The Greater Benefits of Pets on Social Media
We deal with stress and trying times in different ways. Some of us rely on animals for the sake of stress management, whether it’s to relax after a long day of work, in preparation for college finals, or what have you. There’s also a medical advantage of having pets, dogs in particular, close to the heart and nowhere has this been more evident than in the recent Facebook events page called, “Photo Doggies for Anthony“.
Anthony Lyons, a 16-year-old teen from Arizona, checks into the Phoenix Children’s Hospital once a month for a condition known as lymphoblastic leukemia. During this time, Lyons undergoes chemotherapy. It’s been said that, in this environment, his mood only improves in the presence of the hospital’s therapy dogs. Unfortunately, these dogs cannot visit each day; this is where the “Photo Doggies for Anthony” page came into being.

The Greater Benefits of Pets on Social Media

The response was nothing short of tremendous, as the page was soon met with a flurry of animal-related posts. The fact that there are over 500,000 posts is nothing short of amazing, as any online marketing firm can attest to. Just about all of the posts in question showcased the pets of the posters, which were met with responses that ranged from simple likes to worded comments of adoration. If there’s one social media fact that most likely won’t change anytime soon, it’s that animals will always get a response. However, whereas most animal-related posts on the Internet are for general purposes, the ones on “Photo Doggies for Anthony” actively helped someone who was in an unfortunate position.
To say that this was an uplifting piece of news, when I read about it, would be an understatement. A condition that requires extensive measures like chemo is nothing to downplay. There’s only so much that others can do, though, but this is where emotional care matters as well as physical care. Of course, dogs weren’t the only pets posted on the page. Along with canines, there were photos of all types of pets, ranging from cats to birds to even pigs. Comfort shouldn’t come in the form of one species and the page took note of this.
Who’s to say if this level of outreach would have been possible without social media? I believe it’d be very difficult but the fact that it can connect everyone, regardless of their interests and backgrounds, is something that can be used for good. As an aside, if you’re not a frequent Facebook user but would still like to get involved in this cause, there’s a “Photo Doggies for Anthony” account on Instagram as well.
What is your take on this story? Have you been involved in either of the “Photo Doggies for Anthony” pages? Please leave your thoughts below!

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 See also: 3 Tips for Better Social Media Productivity in 2015