To the Editor:

November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month and Pet Cancer Awareness month, two holidays that are near and dear to many dog owners, veterinarians, and shelter volunteers, including our team here at Secondhand Hounds. When we began our rescue work 12 years ago, we had no idea how much our mission would resonate with the community. It has been an honor to grow from saving a few hundred animals a year, to a few thousand a year, and we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish that without the encouraging Twin Cities community.

There’s no doubt the pandemic changed the landscape for many. Whether it was adjusting to working from home with the kids, or pivoting your small business, the fallout of the pandemic was felt on a global, national, and local scale. We braced ourselves for the worst, but here at Secondhand Hounds we were blown away by the community’s financial support. Our social media following continued to grow and the donation tool on our Facebook page helped guide supporters to the most direct form of supporting our mission of saving dogs and cats from adverse situations. We have raised almost $4,000 through the donation tool alone, in addition to a whopping $103,000 from adding the donate button to our daily social media posts.

We feel lucky to have such extensive online support. Social media has allowed us to not only to showcase what animals we have up for adoption and their quirky personalities, but to create communication between our volunteers and fosters through Groups and Reels. Our Facebook group for our fosters and our volunteers, which has grown to over 2,000 members, makes contributing to our cause easy. Especially during the height of the pandemic, growing our social media presence has drastically changed the landscape for our community members who share our passion to get involved.

Toss a like on a shelter social media page, look for shelter volunteer opportunities to learn, or sponsor a fundraiser for your birthday. We feel so lucky to exist in a community that consistently supports our mission and shares our passion!

Rachel Mairose

Minnetonka

Rachel Mairose is the founder and executive director of Secondhand Hounds in Minnetonka.

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