The eighth way to help pets is picture perfect


Good photographs for shelter and rescue pets can be literal life savers. Unfortunately, taking those photos and uploading them can take time. That’s where our eighth way to help pets comes in! Volunteer at your local shelter or rescue to take photographs or update pet’s profiles on Petfinder.

When I was in charge of adoption outreach at my old shelter, I loved when volunteers would come in and take photos of the pets. I knew how amazing these animals were, but it was rough to find the time to spend a lot of time with each pet eliciting their awesome personalities and getting the photos that would catch adopter’s attention.

Then there were the volunteers who would clean up and upload the photos and improve the pet’s descriptions on Petfinder. Before I started working at the shelter, I sometimes did this myself — I remember one week when I had the flu and couldn’t have gone to the shelter myself, but I was able to upload the photos and clean up the profiles remotely so even when I couldn’t leave my apartment I could help pets. I’m no longer at that shelter, but I’m still close with many of those volunteers and love seeing the photographs they take and the descriptions they write.


One of the volunteers I’m now lucky to call a friend, started volunteering to take photographs because she wanted to build her portfolio and improve her skills. She knew that she could take photos of her friends’ pets, but that she would be able to improve her skills more by working in the changing conditions at the shelter and the wide variety of pets who most needed her skills.

An additional benefit for the shelter or rescue group is that having a pet with an amazing photograph not only improves the chances that someone will click on the pet from a pet search, but that we might be able to use that photo and promote the pet on our blog, social media accounts or elsewhere. I was at BlogPaws last year and got a number of questions from shelters and rescues about how to get their photographs chosen — every time I told them that we chose photos that captured our attention, the same as adopters. We were looking for personality, clarity and good color. Your photo or your profile update could be what finds a pet his or her next home. That’s pretty amazing.

Will you be taking photos or updating pet’s profiles? Take the pledge to help pets for a chance to win!