North Shore Animal League's celebrity spokeswoman Beth Stern has helped more than 100 kittens find homes on Long Island through her efforts as one of the shelter's prominent foster moms. While the shelter promotes adoptions through events and fundraisers, Stern has recently found success another way -- through Instagram.
With 150,000-plus followers on Instagram alone, she says reaching out to prospective adopters through social media has helped her find homes for the foster kittens.
"Putting the pictures of the animals up there, I'm able to find them homes so easily and it really is a beautiful, magical combination that's working out," Stern told Newsday at North Shore Animal League's Lewyt Humane Awards last week.
Pictures of her many foster kittens flood her Instagram feed daily. And that includes images of her husband, Howard Stern, cuddling and playing with them too. Each photo brings in hundreds of comments begging Beth Stern for the chance to take one of them home.
But it's not all that easy. There might be hundreds of social media users who are willing to adopt the kittens, but they still have to pass the shelter's background check.
"We take our adoption process really seriously," she said. "I know my little ones are not just getting homes, but incredible ones."
Not only is her social media presence helping find homes for the felines, but it's also helping the shelter rescue them. Stern's most recent foster cat, Buddy, who had undergone eye surgery, is a favorite of her followers. And, she actually rescued him thanks to one of those followers.
"Somebody wrote to me on my Instagram and said he had found a kitten that didn't look good," Stern said. "I met him and I got the kitten. He had a severe infection in his eyes and he had to have both eyes removed."
Just like every kitten that pops up on her feed, her followers are itching at the opportunity to adopt Buddy.
"I'm looking to find the perfect situation for him. There are so many people that want him," she said. "But I'm waiting until I feel the right situation has come along, then they will get my Buddy Boy."