed with families as soon as possible.
“It’s crucial that I can stay connected while traveling through remote areas on the way back from Harlan. I need to communicate with volunteers, families and our social networks about the new rescue dogs,” said Lynne. “I rely on the Verizon 4G LTE network – and never worry about the service. It’s a big reason we’ve been able to rescue on average 560 dogs a year and have already rescued 255 in 2015.”
7,597: Number of Facebook “likes” for Safe Hands Animal Rescue.
Lynne considers Facebook the number-one tool for connecting Safe Hands dogs to homes and resources. When Lynne received news of a dog that had been run over by a car and was in critical condition upon arrival at the Harlan shelter, Facebook was the first place she went to tell the dog’s story. She was able to raise money for the dog’s surgery and hospital stay, and she found it a home within 24 hours by sharing the dog’s story on the social network.
6: Meet and greet events for Safe Hands in June and July.
“Organizing events that allow people to meet the rescue dogs is a critical part in finding forever homes,” Lynne explained. The Safe Hands team uses the project organizing app Trello to stay updated on event plans and to meet remotely.
Safe Hands will be hosting six events in the Twin Cities and surrounding communities in June and July. To learn more about rescue animals and Safe Hands, visit their events page.
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