A good photo can make a huge difference in the life of a shelter animal.
A dog that is photographed looking scared, hunched over or aggressive behind the kennel bars may not be seen as a suitable family pet, and as a result they get passed over by potential pet parents. But the reality is 99.9% of dogs that find themselves in “dog jail” are terrified or anxious and aren’t acting like themselves at all.
Passionate photographers like Natalia Leva are boosting the adoption rates of homeless pets by snapping photos of them outside of that clinical setting and, in the process, helping people see them in a new light.
Leva is part of a beautiful new photo campaign for pet owners called “Four legged flower power” that adorns dogs with stunning floral wreaths to raise awareness of rescue animals and their plight. It’s inspired by the stunning work of New York-based photographer Sophie Gamand, who pioneered the unique style of “Flower Power“: photographing pitbulls with flowers. In her two year campaign, she’s photographed hundreds of dogs, and is responsible for many happy adoptions.
For $40, dog owners in Vancouver can sign up for a 30-minute photo shoot that captures the beautiful spirit of their pet, while raising critical funds to help a dog rescue group.
The upcoming photo sessions are a joint project between Natalia Leva Photography, Floretta Flowers Studio and Big & Small Rescue Society, which saves dogs stuck in the shelter system in California and rural Canadian communities (Disclosure: One of my dogs came from Big and Small).
“Dogs in shelter systems are always so poorly photographed, so our message here is that ALL dogs are beautiful. A floral wreath and a romantic backdrop somehow conveys the sweetness,” a spokesperson for Big and Small Rescue told Vancity Buzz.
Big and Small is currently raising donations to rehabilitate Kody, a German shepherd puppy they sprung from shelter that suffered a broken leg from being hit by a car.
The photo shoots are taking place in Vancouver on April 23, and May 14 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 225-196 West 3rd Avenue (Between Columbia St. and Manitoba St.) Pet owners can sign up on the website for Big and Small Rescue. Spaces are limited, so get your name in fast.
You can learn more about Big and Small Rescue and their adoptable pets on their Facebook page.
And check out some of the amazing “Flower Power” series that New York photographer Sophie Gamand took in a bid to change the ways society views pit bulls, which she calls a “highly misunderstood” breed.