You might remember a feature we ran in late September on Josh Feeney, an amazing shelter photographer who attended a One Picture Saves a Life workshop and has been pumping out fantastic photographs of adoptable pets for Safe Humane Chicago (SHC) and Chicago Animal Care and Control (CCAC) ever since. Josh checked in with us this month and shared a great adoption story that illustrates the power of positive pet photography.
Josh first met Tiger at Chicago Animal Care & Control and immediately felt a connection with him. Tiger was found as a stray and only had a few days before he was to be euthanized. Josh stepped in and posted 40 pictures of Tiger on his new Facebook page, cacc_photos. The next day, rescue group A New Leash On Life (Chicago) pulled Tiger and he is now in a foster home.
Josh told us:
“Aside from photos, asking people to share, like, and help spread the word is so important. This is, what I believe to be the perfect case scenario of what good photographs, shares, and networking can do to save a dog.”
Below is the Facebook post from Josh that resulted in a happy ending for Tiger:
I first met Tiger on Tuesday, as I am starting to help the transfer team photograph the 20-25,000 dogs that CACC takes in every year.
As I approached Tiger’s cage to take his picture inside a cage, which I swore to never do, he slowly looked up at me with his big dark eyes. I could hear his faint whimper among the bellowing barks of so many dogs around. I sat down onto the dirty floor and opened his cage. He looked at me, still whimpering, and slowly started to come out of his cage and proceed directly onto my lap. He never lost eye contact with me, as though he was seeking approval for his efforts.
He continued to settle into my lap and began to wiggle his tail. This was probably the first time that he had been out of his cage in god knows how long. Most of our dogs are not allowed out of their cages because they are not yet city property. Every time that I tried to put Tiger back into his cage, he would further compress himself down into my lap, as if refusing to leave me.
I had to leave as I had many more dogs to photograph. I came back the next day, and spent nearly 30 minutes with him outside. Immediately outside in the yard, he became this incredibly happy dog with a wagging tail. All he wanted to do was run in the grass and be a dog.
I don’t think that he has ever played ball before, he had no idea what he was supposed to do with it. It took him 15 minutes before he realized that he could put the ball in his mouth and run with it, and that after I threw the ball, he could bring it back to me and repeat the process. He loved this new thing so much. He knows how to sit, takes treats very gently, and really loves getting his head and belly scratched.
I have met literally thousands of dogs at the shelter, and Tiger is one of a kind.
I told Tiger on Wednesday that I would do everything that I can to find him a home, and that is what I am doing now. He is such an incredible dog, he is gentle, playful, cuddly, affectionate, and just because someone did not come back to the shelter to claim him, and just because that someone cropped his ears presumably to make him look tough, is not a reason for him to die.
Tiger was found as a stray like so many of our dogs. We have no idea where they came from, what their past has been, or how they may have been treated. But none of that matters because Tiger is now urgent, which means that he has until Monday to find a rescue group to take him before he gets euthanized.
Someone please consider him. I will introduce you to him in person this weekend.
A big thanks to Josh for this beautiful story and for saving Tiger. Anyone inspired by Tiger’s story or the wonderful work of Josh Feeney can connect with their local shelter here and train online with our Learning Videos. Remember, One Picture Saves a Life!