Hillsborough volunteers help dogs social network their way to ne - WFLA News Channel 8

Hillsborough volunteers help dogs social network their way to new homes

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Volunteer Kathy Kirkpatrick logs more than 40 hours a week on Facebook to help stray dogs find new homes. Volunteer Kathy Kirkpatrick logs more than 40 hours a week on Facebook to help stray dogs find new homes.
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

The power of Facebook is helping hundreds of Hillsborough County dogs get a second chance at life.

Tamar Barry started the Rescue Me Tampa— Shelter Dogs page on Facebook in her spare time. The aerospace design engineer says it quickly turned into a second full-time job.

"Not only have we have we helped the dogs, but we've opened a lot of eyes and that's another one of our goals," said Barry.

More than 4,300 people now "like" the page. Barry said she spends nearly every weekend at Hillsborough County Animal Services. She photographs adult dogs she thinks would make great pets, but are often overlooked and euthanized.

"People think that because a dog is in a shelter there's something wrong with them, but that's not true at all," said Barry.

Volunteer Kathy Kirkpatrick, who also works a full time job, says she's now logging at least 40 each week posting pictures and descriptions of adoptable dogs onto the page.

"We're up at all hours of the night and sometimes we save a dog at 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning," said Kirkpatrick.

Don Barco adopted a dog last weekend after spotting her picture on the Rescue Me Tampa page. He said the black lab mix caught his eye because she look similar to his dog, Shadow, who passed away in July.

"At the shelter they had named her Shadow, which just blew me away," said Barco.

Barco brought his new Shadow home Saturday and renamed her Bella. He said she is adjusting well. Barco thanks the power of social media networking for making the match between his family and a stray at the shelter.

"There's a growing awareness that we need to be responsible for animals," said Barco.

Barry and Kirkpatrick have featured 750 dogs on their Facebook page so far. More than 600 of the dogs have been adopted or picked up by rescue organizations. They just created similar pages, which feature cats and rescue dogs in need of permanent homes.

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