These two sweet dogs are available for adoption and were recently photographed by StudioFido Photography. Sadly, they aren’t in foster homes patiently waiting for their forever families to find them, instead they are in Saginaw County Animal Care Center which has more dogs than it has resources. It is not a “no kill” shelter, but instead one where when a dog’s time is up, he or she may be destroyed. I’m asking for your help to find these two a home, or at least a safe haven until their families find them. I don’t know how much time they have. The volunteers at Saginaw County Animal Care Center are awesome and will work with other rescue groups to help find homes for their animals.
Sweet Babe is about two years old and 35 pounds. He reminds me of Petey from the Little Rascals. He appears to be about 2 years old and weighs around 35 pounds. According to his petfinder profile “Babe is very sweet and loves to sit by your side and get all the love and attention you can provide! He isn’t too interested in playing but perks up when he sees another dog. He will make a wonderful companion.”
Olivia arrived as a stray. She’s believed to be just under a year old, outgoing and playful. She gets along well with other dogs.
Patrick and Trish have been volunteering their services at the Saginaw County Animal Care Center for about a year. Here are some of their tips for helping animals find their forever homes.
From Trish: “We bring camera gear (no backdrops or lights) and do as many pics possible within the constraints of a couple hours. The pics are then posted to their Facebook page, Petfinder and other online sources for the animals to get exposure and hopefully get adopted. For those wondering, this is done as a volunteer thing, not a paid gig. We’re paid when we hear of the animals getting adopted. While the concept of a pro (or amateur) photographer taking pics for adoption promotion isn’t brand new, it’s a practice getting more widespread. Groups like HeARTSpeak provide a national member directory for shelters seeking photography help. And, while most shelters are burdened with other tasks, it makes sense to partner with a dedicated photographer to do the pics if possible.
A few background notes on the process:
#1. We specialize in dog photography.
That’s a big factor here. I once heard a volunteer from another rescue see our photos (and wanting a photographer for their shelter) exclaim, “I’ll ask XYZ Photography to do it! They took pics of my kids and they’re awesome!” The truth? If XYZ specializes in newborns/kids and has no experience with animals (let alone shelter animals) chances are slim they will be a good fit. If you can find a photog that has proven experience with pet photography and a true desire for the cause, you (and the animals) will be better off.
#2. With the dogs, we do their photos outside.
It gives them a chance to get out of their cage, go potty, sniff, run and play. The natural light is also WAY better. While some photogs choose to do as interior only with backdrop/lights, this method works better for us. A very important thing to remember, these are SHELTER animals. Being able to take a great pic of the family dog is irrelevant. Shelter dogs are STRESSED. It’s LOUD. They smell DEATH. They’re normally confined to a small cage for most of their day and want OUT. To let them out of a cage just to usher them into another room and make them sit/pose can be asking a lot.
#3. Doing the shelter pics goes smoother (with higher volume) if you have other volunteers’ help.
We try to assembly line it as much as possible, and having 2-3 volunteers do the transferring makes a WORLD of difference. If the volunteers can walk the dogs ahead of time, bonus. Pups are way more relaxed when it’s time for photos.
#4. We spend anywhere from 5-15 minutes per animal.
Some are easier to work with than others and that’s just the way it is. As for motivation, we use treats, belly rubs and love.
Our priority in shooting is to either obtain a great face shot, or one that highlights their best asset, like their ears.
We tried our hands at kitty pics (below). If you’re more of a dog person (like we are), it’s an absolute must that you get the help of a cat person. One of the lovely “cat ladies” suggested just placing them backwards on her shoulder. That worked out great and went pretty fast.
It is not an easy job by any means. We often return home with sore muscles, dirty clothes and some mad pouting from our own dogs (because ya know, we were cheating on them).
You can read more about Trish and Patrick’s process on their blog.
From Trish: “We are completely aware that the photos can’t and don’t save them all. But, we have experienced the joy (more than once) of adopters saying things like, “I saw that pic and had to have him,” or someone who travels from out-of-state to adopt an animal—all based on a photo. Getting feedback like that helps a lot. That, and spending time with the animals, even if just for a few minutes. They have no idea what a camera or social media is, but they are SO grateful for the time and attention.”
If you have the opportunity to foster or volunteer in any way with an animal shelter, I recommend it as the rewards go both ways. If you aren’t able to do that, I hope you’ll help in any way you can, whether its financial donations and simple sharing on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Remember, dogs don’t know if people like their photos, but they sure love having homes! Sometimes sharing can make the difference between life and death for these animals.
About StudioFido Photography: Based in Michigan, StudioFido is creative pet photography that’s all about capturing the true personality of pets on location. Husband and wife Patrick and Trisha Hadley are the humans behind StudioFido. As for their dogs, Sadie is in charge of Visitor and Delivery Announcements while Bella heads up the Lunchtime Awareness Committee. StudioFido is proud to be a member of HeARTs Speak, an organization that connects artists and rescues to promote pet adoption.