Dolled up in a princess tiara, a pit bull named Marie readied for her close-up.
On a recent Tuesday, shelter volunteer Anna Cambrey and professional photographer Robin Hagy dressed up dogs in tutus, tiaras and bow ties for their weekly photo session, including one pooch appropriately named after supermodel “Elle Macpherson.”
Cambrey settled the dogs against a backdrop of spring-like flowers while Hagy aimed her camera. Elsewhere at the shelter, photographer Hope Harris focused on cats, adorning them with hair ornaments and jewelry.
Gina Knepp, Front Street’s Animal Care Services manager, said showcasing the animals’ personalities with creative portraits attracts more adoptions and overall interest in shelter animals. With 56,000 followers on Facebook, Knepp said the public response has been tremendous. She credits local photographer Anne Williams with launching the idea in 2011.
Knepp says she’s in the business of “used pets,” and marketing them to the community, makes them more desirable and helps the shelter save lives. “Showing them in this light makes them real,” Knepp said. “It’s a way to share with people that these animals still have value.”