Anyone who's been on Twitter has probably come across We Rate Dogs, but not many know Matt Nelson, the man behind the account who uses his Social Media influence to raise money to help canines in need.
According to his GoFundMe page, Nelson made the account as a college freshman. For those unaware of We Rate Dogs (@dog_rates for those looking), it's a twitter account that takes photos of dogs sent to them and attaches a numbered rating out of 10. Normally the rating results in an improper fraction, but that's part of the charm because, according to Nelson, "they’re all better than perfect.”
This is Tully. She made a new friend today. His name is Reginald and he’s kind of shy. Wondering if they could schedule a sleepover. Both 12/10 pic.twitter.com/bS7qCzwHX5— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) April 24, 2019
Slowly, the Twitter account gained more and more traction, eventually hitting around eight million followers, and eventually, he expanded to other platforms. At that time, his account would just rate dogs that owners would send him. But as more and more submissions were sent, he needed to get help to sort through them all. It was a simple, but fun use on Twitter, which isn't always the most positive platform to be on.
Still, We Rate Dogs continued to be a source of joy. Then he learned one of the dogs he featured — a 12-year-old golden retriever—needed a wheelchair that costs around $500 The owner took to the crowdsourced fundraiser site to start a campaign. Nelson figured since he featured the pupper on Twitter before, his followers would recognize the good boy, so he shared the GoFundMe page. In just a few hours, they raised $700.
"I often have to take a step back and realize the influence the account has. The submissions I receive can be emotional," writes Nelson. "Dogs have become such a part of people's families, so for them to send me pictures and tell me more about their dog is an honor."
By 2017, Nelson decided to share campaigns more frequently, and after 88 campaigns, he's helped raise $552,000.
Vet bills are pretty expensive, and unlike humans, dogs can't tell us what's wrong until it's too late. Thankfully, with places like GoFundMe, people can help pitch a little bit to help out with the costs. Nelson's platform is perfect to share campaigns like this too and we here at TheThings commend him for stepping up and using his influence for good. Keep up the good work!