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The Squeaky Toy Gets the Dog

How the power of social media was a game changer for the Escambia County Department of Animal Welfare.

5,000+ Dog Toy Donations Line the Halls

Sometimes social media can be overwhelming. We miss things we want to see and end up seeing things that make us wonder what the algorithm is thinking. But at its best social media can be a powerful tool, especially for nonprofits with little to no extra money for marketing or fundraising campaigns.


The Escambia County Department of Animal Welfare recently experienced the impact of social media when a toy drive went from bust to boom. With an abundance of animals in shelter, the department held a toy drive from August 1 to September 1.

On September 6, the shelter posted that they only received 100-200 toys, more than 800 short of their original goal of 1,000 toys. The post which began “Sadly we did not even hit 1/4 of our goal for the toy drive…” soon went viral with almost 2,000 shares.

Within just a couple of days, Amazon boxes lined the halls. Donations for toys rolled in from all over the United States! At the time of their public posting, 5,784 toys were donated. In addition, spirits were lifted and a belief in humanity was restored. They are still receiving packages and support daily.

If you are a business or non-profit organization, don’t underestimate the power of social media as a part of your marketing, fundraising, or customer service toolkit. The right story or call to action at the perfect time can pawsitively impact your bottom line.

The Escambia County Department of Animal Welfare is always seeking residents interested in serving as a foster or volunteer. If you are interested in helping the department in this way, please visit the website for more: https://myescambia.com/our-services/animal-welfare