Help more
Share us!

April Feagley’s Pet Purrspectives

April FeagleyIn addition to being the community editor/staff writer at The Daily News in her hometown of Huntingdon, PA, April Feagley has been helping the Huntingdon County Humane Society since January 2013 by taking great photos of adoptable pets for the shelter to use. As a result of her tireless efforts to snap great photos of shelter animals to increase adoptions, April has compiled and released the book, Pet Purrspectives, with all proceeds going back to the Huntingdon County Humane Society. Regarding Pet Purrspectives, April tells us:

“As I began taking photographs of the cats and dogs at the humane society, I found myself accumulating a large cache of outtakes that were simply too cute to delete. I put funny captions on a few and posted them on Facebook. When I realized people enjoyed seeing them, the idea of self-publishing a collection of the captioned photos evolved. I approached the shelter’s fundraising committee and they wholeheartedly supported the idea, and the book, Pet Purrspectives, was born. I worked on collecting and captioning more photos, then moved on to laying the pages out and designing the cover art. The book was completed toward the end of July and is currently available for purchase on and at the shelter’s location in Huntingdon, PA. All proceeds from the book go directly to the Huntingdon County Humane Society. We are all hoping that a new idea and a fresh take on fundraising will be a benefit to the great work our shelter does.”

Although she has been unable to attend a One Picture Saves a Life workshop, April cites the program as a major influence on her work, stating:

“When I first began to take photos of the dogs and cats at the Humane Society, I began to do some online research for tips on pet photography – especially shelter pets. One Picture Saves a Life was at the top of the list and when I clicked on the site, it was exactly what I needed.”

JoeyWhen asked to share a favorite pet photo and an adoption story, April provided this adorable shot of Joey the Chihuahua, telling us that he was found as a stray and was at the shelter for some time until someone came across his updated photo and took him to his forever home!

A big thanks to April for her dedicated work to saving lives through positive pet photography! You too can connect with your local shelter here and train online with our Learning Videos. Remember, One Picture Saves a Life!

At Chicago Animal Care and Control

Seth Casteel of Underwater Dogs and a John Paul Pet groomer recently stopped by Chicago Animal Care and Control for a One Picture Saves a Life workshop. They taught shelter workers and volunteers how to save lives through grooming and positive pet photography.

Stephen Chopp, Shelter Volunteer

Stephen Chopp & RockyOne Picture Saves a Life friend Stephen Chopp has been volunteering at L.A. County Animal Care and Control in Lancaster, CA since August, 2011. He comes from a family of animal lovers, who over the years have had “dogs, cats, rabbits, rats, mice, gerbils, fish, lizards, and frogs”. When he found out the company he works for would allow him a few hours each week to volunteer at the organization of his choice, he naturally chose his local county shelter. He also volunteers on weekends and at off-site adoption events.

Stephen volunteers all over the shelter in many different capacities, including photography, but after attending the One Picture Saves a Life workshop in Baldwin Park, CA he has taken a bigger interest in taking positive adoption photos to save lives. Stephen tells us:

“I enjoyed the seminar immensely. I hadn’t thought of it as a marketing effort before. I had known, but not really realized the effect of the reputation shelters often have that leads to unwillingness for the public to visit and adopt a pet.

Even though I consider myself an advanced amateur, I found the One Picture Saves a Life seminar to be very helpful and jam-packed with good ideas and suggestions. It provided a very good guide through the myriad of controls and settings, which can be daunting to wade through successfully.   

I also had not known about tearless dog wipes, but will be keeping some on hand during my photo routine for the dogs with eye and face ‘goobers’.

The day after the workshop, I photographed several bully breeds who were being evaluated. I concentrated on headshots.  I have attached a photo of Bonnie, who’s has been adopted!”

When asked for his most memorable photography related success story, Stephen told us about a family who drove 5 hours from San Jose, CA with their dog Tiramisu to meet a Shih Tzu he had photographed named Darius. Now Truffles, he is a valued member of the Nugent family and best friends with Tiramisu!

Stephen loves to volunteer and recommends it to others frequently:

“All in all, I find volunteering to be very rewarding. I am constantly impressed by the ceaselessly dedicated and hard working volunteers I’m privileged to be a part of, and equally impressed by the hard working and dedicated shelter staff who day in and day out attend to the needs of the animals in their care. I would encourage anyone who loves animals and would like to make a difference to contact their local shelter and sign-up to be a volunteer and become a part of this wonderful, global, family, dedicated to solving the problem of homeless pets.  Thank you to One Picture Saves A Life for providing this seminar and making a difference.

I need to give a shout out to some of my wonderful fellow volunteers! Danielle McCabe Ruthven is our most prolific and wonderful photographer.  Her initial and continued advice on animal handling, photography, and shelter knowledge has been invaluable and has resulted in hundreds, if not thousands, of adoptions.  I know of one case where a couple drove up from Costa Mesa to adopt a dog Danielle had photographed.  Heather Johnson, Jolene Grimes, and Laurie Vogels are our wonderful groomers who make amazing transformations of our dirty, scared dogs to cute, wiggly, super huggable, fur-babies.  It is almost like magic. Finally, Sheryl Wall Mistretta provides benevolent and consistent leadership and guidance in all areas of volunteer work from organizing and setting up an off-site adoption to bathing dogs.”

Thank you Stephen for all your hard work saving lives through positive photography! Anyone who is inspired by Stephen’s dedication can connect with their local shelter here and train online with our Learning Videos. Remember, One Picture Saves a Life!

Workshop in Baldwin Park Animal Care Center

Seth Casteel of Underwater Dogs and Donna Owens of John Paul Pet recently stopped by Baldwin Park Animal Care Center in Baldwin Park, CA for a One Picture Saves a Life workshop. They taught shelter workers and volunteers how to save lives through grooming and positive pet photography. Jackson Galaxy from Animal Planet’s “My Cat From Hell” made a surprise stop to talk about cat behavior and how to work with cats in shelters to increase adoptions.

One Picture Saves On KCAL

Alan Semsar, John Capra, and Liz Baker were featured live on CBS KCAL to promote the next One Picture Saves a Life tour stop in Baldwin Park, California!

Casteel Hands Out a Canon at Animal Expo

Seth and Debbie HellerDebbie Heller of Little Rock Animal Village in Arkansas was thrilled to receive a Canon Rebel Digital SLR Camera from Seth Casteel along with a few tips on how to photograph the pets at her shelter. Heller won a drawing at the Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Care Expo in Nashville last week.

Famed animal photographer Casteel signed copies of his book Underwater Dogs as part of the One Picture Saves A Life tour. Casteel is criss-crossing the country teaching people how to take better pet photos and help their local animal rescue groups in a series of free workshops sponsored by The Animal Rescue Site,, the Petfinder Foundation, and John Paul Pet.

At the Petfinder booth at the Expo as well as during a talk in the evening with “Cat Daddy” Jackson Galaxy, Casteel discussed with shelter workers and rescue volunteers how to present a pet in a winning way to encourage adoption.

The next stop on the One Picture Saves A Life tour is Las Vegas, NV. Registration is currently open for his photo workshop at The Animal Foundation on June 15.

On the Morning Blend

Morning BlendAlan Semsar representing John Paul Pet, Seth Casteel, and Liz Baker from The Animal Rescue Site dropped by the Morning Blend studios to talk about the project and John Paul Pet products!

Check it out! →

One Picture Saves a Life is Heading to St. Hubert’s

One Picture Saves a Life is finally here! A collaboration between Seth Casteel (Underwater Dogs), The Animal Rescue Site,, John Paul Pet, and the Petfinder Foundation, our mission is to provide shelter staff and volunteers with the resources to successfully groom, photograph and market shelter pets, giving them the second chance they deserve.

One of the ways we are accomplishing this mission is by going on location to six animal shelters in 2013 to teach hands-on workshops. Seth Casteel and a John Paul Pet groomer will be teaching two workshops — one to the public about saving lives by volunteering at their local shelter, and one to regional shelter staff about best practices for grooming, photographing, and marketing their shelter pets to potential adopters.

The first of these stops in only two weeks away in Madison, NJ at St. Hubert’s Animal Center. Kim Saunders, VP of Operations and Communications for St. Hubert’s, is thrilled to host the event. She says, “This is an incredible opportunity for us to engage our community and learn about this important element in the adoption process. Bringing in regional shelters and rescues will magnify the impact, and ultimately mean more lives saved.”

Stay tuned for photos, videos, and stories from the event. We will be documenting the workshop live via Instagram with the hashtag #onepicturesaves.