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Jessie Keating of JAKPhotography

Gotti-12_watermarked_257After seeing some amazing posts by JAKPhotography on our One Picture Saves a Life Facebook page, we reached out to them to ask about how they got involved volunteering with shelter animals. One thing Jessie Keating of JAKPhotography does exceptionally well is use composite photos to incorporate personality and other adoption information into the picture. We were thrilled to hear about her successes and wanted to share her story:

“My name is Jessie Keating (hence the initials JAK) and I live in Gilbert, Arizona. I do photography on the side as a hobby and I love love love dogs – especially after going through intense training with my own dog where I learned how to better communicate with them. I started working with a German shepherd rescue in fall 2013 but the distance was too great (40 mi one way). I saw a posting on Facebook by the state’s animal control, Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, offering a new program called Day Fostering. This allows volunteers to take the dogs out of the pound for a day and get some socialization and exercise, and gives them an overall break from kennel life. It gives me great information that I pass along to the shelter as many dogs act differently outside of those walls and it gives the coordinators notes to add to the dog’s (often blank) file. I just started doing this last weekend, and both dogs from last weekend have been adopted! 

Miriam-8_257It sounds really corny, but the One Picture Saves a Life training videos are what got me motivated! I always thought about doing this but I felt a little insecure finding my way and doing it on my own. Learning the tips and tricks of working with shelter dogs gave me just the confidence I needed to get out there and try it on my own. I had no idea how rewarding it would be! My one hesitation was getting attached to the dogs, wanting to take them all home or being too depressed being at the shelter (comments I hear all the time when I tell people about this). The satisfaction I get from taking that dog that everyone passes by and showing them in a new light outweighs any of the hesitations – hands down. My goal in my photos is to uplift the people looking at them, show them that shelter dogs are beautiful and show them the personality these wonderful dogs have. I try to create profile cards that mimic a dating website, because to me it isn’t about taking a dog that is “unwanted” or “tossed to the side” – it is showing their personality and hopefully it speaks to the right love connection!”

Thank you for sharing Jessie! If you want to get involved volunteering at your local shelter, visit our list of shelters in your area looking for volunteers.