Animal shelter photographer's photos help find homes for dogs

- A volunteer at Maricopa Animal Care and Control is being credited for helping find homes for dozens of dogs. And the way she does it is something we can all appreciate: adorable photos posted on social media. 

Every Monday for three years, Heather Haltmeyer walks through Maricopa County's kennels. She finds her subject, gets to know them and then happily gets to work.

Haltmeyer takes pictures, but not your average ones. She takes ones with themes, props and costumes that bring personalities to life in hopes of finding a forever home.

"I think it's meaningful because you take a dog that is otherwise just sitting in a cage," she said. "There's hundreds of other dogs that look just like it. Hundreds of people are walking by, not noticing the dog, and you take them in here, dress them up, get to know their personality and suddenly people pay attention."

Getting the dogs to pay attention is a little more difficult.

"Lots of patience and lots of hot dogs," Haltmeyer said.

But the results of these photo shoots have made a difference that has changed many lives.

"There have been many instances where a dog has sat in our kennels for weeks, and Heather gets a good shot and the very next day, once those pictures are posted on Facebook, the dog is adopted and it's the person that says those photos got me here," Melissa Gable said.

The product of a dedicated volunteer shines the spotlight and makes a difference.

You can find all of Haltmeyer's pictures on Maricopa County Animal Care and Control's Facebook page:  www.facebook.com/MaricopaCountyAnimalCareandControl


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