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Shelter dogs benefit from the power of a photo

Jan. 16, 2013, 4:37 p.m.
before and after photo of rescue dog Taco

Photo: HeARTs Speak

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Taco: Grass is more relaxing than that scary room

Another unfortunate reality is that rescue facilities can be scary for the animals that wind up there. It is a safe place where the only goal is to love and care for the animals, but it's also loud, active and filled with strange smells of the forever-changing lineup of other anxious animals. A shelter trying to snap a quick photo of the dog for the adoption profile might not be using the best strategy if the resulting photo is of a timid, scared or wary animal — the kind of animal a potential owner might hesitate to meet. Many HeARTs Speak photographers work within shelter walls, but they focus on capturing the animal showing its loving, curious or relaxed side — personality traits that future owners are more likely to respond to in their pet search.