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Photographer Helps 'Unadoptable' Dogs Find Homes (Photos)

| by Lauren Briggs

Animal shelter promos are usually full of sad-looking dogs in cages intended to tug at your heartstrings, and they are undoubtedly effective at gaining our sympathy.

But one photographer is taking the opposite approach to inspire adoptions, and it's making waves (photos).

Guinnevere Shuster takes photos for a living and also happens to be an animal lover, so she decided to combine her two passions and work with her local Humane Society in Utah, notes Shareably.

After seeing those heartbreaking ads, Shuster came up with a different idea -- why not do something a little more positive and a little more personal, by starting a doggy photo booth to show of each critter's unique personalities?

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"I was hoping that it would help change people's options and perceptions of shelter dogs," Shuster told TIME. "Showing off the individual personalities of the dogs, instead of the sad 'behind bars' images that have become associated with shelter animals."

Common shelter breeds like pitbulls and Chihuahuas are some of the most likely pups to be overlooked at the shelter, since both can get a bad reputation, plus the numbers game means that they might not stick out from the bunch as much as other breeds, according to National Geographic.

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Elderly dogs also have trouble finding homes, since people tend to want puppies or incorrectly assume that old dogs are surrendered because of behavioral problems, even though it tends to be the opposite way around. Older dogs are usually more mellow and are more likely to know their basic commands, while younger dogs and puppies who haven't learned their manners yet and have tons of energy might give their new owners some problems.

Large black dogs are also frequently passed over at shelters, for reasons that are only speculation.

But Shuster's photo campaign, which has garnered tons of attention on various social media platforms, shows a different side to these pups, proving that even black pitbulls like Monroe (below) can smolder for the camera and win over hearts, once people see how sweet and playful she is.

"Since we have started utilizing social media, we had a record-breaking number of adoptions, placing over 10,000 animals into homes in 2014," Rachel Kelly, Humane Society of Utah's special-event manager, told TIME in 2015. "We are already set to break that record this year ... We definitely attribute this photo campaign as a large part of this success, as they capture the unique personality of each animal."

Sources: Shareably, TIME, National Geographic / Photo Credit: Humane Society Of Utah/Instagram, Guinnevere Shuster via Bored Panda

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