Happy Valentine’s Day! On this day dedicated to those whom we love, I wanted to share with you a site that is fast becoming a new love of mine. Back in my teaching days (read: single carefree days), I donated a lot of my time to a local animal shelter. It was a way for me to get my dog fix before I could get a dog of my own, and I loved being able to liberate the dogs from their cages to go for a nice doggy stroll. One of the tough parts about volunteering, though, is to see the same dogs at the shelter week after week. Although you enjoy seeing a familiar furry face on a return visit, it is bittersweet; ultimately, you want these dogs to find a home. Those of you who have searched the online forums and shelter sites to find your new best friend will nod in agreement that the photos of the pets are, well….sad. And when you are trying to get folks to adopt homeless animals, posting photos that call attention to an animal’s unfortunate circumstances may get you sympathy and some donations, oftentimes it doesn’t lead to adoption. So I am delighted to share this site that I found: Focus On Rescue.
Before she even launched the site, Dallas professional photographer, Teresa Berg, volunteered her skills and created portrait-style photography to showcase available shelter animals with the hope of increasing adoption rates. It worked. Adoption rates went up, subsequently cutting down the time that the animals spent in the shelter. Having been a volunteer, I can say that no matter how nice the shelter, there is nothing better for these pets than to find a real home. Teresa’s site not only showcases some of the work she’s done, but also gives free tutorials for photographers (professional and aspiring) who might share her passion for pet adoption and could in turn offer similar services to their local shelters.
The photos say it better than I, and perhaps will inspire you to help your canine friends on this day of love.
This dog looks so much like my parents’ wonderful shelter dog, Gracie, who they are still mourning after a long (but always too short) life together:
All images from Teresa Berg Photography