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Blind Dog Video Gone Viral
Rescue is more powerful thanks to social media

Rescue has changed a lot since I pulled my first shelter dog a decade ago. There was no Facebook or YouTube to spread the word. I plastered posters at the local coffee shops, preached to fellow obedience club members (tough crowd, that one), and emailed photos to as many friends, family and Yahoo groups as possible.

I remember the birth of Petfinder; the idea that you could search for a shelter dog based on age, gender, size and personality, all from the convenience of your computer was exciting. That was the extent of social media.

Today, more than a million people have viewed "Fiona's Amazing Story" in less than a week. The video documents the discovery of a blind, dirty dog cowering in a trash pile and her dramatic, tail-wagging transformation. Combining the rescue footage with Avril Lavigne's emotionally wrought single, "I'm With You," was brilliant.

While critics might say it's just a commercial for the rescue, Hope for Paws, to get donations, I say, yes, it is. What's wrong with that? They also need people to care about strays and do something about it, like foster parent. Until rescues are put out of business because every dog has a home, there's nothing wrong with showing the public what they do and why help is so desperately needed and appreciated.      

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Julia Kamysz Lane, owner of Spot On K9 Sports and contributing editor at The Bark, is the author of multiple New Orleans travel guides, including Frommer’s New Orleans Day by Day (3rd Edition). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.

SpotOnK9Sports.com

Hope for Paws

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Submitted by Dede | March 29 2012 |

Eldad,of hope for paws, is the real dog whisperer!!! Check it out

Submitted by Andrea | March 29 2012 |

I am a fellow animal rescue volunteer with H.A.L.O. in Oakley, California. First, Fiona is just gorgeous and is so lucky to have been rescued by your group! What a brave thing for all of you.

While the video is compelling and beautiful (anytime you can illustrate a success story, I think it should be used to facilitate donations), I almost did not view it because it did not clearly summarize the video. A friend prompted me to continue. The text leading up to the video is vague (the opening paragraph should mention Fiona and what happened). A re-write of the introductory paragraphs might be beneficial in generating more interstest to your group and future videos (because as you know, no amount of success is enough in the rescue industry).

Thank you for sharing.

Submitted by Carolyn | March 30 2012 |

I saw this video. I thought it was very well produced, and it reminded me of reality TV, in the very best sense. So then I visited the website, really liked what they'd done there -- very involving and compelling -- and downloaded the free ebook book. Again, very well done. The whole message is rebirth and transformation and second chances. That speaks to each of us at a very deep level, I think.

Submitted by Anja | March 30 2012 |

What a great story. I volunteer at the humane center in my town. It's heart warming to know so many people care. Fiona is one of the lucky ones. God bless you for what you did for her.

Submitted by Anonymous | March 30 2012 |

Just wanted to share to all the dog lovers out there a perfect contest for us. This week enter to win a FREE iPad. There is a cute dog photo and you just add a funny caption to enter. Good gift for mom's day or keep for yourself. http://on.fb.me/globelifeins

Submitted by Suzanne | March 31 2012 |

What an amazing transformation!! I can't believe how she looks sooo happy and alive, and grateful! Kudo's to you for helping her!

Submitted by Anonymous | April 13 2012 |

I have been involved in rescue in LA for 10+ years and happen to have the honor of knowing the founders of Hope For Paws - Eldad and Audrey. Their motives are not financial ones, rather a determination to educate the public of the plight of so many stray animals, and the hope to influence people to get involved. Of course they will ask for donations to help fund medical for dogs like Fiona but more so, they just ask people to help. Eldad has been posting his rescue videos for years but just recently something sparked the explosion of Fiona's story and it has been an incredible opportunity to reach people internationally. But Eldad works tirelessly. He answers every call and will drop everything to catch an animal in need - at anytime of the day or night, in areas of the city others wouldn't dare tread.

Submitted by Cali Cheshelski | June 18 2012 |

I like what you wrote supporting Hope for Paws, their efforts, the wonderful work they do. There are some bad rescues out there and if more people like yourself spoke up for the good and/or the bad of the rescues, more people would know the good that is in a Rescue Group such as HOPE FOR PAWS !I live in the Inland Empire and it is always good to know about the Rescue Groups out there and where people can find a good dog without going thru channels that support puppy mills. A story goes viral because of the story, not because someone is trying to make money off it, as seen in this video.
Way to go Hope for Paws <3<3

Submitted by Cali Cheshelski | June 18 2012 |

Yes this video should have gone viral as it did. To see a dirty blind dog that no body cared about. How many people saw this dog and chose to ignore her? - and you know who you are. This is a story about caring, love, compassion. You can not make a story go viral for money or any other reason. The story goes viral because of the story. To see the tranformation with this dog, this dog has a new leash on life and all because of someone who cared enough to swerve off their path. Way to go Hope for Paws. Truly a happy ending seeing her adopted and bouncing all over the place.

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