While 7.6 million pets enter shelters each year in the U.S., only 2.7 million per year get adopted. Unfortunately, potential pet-owners often judge these animals by their appearances. Black cats and dogs, for example, are the least likely to find homes, and shelters often will give pets makeovers to make them more adoptable. Recognizing that the way pets are presented makes a difference, photographer Tammy Swarek created a project to up her local shelter's dogs' shots at adoption.
Swarek, who told us she's "a total dog-lover," took artistic photos of the Union County Animal Protection Society's canines to help spread the word about them, ABC reported. They're all wearing cute outfits, and some reveal a bit about the animals' backstories. One dog, Dave, is wearing a chef hat because he was sadly given away after he ate a roast off his family's counter.
Hopefully, people will one day come to choose pets based on what kinds of companions they'll make, not simply what they look like. We already judge people too much by their looks; we don't need to impose these criteria on animals. In the meantime, though, from projects like this to cat cafes and fostering programs, all efforts to help pets find homes are valuable. And every dog deserves a flower hat like that.