The Power of Social Networking For Shelter Dogs

For a while, you’ve been listening to me talk about how important it is to network shelter dogs. The more we share, the greater the chances of a shelter dog being saved. I say it numerous times every single day.

In theory, you probably think, that makes sense. But maybe you need to see real proof to really believe it.

Nico is all the proof you need.

All hope lost, Nico sits in a cold LA shelter. Photo by C. Nikki Audet/The Mutt Scouts

The incredibly sad photo above is Nico, a 6 year old deaf Dogo Argentino who was in a Los Angeles animal shelter in the summer of 2009. The photo paints such a heartbreaking picture of a dog’s life on the inside. Nico was broken. Defeated. Done. He had given up and lost all hope, as so many shelter animals do.

It’s a hard photo to look at, isn’t it? But this photograph changed Nico’s life.

When the photograph hit the internet, it broke the heart of everyone who saw it. Thankfully some hearts were broken in a good way. People felt motivated to do something. They wanted to change the ending of Nico’s story.

People started sharing Nico’s photo and his story. And since the internet world is a really small place, word spread like wildfire. Soon Nico was pulled from the LA shelter, even though he was labeled “dangerous” and was believed to have been used for dog fighting.

The kind soul who pulled him planned to take him to her veterinarian to be euthanized, but as she spent time with him, she came to realize there was more to Nico than met the eye. 

{This video is about 8 minutes long, but trust me, it’s worth every second! Please watch it!}

Nico ended up in Noblesville, Indiana, at the shelter where I am a volunteer. He was placed with a wonderful foster mom who taught him how to be a pet. She showed him, probably for the first time in his life, what it was like to be loved

The people who would become Nico’s forever family found his picture on the shelter’s webpage. They took him home and integrated him into their family, and since then they’ve added a canine sister for Nico.

Is this really the same dog?!

Nico’s life hasn’t been without challenges. But he’s worlds away from where he was just 3 short years ago. He’s living the kind of life every dog deserves, with a family that adores him.


Nowadays, Nico is loving life. He’s even got his own Facebook page. And none of this would have been possible without the compassionate souls who networked him as he sat, hopeless, in that Los Angeles shelter.

Nico and sister Brisby.

So the next time you’re perusing Facebook and you come across a photo of a shelter dog, stop. Think about it. Ask yourself how you can help. And then believe that you can make a difference.

{Thank you to Deena Crouch for the photos above!}

Remember, it takes only one tiny spark to start a great forest fire. YOU can be that spark! YOU can put into motion the events that will change a shelter dog’s life.


Won’t you make a difference today? You can start by following our Facebook page, where we save lives every single day!

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Christina Berry

Christina is a wife, mom, Virtual Assistant and Social Media Strategist, Pet Lifestyle Blogger, movie lover, recovering Diet Dr. Pepper addict, and planner junkie. She loves helping bloggers and handmade shop owners create successful businesses, and enjoys advocating for pets by volunteering with her local humane society and a Pit Bull rescue. Learn more about Christina and the mission of The Lazy Pit Bull here.

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  1. I just want to say thank you all for caring about this one lost soul. That’s how it begins…one soul at a time. Nico is a perfect example of how a little effort can change a life! Shelter pets and those in rescue only need love; especially the seniors and special needs pets. They all have so much love to give!!

  2. Awesome story! I remember that day, Nico came across my news feed, my heart sank like I know it did for all who saw & read about his plight. SHARE is such a powerful Button with super quick action & helps so many animals in need. What a great powerful story & update, he looks wonderful!! Thank you for the updates here & on his personal page, he has come so far, from that day of severe neglect, hopelessness & defeat. GREAT JOB BY SO MANY ‘ANGELS’ ALL ACROSS THE WORLD, ESP HIS RESCUER, FOSTER & NEW FAMILY.

  3. Aww, this post made me cry!! I know a Dogo Argentina personally and he is a big baby! Although they are said to be vicious, that is ridiculous. That is like judging a human based on their race. Every person is different, and so is every dog! I share pictures of adoptable dogs online, from the shelter my cousin works at. I wish I could adopt them all, but all I can do is share pics right now. It’s so sad how many Pit Bull type dogs are in the shelter. It’s seriously 90% Pit Bulls, mixes, and other dogs with block-like heads. :(

  4. God bless and comfort you Nico.  May the rest of your days be filled with joy and a lot of spoiling.  A heartfelt thanks to everyone who believes in these wonderful critters.

  5. This is exactly why I adopted 2 shelter dogs.  They live to be with a family they can care for!  So transformative!

  6. This is the reason I ALWAYS share stories of shelter dogs. While I, myself, am unable to adopt, someone out there can, and hopefully, someone from my list of friends will share, and then they’ll share, and so on and so forth until the right person sees it, and adopts!

    Way to go Nico! So happy for you, bud!

  7. Tha’ts so sad for people to assume Nico was a dangerous dog! Humans are the one’s who made him fight and he would not have heard the other dogs cominig at him, it’s not always one on one! I cried when reading this as it is obvious all dogs no matter what just want to be loved. Great outcome for him, as I know a lot of dogs who are deaf get put down as they are just to hard! Good for you guys taking in one deaf dog let alone 2. great outcome for Nico. xxx

  8. What an important message to share! I saw that video of Nico awhile back and was so happy to see how loved he is. To think he could have died alone in a shelter and instead is living the good life with his forever family!

  9. Thank you so much for sharing this…. It gives me hope. And thanks too to all the countless people who have helped him along the way! It warms my heart!

  10. Thank you for visiting my blog as well. What you do is truly amazing. I have added you to the “Blogs I follow” on my page! All the fur babies say thanks for what you do :)

  11. I’m in tears………….this makes it all so worth while.  I know sometimes I wonder if all my cross posting helps………now I know it does!  Bless Nico, his new furever family and his sister, Brisby. May you all have many years of happiness <3  Sharing this feel-good story for sure

  12. Wonderful & thanks to Lilly the Hero Pit Bull for turning us onto this site!  
    I must ask tho, what type of collars are Nico & his sister wearing?  Are they shock collars???

  13. Wow! I remember Nico from when those first pics of him came out of the shelter! And as fate may have it, he is now a neighbor! I moved to Fishers, IN a year ago and have become FB friends with Nico and it wasn’t until now I realized he is the SAME Nico I crossposted about 3 years ago!

  14. I so wish people would think before judging, meet before discounting, and educate before legislating. The bully breeds are probably one of the kindest, most loving breeds alive. They show their dedication to their people by doing what is asked, right or wrong. Please know how much people like the ones who helped Nico are needed for the bully breeds, and they’re needed now. God Bless all of you who helped Nico and the ones that help others.

  15. Thanks for the feedback, and for visiting my blog! I’m glad you enjoyed Nico’s story. I think it’s so important that people realize the power they have, when it comes to networking and sharing shelter dogs.

  16. What a beautiful and inspiring story! I’m a firm believer in the power of social networking. A couple of days ago I won $US 300 for second place in an online sketching contest. (My sketch was of an Argentine Dogo, from the film Bombon el Perro.) I am donating the money to three animal shelters in Portugal. I won through the power of social media. Facebook friends of the shelters as well as many of my Facebook art group friends were responsible for getting me the votes I needed.

    Some of the animal shelter friends have asked if I will enter the October contest as well. I’m considering it. What would be ideal is if many more animal shelters could help with rallying their followers to vote. I could enter the contest each month and, with a strong base of support, it’s feasible that I could win $500 (first prize) each month and donate to all the shelters who pitch in to help with the voting. I could either share the winnings equally each month or pick a different shelter randomly each month.

    Sorry to ramble on here. If you have any thoughts on this idea, I’d love to hear them.

    You can see my blog post about the contest at

  17. Such a BEAUTIFUL story!!! We have a pitbull and she is GORGEOUS and GENTLE and sweetttttttt!! I am happy for Nico :) One small thing (I blame it on my virgo brain) Dogos are not pitbulls *though just as gorgeous and loving)

  18. THIS is a HUGE reason to keep trying to save them to give them forever homes! Save a dog from a shelter — it will change their lives and yours – forever!

  19. What an awesome story! I wish they could all turn out this well. My wife and I foster pits and have had some success stories like this, but there have been some sad endings as well. But that will not stop our efforts to help this most misunderstood breed.