Social media is a great tool, but be careful out there

Social media has provided the Humane Society of the Black Hills (HSBH) with affordable and effective tools to reach thousands of people concerned about animal welfare and the challenges of managing the unwanted animal populations in our communities.

But just recently, the HSBH was made aware of events generated from social media platforms which were designed to, apparently, mislead other users. Both of these events referenced the local humane society and neither was legitimate.

At the HSBH, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are used to say thanks to those who have donated time and supplies, highlight adoptable animals, and tell our story day in and day out.

Unfortunately, with 2.2 billion active users on Facebook alone, it’s not surprising there are questionable characters out there misusing others’ good names.

So, in light of the two recent events – one suggesting action was needed to release a fictitious animal, and, the other suggesting a group was taking in multiple puppies to save them from euthanasia – we want to remind our friends how we use social media, and how we don’t.

The Humane Society of the Black Hills doesn’t use social media to share financial or personal information. If you receive a notice on your social media platform that that has happened, be extremely skeptical and either:
• Call (605) 394-4170 and speak with a representative; or,
• Stop down and see us in person at 1820 E. St. Patrick Street.

The HSBH won’t conduct private business on social media; the HSBH won’t request reclaim funds via social media. If you receive a message via social media that the HSBH needs money from you, has an animal in the shelter, or needs personal financial information from you, call us or stop down because it’s very, very unlikely it’s legitimate.

The goal of the HSBH is to care for the unwanted animals in our community. If you ever receive a message or see a post that is counter to that thinking, be skeptical.

The HSBH is an open admission shelter and, last year, took in 5,227 animals. That was accomplished with a supportive community, a dedicated board of directors, and employees that gave it all and a little more sometimes to keep things working. That is a lot of positive energy we don’t want to see derailed by misrepresentations on social media.

Call us or stop down if you ever have questions about the operation, the animals, or how we’re using social media.