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Happiness is working with dog rescues

Happiness is licks and kisses!

I can’t tell you how many times I hear people say “Oh, that’s great that you work with dog rescue…but I couldn’t do it, it would be heartbreaking.” I sit there and think, that couldn’t be further from the truth. How can you be be heartbroken when your day is filled with licks and kisses. I do understand their sentiment. As a little girl looking at those ads on tv of the dogs behind kennel doors looking sad and lonely, I just wanted to let them all be free, but at the same time did not want to be working at a kennel and just seeing those sad lonely faces. Reality is we do see some sad lonely dogs. We have had dogs experience unthinkable things, but seeing the dogs come into the shelter scared and lonely and seeing them grow in confidence and trust and caring far outweighs the bad in my book.

Happiness is working with other people that love dogs and rescue!

Dog people are my people. Whether they are other volunteers that work along side you or the people seeking a new fur baby, or the donors who help the shelter run. These are people that I enjoy spending time with. We are a diverse group, but work well together. As volunteers, we each shine in different areas. One is great at organizing and cleaning the shelter, one is great at fundraising, one is great at training the dogs and I take most of the photographs. (Just to name a few of the tasks).

While the shelter as an agency has been open during the pandemic, we have been relying mostly on foster parents for our dogs as the physical kennel is ‘technically’ closed. However, the city is in a crisis with dogs being turned in. Rather than have those dogs meet a worse fate (because there are no more foster’s to be found) the group has banded together and have a schedule to go take care of these dogs at the actual kennel.

Happiness is making a difference!

Since I photograph most of the dogs, I know and expect that the public is going to see my photographs. A person doesn’t always realize the impact a photograph or article may have on a person or a dogs life… Until they do.

Lisa came into the shelter not long after it was open. She had a severe skin condition that took months to actually diagnose and treat. She became a volunteer favorite as she was just so sweet. No potential pet parents however, felt she was the right dog for them. Maybe the ingoing cost of medical expenses and amount of care needed for her to keep the skin issue at bay were too much for these people.

For 18 months, Lisa sat in our kennel, loved and taken care of by volunteers, but always a little sad that she didn’t have her own family. At the end of the year, I decided to make another appeal for Lisa. I wrote an blog Giving Lisa a Second Chance. A few weeks later I learned that Lisa had found a home. I was actually brought to tears of joy though when I was told that it was my blog and images that came to the attention of her new mom.

I may be a little sad to see them leave. But I am always the happiest when I get to see them go home.


Would you like a way to contribute to Second chance to help take care of the animals? What a great way to donate is to get a picture of your pet, contribute to the charity and get a gift of an acrylic block with your pets picture in it. Several dates in august are open to choose from. Click here to learn more.

It’s an International circle!

Join the fun! This group of International Professional Pet Photographers bring you information on our weekly topics. While we focus on one broad subject, we may each have a different spin on it or provide you with additional information from our world of pet photography. Follow the next link to view how the next amazing photographer tackles this weeks challenge.  Follow each link at the end of each blog until you return to me. Then you have successfully completed our blog circle. Enjoy!

+++++ NOW head over to:

Charlotte NC based dog photographer Kim Hollis of BARKography shares 5 reasons why dogs make us happy.

Meet Boss

Boss is a young male. He is friendly and affectionate. He loves to play and is very curious. He would however prefer a home without other dogs or cats. Please contact Friends of Second chance

Friends of Second Chance Canine Adoption Shelter
6660 E. Seneca Turnpike
Jamesville, NY 13078

Capture your journey with your pet. Nancy Kieffer is a Certified Professional Pet, Equine and Nature Photographer Through Professional Photographers of America (PPA). Nancy serves Central New York, the Adirondacks and Beyond.  Capture how you share your life with your pet! It may be a vacation adventure or curled up on the couch with you. Travel assignments welcomed.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Tracy Allard

    I agree!!! I’ve heard all the same things, but happiness is indeed knowing you’re making a difference! You have helped so many animals find their furever homes with your heartfelt photography, that’s my kind of happiness.

  2. Angela Schneider

    That your blog post helped Lisa find her forever home fills my heart with joy this morning. Congratulations. The work you do has such profound meaning in helping these dogs find their place in the world.

  3. Jan

    What a beautiful way to pay it forward. I’m with you there, happiness truly is helping a rescue organization!

  4. Courtney Bryson

    This was just what I needed to read today. After 12 years in rescue, I love to read inspiring stories of people still making a difference – it helps keep you going.

  5. Linda Perdue

    Nancy – thank you for all that you do with the rescues and shelter dogs! It does make such a difference! I too volunteer to take photographs of a lot of rescues and we get kisses from a lot of them – although some are still to scared to really interact with people they don’t know. You’ve got a special gift – it’s great that you are sharing it!

  6. Darlene

    Awwww the kisses! Love those, Nancy! Thank you for all that you do with animal rescue! Thrilled that Lisa found a forever home 🙂

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