Updated: Apr 21
Here at Paws + Tails Pet Photography, I'm a HUGE believer in paying it forward. I feel so blessed to be where I'm at right now — not just in the success of this business, but also just in my everyday life. In 2009, life was feeling rather rough, and I adopted a beautiful rescue cat name Lisa-Lee and it started to change me. I loved taking photos of her and documenting our journey together. Later in the year, I adopted a second cat named Poly-Ana and it was love at first paw. As I enjoyed photographing their adventures, I started thinking about when I adopted them. Lisa-Lee had no adoption photo and I adopted her sight unseen. I told them I was looking for a cat who needed a home the most but was hardest to place - and with that - we were a dynamic duo. Poly-Ana had an adoption photo I found out after I brought her home, but her eyes glowed, the floor was dirty and it was taken looking down on her - and didn't really showcase who she was. It got me thinking about the other adoptable pets on the website as I scrolled through and it was about then I also started learning about Hearts Speak.
Despite photographing amazing pets since 2012, it wasn't until 2015, when I moved to Abbotsford, that I became an official member of Hearts Speak and started helping local rescues by photographing their adoptable pets to help them find a forever home! When I became a member, I joined the over 600+ photographers worldwide who give of their time and talent to help more animals get seen and saved and whom, collectively volunteering more than 25,000 hours per month, Artists Helping Animals members offer creative partnerships that supplement the life-changing work of shelters + rescues in 20 countries across the globe, so that together we can save more lives, even faster.
The best example of the importance of photos for rescue pets can be summed up in the story of Twinkles featured below. The rescue group contacted me because no one had even clicked on her photo for over 3 months despite being a sweet and totally pawsome pup. So, after getting in touch with and coordinating with her PAWMAZING foster paw-rents, we took a walk together with Twinkles around a local lake and took some photos. Within 24 hours I had her photos to the Rescue group and they were immediately posted + shared (both through the rescue + my own website as well) and it wasn't long before they were inundated with adoption applications for this special girl. Within 48 hours, she had an amazing new home and a very happy tail! Rescue photos work and help increase adoptions by 60%! If you are a local rescue group in need of photos - be sure to give me a bark! I'd love to help!
Some of the amazing rescue pets I've had the joy + privilege of photographing and helping to find their amazing forever homes! Each of them has left paw + hoofprints on my heart.
Another way I love giving back is through my Quarterly Featured Charity Program. Each Quarter I feature a new local (animal) non-profit group (or rescue group). 10% of all sales for the Quarter, are donated back to that group. I also feature them in a blog post, try to share as much as possible about them via social media + even try to coordinate a small fundraising event as well for them to lend them a small helping paw. If you're a local non-profit animal rescue group or another type of non-profit animal organization interested in applying to become one of my featured Quarterly Charities - be sure to give me a bark + let's get started spreading the word + lending you a helping paw today!
Lastly, I also donate to local silent auction fundraising events for local non-profits who are raising money for a great local cause. If you're in need of a donation, be sure to give me a bark and let's see what we can arrange to lend you a helping paw!
I know these are small ways to give back, but I also know that small things can make an impact. I’ll leave you with this beautiful Mother Teresa quote: "None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful."