Leaving A Pawsitive Mark

Taking a closer look at our collective impact


Photo by Yavapai Humane Society


Increasing Visibility and Adoptions.


Founded in 2010, Shelter Art Foundation has led photography workshops at over 160 animal shelters and rescues across the U.S. and Canada. Since the organization’s inception, an estimated number of over 400,000 shelter animals have received uplifting photos as a result of the photo equipment and training passed along to shelter staff and volunteers. 

Shelter Art Foundation’s impact demonstrates a positive correlation between studio photos, live outcomes, visibility, and influence on adopters. In a sample group of animal shelters that received a Shelter Art Foundation workshop, the number of live outcomes (adoptions and transfers) increased an average of 17% in the year following photo workshop versus the year prior.

Additionally, roughly 96% of adopters surveyed stated that the studio photo of an animal they saw online had an influence on their decision to view the shelter animal in-person.* Shelter Art Foundation also studied a sample group of shelters posting studio photos to the online adoption database Petfinder, and found that the average number of adoption profile views increased an average of 168% the year after the workshop versus the year prior, with the highest percentage increase of views rising to a staggering 876%.

*data extracted from a questionnaire distributed to adopters adopting from a sample group of shelters using Shelter Art Foundation photo equipment and techniques.


…and counting, shelter animals have received uplifting photos


Average increase in live outcomes



of adopters stated that the studio photos had an influence on their decision to visit shelter and adopt


average increase in online adoption profile views

Success Stories

Anecdotes and Tidbits


1. Transformation

Before and After photos by the Burbank Animal Shelter

Before and After photos by the Burbank Animal Shelter

“Arthur came in a shaggy mess. No one would look at him. He was finally groomed and the team took his photo. He was adopted almost immediately.”

— Lorry Izor, Photo Volunteer, Burbank Animal Shelter


2. And They Lived Happily Ever After


“Pixie is a 5 year old pitty mix. She came to the shelter in April 2014 and was confirmed deaf. We had tested her with other dogs and cats and was determined that she had to be the only animal in a home and could not be around small children who did not know how to respect an animal. Due to all of these being a priority for her to get a home, she stayed with us at the shelter for two whole years with little to no interest. No matter how hard we tried to promote her. 

Finally, a wonderful man by the name of Berry, stopped by asking to see a dog named Pixie that he saw online. He wanted to see her because he could not stop thinking about her picture and how cute and pitiful she looked. All thanks to the photo equipment and our wonderful photographer at the time!

…After explaining her situation to him, we all realized it was the perfect match. Berry lived alone, on a lot of land, and had no children that came to visit. After officially meeting Pixie, she was finally adopted on August 8th, 2016! She has been living the good life ever since. She loves going everywhere with her human. We could not have asked for better for our sweet girl Pixie.”

—Jessy Shifflett, Shelter Manager, Fluvanna SPCA

Photo of Pixie by Fluvanna SPCA

Photo of Pixie by Fluvanna SPCA


3. Shelter Success


“Updating an old photo with a studio-quality photo makes a difference in the public's interest. Whenever our team posts a new studio photo of a dog, we immediately start seeing an increase in adoption applications. Our organization receives many compliments on the photos. People ask us where the photos are taken and we tell them 'Here, at our facility! By our staff!'"

— Chloe Esperiquette, Office Manager, Wags & Walks

“Shelter Art Foundation more than fulfilled my vision of being able to obtain great adoption photos for our adoptable animals. Through their training and equipment, even first time photographers are empowered and able to capture an animal's personality, and subsequently allow those animals to capture their adopter's heart. Something as simple as a good photograph, that captures the right elements of an animal's personality can save so many lives.”

— Matt Buchholtz, Foster/Rescue Program Manager, Yavapai Humane Society

“It’s been four years and has been life changing for animals in our care and for me! I now have my own photography business and also have helped out other orgs in addition to the shelter where I regularly volunteer.”

—Susan Anderson, Photo Volunteer, Butte Humane Society

“Hansel was a Hurricane Harvey Survivor. We had a lot of dogs at that time but his new owner had fallen in love with his picture on our website and when he met him it was a perfect match.”

—Gail Seaman, Volunteer, Austin Humane Society



Photo of Hansel by Austin Humane Society

Photo of Hansel by Austin Humane Society


4. Before and After


Before and After photos by Pender County Animal Shelter


Save A Life