One of the key things I wanted to showcase with dressing the dogs up is their personality. I really wanted to make them look like people.
This is Arkansas based photographer Tammy Swarek.
She’s been working on a very special project to help find new homes for abandoned dogs.
I’ve dressed everything up. I have always dressed up my dogs since as far as I can remember.
Oh my goodness! Look at you! You look so handsome!
I wanted somebody to see that picture of that dog and have some type of connection with it
that they wouldn’t ordinarily have just by seeing it shut in a cage.
Got it! I think Tammy’s project has been an amazing asset to our shelter, to the perception of the rescue dog.
Because it’s like from rags to riches, you see it, I mean, they’re superstars in these pictures.
After creating these photos, applications to adopt a shelter dog grew immediately.
Adam, look, come on. I’m constantly amazed at how much the dogs love dressing up.
They thoroughly enjoy the one-on-one attention, have a total blast, and we have dogs that do not want the clothes to come off.
Some of the dogs that wouldn’t have any interest at all have had up to a dozen applications each.
There was one that we photographed the other day for this story, his name was Gonzo, and we put him in a little pink-and-black suit.
Within a day that dog was adopted. So being able to be part of that process is definitely my favourite part.
I feel that rescue dogs are perceived as they are not good enough sometimes, or that they are diseased,
and they don’t fit the pedigree dimensions in someone’s mind.
Excalibur was found, she had been shot twice in the head. After months of recovery, all of her scars, they healed.
She was adopted locally, by a family with a little girl and that’s one story that definitely sticks out.
One of the many things I would like this project to change is the general perception of shelter animals,
and when a family makes the decision to adopt an animal that the shelter is their first obvious choice over going to a breeder or a pet store.