One of my favorite things to do is to take shelter dogs out of their kennel and spend some time photographing them in the studio. It's a great way to illustrate that there are healthy, smart, beautiful and unique purebreds and mixed breeds available for adoption everywhere.
While walking through a rescue, it's clear to see that dogs are very stressed even at the best rescues with comfortable accommodations and a staff that works incredibly hard to make the animals comfortable during their stay. Some of the animals cower in fear while others aggressively defend themselves while in confinement - a clear manifestation of the stress the animal is experiencing while in confinement.
Once we get the dog out the cage and into the studio, it usually only takes a few moments of play and treats before the fear and stress subsides and the animal reveals its true personality. Often we'll discover that the beautiful dog before us is well trained and knows every trick in the book. I often find myself asking, "What are you doing here?" It's heartbreaking to meet a dog that was clearly cared for by a caring owner and now finds itself living in a shelter waiting to be rescued. Some very good dogs find their way into a shelter or rescue after their caretaker dies, because of financial or housing reasons or simply after getting lost.
While it’s absolutely heartbreaking having to wrestle them back into their kennel after bonding with them, I can take solace in the knowing that they'll likely get adopted because of the extraordinary efforts of the caring pet lovers at rescues and shelters.
These before and after pictures illustrate the heart warming transformation of dogs from kennel to the studio. Please take the time to visit a shelter in your area before visiting a breeder or especially a puppy mill. You'll discover absolutely wonderful mixed breeds and purebreds deserving of a loving home. Take one home and you'll experience the special and very real bond that develops between an animal and the person who rescued them.
About the author. Andrew Grant is a commercial advertising, magazine, portrait and dog photographer. His coffee table book of dogs, titled Rover, raises money for pet rescues across the country. His efforts has helped to generate donations of over one million dollars to rescues. Visit RoverWorks.org to discover how you can have your purebred or mixed breed dog photographed by Andrew and featured in the next edition of Rover.
Andrew supports rescues in Jackson Hole, WY, Washington, DC, Vail, CO, Park City, Utah, Telluride, CO, Seattle, Washington, Scottsdale, AZ, Savannah, GA, Aspen, CO, Atlanta, GA, Austin, TX, Beaver Creek, CO, Boston, MA, Carmel, CA, Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Healdsburg, CA, Houston, TX, Laguna Beach, CA, Las Vegas, NV, Miami, FL, Milwaukee, WI, Minneapolis, MN, Monterey, CA, Napa, CA, Naples, FL, Nashville, TN, New York, NY, Newport Beach, CA, Orange County, CA, Palm Beach, FL, Palo Alto, CA, Pebble Beach, CA, Pittsburgh, PA, Plano, TX, Portland, OR, San Diego, CA, San Francisco, CA, San Jose, CA and Santa Barbara, CA.