Anyone who has experienced walking along the Squirrel Trail, the path behind the Main Hall, or any part of Korea University (KU), will have noticed the adorable cats or puppies that live on campus. There are cats with all sorts of different appearances—the spotted, striped, or ones with orange fur or black fur. They are extremely popular among KU students as well, and many enjoy taking pictures of them. The cats of KU even have a single Instagram page devoted to them, which is run by the members of the KU Cat Shelter.
▲ PROVIDED BY KU CAT SHELTER
One of the recent Social Networking Service (SNS) trends is “Petstagram.” Petstagram, a term coined by combining pet and Instagram, refers to a type of Instagram account that is devoted to pets. It is mostly filled with pictures of the account holder’s pets for followers to enjoy. Petstagram is also an ongoing trend in KU; cats living on campus have their own Instagram account, which has pictures that show them in various places around campus. Well-known cats of KU, such as Bboddo, Jjajangyi, and Injeolmi are the stars of the account. It is currently run by the SNS team of the KU Cat Shelter.
KU Cat Shelter’s Petstagram opened in July of this year. The most basic function of this Petstagram is uploading the best photos of the street cats that live around KU to let followers know about the cats’ daily lives. “Most of the photos that are uploaded are taken by members of the KU Cat Shelter,” stated the organization. The photos include captions that identify each cat by its name. The uploaded contents include videos of the cats, and the organization also holds live Instagram video sessions of the cats.
While these kinds of functions are shared by many other Petstagrams, there are other roles that KU Cat Shelter’s Petstagram take on that make it unique compared to other accounts. KU Cat Shelter’s Petstagram receives reports when people try to harm the cats, and alerts followers on the incident along with the information on the punishment they would receive according to the law. The organization also advertises company-hosted events that help improve the living conditions of the cats of KU. For instance, it promoted an event held by Auction. This event provided one kilogram of cat food to a university street cat organization for every post with the designated hashtag. Using these methods, KU Cat Shelter’s Petstagram not only shares the adorable images of the cats, but also looks out for the cats’ well-being.
KU Cat Shelter’s Petstagram is not the first SNS account that the organization has run. Originally, it managed a Facebook page, which was started in 2015. The page’s contents cover most of the organization’s activities. One type of the Facebook page’s posts is about cats that need adoption or temporary protection. This type of post is uploaded in order to find volunteers to care for them. “When these people contact us through Facebook, we connect them with the presidents of KU Cat Shelter to help them with the adoption or protection process,” explained the organization. The page is even more devoted to doing beneficial work for the cats, more so than the Petstagram, as it is the original account.
Petstagram is a delightful way to share photos of animals, and take joy in watching their daily lives. KU’s most prominent Petstagram, the Instagram account of KU Cat Shelter fulfills that role dutifully, and it also does other work as well, such as promoting events for the cats and reporting cat abuse. Along with its Facebook account, it strives to improve the lives of the cats residing at KU.