Animal lovers concerned by an animal control agency’s withdrawal of cooperation on the social networking of shelter animals are reaching out to the community and asking for help with a petition.
Former volunteers with Minneapolis Animal Care & Control, rescuers, animal advocates and others are upset that MACC has decided stop cooperating with the Friends of MACC Facebook page, which has posted good quality images of animals available for adoption or rescue online, along with descriptive information about the pet.
MACC says that with their own new webpage up and running,there is no need for them to work with the Facebook page any longer. They say they can provide up to date status information on the animals, and anyone can share their photo postings.
Those who feel the Friends of MACC Facebook page’s better quality photos and description details helped to place animals in rescue, foster or forever homes, thereby saving lives, are upset with the change.
Cheryl Anderson, a former volunteer with Minneapolis Animal Care and Control, who runs the Friends of MACC Facebook page, told a KARE news crew, “We’re still trying to figure that out,” as to why the shelter no longer wants to work with her page.
“The one thing [MACC] never really enjoyed about the Facebook page is some of the notoriety it brings them when animals are euthanized,” said Anderson, referring to a Rainbow Bridge photo album in remembrance of the animals euthanized by the shelter. “That would cause a lot of stir, a lot of complaints,” she added.
Anderson and other advocates have started a petition (link below), asking the city to reconsider their decision.
The petition’s description states:
Since it’s inception, the Friends of MACC Facebook page has proven invaluable to the animals at Minneapolis Animal Care & Control when it comes to utilizing social media to for networking and providing visibility that helps these animals find adoptive and foster homes and ultimately helps them live.
The page is run by a dedicated group of former MACC volunteers who have slowly been forced out, and recently the volunteers at MACC were completely prohibited from contributing information or photos to this public site or risk being fired.
MACC has implemented a shelter-management software system that interfaces with their city website that has no social media presence to speak of and limits the information on their animals to that site alone. They feel this is a better option than the Facebook page that is already in place and has a following of over 10,000 people. Only one photo is allowed, and limited details are available as to the personality of the animals.
We are asking for your support to show how important social media is to the networking of animals in need, and hope you will join us in bringing attention to this matter. Without our page, animals will die at MACC without the opportunity to find forever homes. This is a huge step backward in the fight to get more animals out of MACC alive.
We are pleased that MACC has a way to provide real time information on the animals in their possession, but there is no reason to not allow the fMACC page to continue as well as a compliment to their page.
All we are asking for from MACC is the permission for volunteers to send photos and feedback/descriptions of the animals to our administrators as they have in the past, as well as MACC to provide periodic updates as to the outcome of the animals in their care.
Please share our petition and help these animals.
Watch the KARE report on the story:
As you may know, the City recently unveiled a revamped Minneapolis Animal Care & Control website where animals are featured for adoption and as a way for owners to see if their missing pet has been found by MACC.
Previously, the Friends of MACC Facebook page, which was originally created by a volunteer and not an official City site, was used to highlight animals up for adoption and the information shared was directly obtained from MACC. Our new website features the most accurate, real-time
information for all of the adoptable and lost animals at MACC and allows for more animals to be seen online than ever before. Lost animals did not appear on any site prior to the city’s website. Now that MACC is able to highlight photos and bios of animals on its own website, it became clear that doing so on the City’s official web pages and social media accounts (City of Minneapolis Facebook/Twitter) would be the best option. This also allows volunteers to share whatever they liked on our website with the Friends of MACC page (or any other page for that matter) in their personal capacities.
Photographs and descriptions of the animals will still be handled by MACC volunteers, such that Friends of MACC (or any other interested group) can still visit the City’s website to share as many of the photos and descriptions of adoptable dogs, cats, rabbits, etc. on their page
as they wish.
You may have heard from some folks that we’re trying to restrict people’s access to photos and information about the pets at the shelter. Our new system actually makes it easier for anyone to share photos and information about the adoptable and lost pets at our shelter
– it’s all on the public website.
This new system just provides a level of oversight on the content to ensure that it is current and accurate, something the previous system did not allow.
Just like us, our volunteers are passionate about the work they do with our animals and it’s always been our goal to create great outcomes for the animals in our care. We will continue to work with our volunteers and partner organizations to make sure this happens.