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Marketing for animal rescue advocates: SEO, Social Media, Fundraising  & Blogging Tips To Save Lives. Marie Macaspac is the ARM's founder. She is also the Marketing Director for Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco, CA. ARM is a  resource to help other rescues learn the value of marketing to increase adoptions, donations and visibility. Together, we'll save more animals!

"The Chelo Effect": What's It Like To Have Your Story Go Viral


At Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, we are still on cloud nine as we recover from the massive response received as a result of this post we published on Muttville's Facebook page on March 7, 2014.  Our office staff was sorting paperwork of new doggy arrivals to Muttville. Office Manager Kristin Hoff was shocked to read the surrender form that accompanied a senior mutt named Chelo. Kristin shared the form with Program Manager Jolene who then shared it with our fans online.

Click the image above to read the shocking Surrender form.

Click the image above to read the shocking Surrender form.

Like wildfire, the story spread across hundreds and then thousands of Facebook pages and personal profiles. Within hours, it reached over 10,000 people!

That was just the beginning. The story was picked up by and the reach tripled. also shared Chelo's story which received over 37,000 Likes. Susie's Senior Dogs on Facebook re-posted Chelo's photo, and within hours, it received over 5300 shares.

Muttville's Facebook page received over 3000 new Likes in 3 days and had a surge of traffic - nearly 30,000 visits in three days. Four days after the story was introduced, almost 1 million people knew Chelo's story. Safe to say, Chelo officially had gone viral!


Chelo received adoption applications from all over the nation, plus donations in his honor, including one from Brazil! Could it get any better? YES! Chelo awaited to hear who would be his lucky new family. The announcement and photo of Chelo with new mom Molly extended the momentum for a few more days. Susie's Senior Dogs shared the good news. The happy update received a record-breaking 13,000+ likes!

Muttville received dozens of messages thanking us for saving Chelo. His story brought us new admirers, which gave the Muttville Communications team a valuable opportunity to educate people with this important message: Chelo is just one of MANY dogs rescued from horrific situations. Muttville has many more senior dogs who deserve the same new beginning like Chelo.

How has Muttville benefited from the "Chelo Effect"? Thanks to Chelo, our now most famous rescue, Muttville's Facebook page has received record-breaking Likes on its most recent photos. Sally's photo with her new family received 1,248 Likes. With the increase in fans and subscribers, that means more people will hear and share our stories. More people will donate, adopt, and volunteer. More people will give homeless senior dogs the new beginning they deserve.