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photo contest slideshow
Storm brewing
Pray for Freedom
A beggar while driving
Learn to fly
View of the Sossusvlei
Horses under the shadow of trees
Red Indian Dance
Passionate dance
Dragonfly perched on branch
a beautiful sunrise in Bali
Shelter Pets Project - Peggy Sue
Shelter Pets Project - Sammer Jammer
Shelter Pets Project - Precious
Jellison Bridge
Shelter Pets Project - General Patton
Shelter Pets Project - McKenzie
Shelter Pets Project - Gonzo
Hippo -in Amboseli National Park - Kenya
Photo taken while on vacation at Caracol Eco Resort Riiarea Maya Mexico
Mutomboko - War dance of the Luba-Lunda Empire
Shelter Pets Project - Midnight
14th Annual Photo Contest
Shelter Pets Project - Peggy Sue

Last year my photography partner, Tammy Michael, and I began volunteering at our local animal shelter, Union County Animal Protection Society (UCAPS). We provide them with fine art/fashion portraits of their pups in hopes of increasing their chances for adoption and the perception of rescue animals. The response to the Shelter Pets Project has been remarkable. So far over 100 have been photographed. Eighty percent of the animals we have photographed have either been adopted, transferred to another shelter or have multiple pending adoption applications. We want to change the way the shelter animals are perceived. The common perception is that these animals are unworthy, discards from others or that they have health issues. It is true that most have been discarded and abused by people, but that has nothing to do with the animal and everything to do with us. We allow that to happen by not creating stricter laws with tougher penalties and insisting they are enforced.

Every animal we have photographed at UCAPS is amazing. Each one has such a different personality and disposition. We wanted to showcase that and did so by dressing them up accordingly. Over the past year, Shelter Pets Project has become a viral campaign. We have had the privilege of photographing these dogs in couture fashion from top designers in New York City. These dogs are regularly featured on Vogue Italia’s website as well as Vanity Fair, NY Post, Good Morning America and countless other media outlets.

Ms. Peggy Sue is a five-year-old papillon that was found wandering the streets of Union County, Arkansas. After a month of multiple attempts through social media to locate an owner, no one came forward. She was then put up for adoption at UCAPS. Peggy Sue soon found her new family and is in a loving home. When we first saw Peggy Sue, we fell head over heels for her. She had a royal appearance, and she held her head high despite everything she had been through in the past. We decided she deserved to be a queen in her photograph.

This photo is a finalist in the Altered Images category of our 14th Annual Photo Contest. See all 70 finalists here.

TAGS: Arkansas

photographer avatar
El Dorado, Arkansas, United States of America
Member since 2015
Photo of the Day: 03.28.17 Editors' Pick Finalist
Photo Information
© Tammy Swarek.
All rights reserved.
Image Source: digital
Date Taken: 03.2016
Total Views: 6272
Filed Under: Altered Images
Camera Information
Date Uploaded: Sept. 18, 2016, 11:14 a.m.
Camera Make: Canon
Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Focal Length: 50mm
Shutter Speed: 1/200
Aperture: f4
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PHOTO LOCATION El Dorado, Arkansas, United States of America