These canine portraits will make your day–and they’re helping to save lives at the same time. Photographer Tammy Swarek is the big heart behind the Shelter Pets Project, dressing up rescue dogs in a variety of adorable costumes to help draw attention to their stories. Using her creative skills as a photographer for a good cause, Swarek creates professional head shots for each of the pups, humanizing the animals to help people personally connect with them.
Some of the dogs’ backstories are absolutely heartbreaking: Misty (pictured above) was abandoned at a spillway with her baby, and Moses (below) was injured in a house explosion in which he lost his entire family. However, Swarek’s efforts are already making a difference in these canine’s lives, and so far 12 of the featured dogs have been either adopted, fostered, or are about to be adopted, pending application approval.
Swarerk herself got involved in photography after disaster struck in her personal life; she finds a catharsis in producing beautiful and inspiring visuals using her lens. This amazing pet project is an extension of this, and a charming way to combine her love of photography with a desire to make a change. The photographer’s work (which may remind you of Sophie Gamand’s ongoing Flower Power project) may not be the origins of this delightful portrait idea but it certainly encourages other creatives to partake in it. “Photography, making a difference!” Swarek exclaimed on Facebook. “Adoption rates are skyrocketing on the photographed animals. I highly encourage every photographer to get involved in this much needed area.”