TikTok star uses app to help find hundreds of dogs new homes
- Credit: Hollie Smith
A 26-year-old with more than 84,000 followers on TikTok says the social media app has helped her to find homes for hundreds of rescued dogs.
Hollie Smith, from Thetford, helped set up Pride Animal Rescue in Suffolk in September last year.
Her passion to save animals started when she adopted her second dog, Prince, in 2020 after he had been rescued from a kill shelter in Romania.
Following this, Ms Smith was asked if she would be interested in fostering another dog which had also been brought over to the UK. And since then, she hasn't been able to stop.
Ms Smith has since fostered around 50 dogs and started volunteering with a rescue centre — taking on their social media to help find new homes.
The 26-year-old also regularly updated her own TikTok account as she documented each dog’s journey — but she did not realise just how popular her videos would become.
“I think TikTok is the biggest social media platform at the moment,” said Ms Smith.
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“I only ever used it for fun but one day I uploaded a video of a dog being returned to our shelter. I woke up the next day and it had 10.2 million views and adoption applications from all over the world.
“My TikTok went mad. It made me realise how powerful it is and I thought how many other dogs could get rehomed from this platform.
“I share each dog’s journey starting at the kill shelter in Romania to them being brought to us here and people become really invested in that dog and their story. Every dog I upload on TikTok I always get an application to adopt them.”
Since then, Ms Smith — who left her job at Tesco — started working at Kings Farm Kennels in Eye, where she met kennel owner Chris Coe, and Jade Armson and together, they decided to set up Pride Animal Rescue.
As well as homing dogs in the UK, the rescue – which is awaiting charity status — also works closely with partners in Romania to save dogs from kill shelters after suffering neglect and often abuse.
In the future, Pride Animal Rescue — based at Kings Farm Kennels — hope to open another shelter in the UK and in Romania.
For more information or to adopt a dog you can visit their website here: https://www.prideanimalrescue.com/ .