Better Photos Mean Fewer Euthanized Animals At Nashville’s Shelter

Penny Adams works and freelances in the photography business, and volunteers hours each week helping Metro make animals look their most adoptable. Credit (WPLN/Daniel Potter)

Penny Adams works and freelances in the photography business, and volunteers hours each week helping Metro make animals look their most adoptable. Credit (WPLN/Daniel Potter)

As part of Metro’s effort to bring down the number of animals that have to be euthanized, better pictures of dogs and cats up for adoption are proving crucial.   Animal Control is recruiting volunteers to help put together an outdoor photo studio this weekend for dogs in need of homes.

She puts bowties on cats, and this month, she’ll fit puppies into Halloween costumes: As a professional photographer, Penny Adams volunteers hours each week snapping photos of dozens of animals, like Waylon, a friendly white dog with brown spots.

Waylon is one of some 2,800 animals brought in to Metro so far this year, up from some 2,600 this time last year. (Credit Penny Adams)

Waylon is one of some 2,800 animals brought in to Metro so far this year, up from some 2,600 this time last year. (Credit Penny Adams)

Practically laying on the ground to shoot from the animals’ level, Adams says the key is catching their eye, while the ears are up:

“I have no shame – I’ll make all kinds of noises just to get the look.  I’ll do whatever it takes to get the animals to look happy.”

It seems to be helping a bit.  In recent months the number adopted in Nashville is up, and the percentage euthanized is shrinking (PDF here).  Even so, Metro has put down more than two thousand animals so far this year.


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