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Saving lives never goes out of style

Brazil BeFUR
Brazil BeFUR
Helen Woodward Animal Center and Amy VandenBerg of Chowhound Photography

In just about a week, New York Fashion Week will kick off, however, the adoptable pets at Helen Woodward Animal Center (HWAC) continuously show off their sense of style. A volunteer photographer from Chowhound Photography, friends of HWAC, captured the BeFUR and AfFUR make-overs in order to increase the number of pet adoptions and display the truly unique beauty of orphaned pets.

It is true that New York Fashion Week (NYFW) is going to the dogs and cats. In fact, NYFW, which will hit the runways next Thursday, February 6th, inspired HWAC to show off the swankier-sides of the fuzzy friends with a furry fashion photo shoot each year. Why not get everyone into the game?

Local business, Chowhound Photography ( provided HWAC with their generous support in this fashionable undertaking. The Center staff is hoping that the BeFUR and AfFUR make-overs will give potential adopters pause so that they take a second look to see the true beauty and top-model dispositions of fashion-forward dogs and cats seeking their forever homes.

The idea to capture orphan pets in high-fashion photo settings stemmed from the numerous reports received at HWAC citing an increase in adoption rates of orphaned pets (even the ASPCA had a great adoption rate in December of 2012!) due to great profile pictures vs. displaying the same pets in less flattering/typical surroundings. Helen Woodward Animal Center PR Manager Jessica Gercke explained, “It’s amazing how often I meet people who don’t understand that a puppy purchased from a breeder is no different than a puppy adopted at a rescue facility. Both dogs have the same capacity to love, learn and become amazing family pets but images of orphan animals looking unhappy, behind bars, can lead to misperceptions of what these animals are really like. A fashion photo shoot allows us to highlight the unique personality of each of these wonderful pets and show off their incredible beauty.”

Amy VandenBerg of Chowhound Photography in Encinitas donated her skills to the shoot. Though her website displays a preference for more natural settings, she was up for the high-fashion theme. “Animals are so open and ready to display all of their enthusiasm for life and a fascination with the world around them,” said Vandenberg. “I absolutely love capturing a pet's personality for my clients, and it's just as rewarding to be able to capture the personality of an animal waiting for their forever home. It's a chance to let them shine in a photo like they do in real life. Every pet is unique, and showing that uniqueness in a photo can make all the difference when it means winning over a potential adopter.”

Haute Couture is a thrill on the runway and the latest fashion trend is always in demand, but the true love of a devoted companion is something that will simply never go out of style. If you are interested in adopting, would like to make a donation, or would like more information, please contact Helen Woodward Animal Center Adoption Department at: 858-756-4117 ext. 313, or stop by at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.

Also, make sure you check out this great video of a previous fashion photo shoot at Helen Woodward Animal Center: You are going to fall in love and just have to have one of HWACs beautiful orphaned pets for your very own!

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