To answer the question in the title, 100%. Farm animals require a different level of care than cats, dogs, and small critters that you would typically find in your local shelter do. That’s right, we’re talking about sheep, pigs, goats, llamas, horses- you name it! Many of these animals are rescued from poor living conditions, maltreatment, or they are owner surrendered, but farm animals can still have the biggest hearts and deserve nothing less than a loving, forever home. So how can your organization gain more visibility to make that happen? (Hint: read on!)
Film Your Volunteers in Action
First and foremost, volunteers are such an integral part of animal rescue and shelters. Many organizations would simply have to close their doors if they didn’t have the selfless volunteers that dedicate their time to help the animals. Think about where your organization is now, and then imagine where you could be if more people knew about the incredible volunteer opportunities that you offer!
So how will recording a video of your volunteers help your farm animals? Videos are powerful because they not only visually tell a story, but they also allow for an emotional connection to be made with your audience. When a person can see how he or she will be directly impacting an animal’s life, they are more likely to reach out and get involved.
When recording your video, show all of the different volunteer opportunities at your organization that are related to your farm animals. Are there positions specific to grooming? How about training horses? Maybe you need someone to upkeep the housing enclosures and perform routine maintenance. Again, when a person can see exactly what they could do to help and feel that emotional pull, you are likely to get a great response!
Another feature in your video could be about the different levels of volunteering at your organization. For example, does a brand-new volunteer start at a level one and as they gain more knowledge and experience, they work their way up to a level two, three, and so on? Describe each level and the growth opportunities that potential new volunteers could achieve. Is animal care the highest level? What about animals that are a little more difficult to handle? Show each step and how someone could get there.
Bring Awareness to the Maltreatment of Farm Animals
Unfortunately, many people do not know that the maltreatment of farm animals is an issue. In your video, you could discuss the struggles that many farm animals face. To further that emotional connection we talked about, provide the backstory of a specific animal in your care if you have one, and detail how and why they were rescued by your organization.
Do you have a llama that was abandoned or that was severely malnourished when you found it? How did you nurse him or her back to health, and what can people do to prevent something like that happening again? If someone finds an animal in a similar condition, what should they do? Answer all of these questions and more! Chances are if someone found your video helpful or informational, they will share it with their friends and family on social media and you will gain more exposure.
Secondly, not every shelter or rescue has a farm animal program, so many people do not know that other communities do take them in. Let everyone in your local community know that your organization does care for them, and explain your new animal protocol. For example, can anyone bring a farm animal to you? Do you only accept them from other organizations that you work with? Describe where and how you get your animals. Maybe you’ll find a new partnership!
Teach Others How to Properly Care for Farm Animals
A great video can also be an educational video! Like we mentioned above, since farm animal care looks very different from the care of animals like cats and dogs, create a video teaching people how to properly attend to animals like pigs, horses, and sheep.
What does the housing look like for each animal? Are there certain items or components that the housing should feature? Do certain animals that are kept outside need blankets if temperatures drop below a certain degree? Explain how someone should properly house an animal and answer common questions like the ones we listed above.
We suggest that you explain what kind of food each animal should eat, how often they eat, and any other information you can offer regarding mealtime. Where can someone buy good quality feed, and what are some ingredients that owners should stay away from? Provide the rules that your organization follows and what you recommend others do as well.
What does each type of farm animal require in terms of grooming? Describe the different equipment that an owner would need, and how to use each item. How often should an animal be groomed? You may also want to explain how someone should check for injury or illness.
A Day In The Life
What does a typical day look like for each animal? In your video, explain the level and amount of physical activity that each species requires. If someone is looking to adopt, make sure that your video details how much space an animal would need on a property, as well as how frequently they would need to be taken out for exercise, grooming, or leisure.
Again, educational videos are great because instead of just words, you can physically show a large audience exactly what your expectations are, and what an animal requires. Education and awareness are such an important part of animal rescue!
Advertise the Adoptable Farm Animals In Your Care
Videos can show the personality of an animal so much better than a still photo. Capture the raw personality of each animal, and promote each animal’s adoption video on social media and your website. You may also want to consider creating a professional video of the animal outside of a cage or pen.
If you have an area where the animal can roam around, take a video showcasing him or her when he or she is not stressed out or in a confined area. Those situations allow the animal to truly shine! Videos tend to create more of an emotional response than still photos do, so connect with your community and make them WANT to adopt the farm animals in your care!