Some people view Facebook as little more than a communication tool for keeping in touch with friends and family. But Lynn Boggs recently turned to the social media platform to find homes for 52 Ohio Thoroughbreds in need. The message she posted on Facebook gained international attention within hours, and all of the horses were placed in new homes within five days.
Boggs' close friend, Daniel C. Stearns, DVM, died on Jan. 27. Instantly, she faced the task of rehoming Stearns' 52 Thoroughbreds. Sterns was a longtime fixture in the Thoroughbred racing community, having worked as a track veterinarian before founding the Ohio Thoroughbred Breeders & Owners. He also served as president of Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protection Association and was an active Thoroughbred breeder at the time of his death.
After Stearns' son dismantled his father's breeding and racing farm, he gave Boggs and her boyfriend, Jerry Noss, a week to find homes for the 52 horses. He planned to send any unadopted animals to auction. Boggs, who owns 10 racehorses herself, posted a plea for help on her Facebook page, and within 10 minutes she had her first response.
Boggs' post spread like wildfire. Countless people reposted it on Facebook, tweeted it on Twitter, and e-mailed it around the globe. One post on Boggs' wall read "How great is Facebook. I am 'friends' with Mike Smith (Zenyatta's jockey) and he actually posted this situation on his wall."
The impromptu Facebook campaign was more successful than Boggs could have imagined–she received more than 4,000 phone calls and hundreds of text messages about the horses.