POINT PLEASANT — Dogs and cats available for adoption have a new ally in Kelly Smith.
Smith, who runs her own photography business and lives in the Camp Conley area, is donating her time and talent to photograph the animals in a way that reflects their real personalities and potential.
Smith said, if you look at some typical adoption photos of animals at shelters, you see them through the wire of their cages.
“They (the photos) look like mug shots, like they’re (the animals) criminals or dirty or dark or mean, but when you get them out (of the kennels), it shows how nice and playful and loving they really are … it shows their personality.”
This experiment all came about when Smith was approached by roller derby teammate Rebecca Aker, a volunteer at the Mason County Shelter. Both women are members of the Silver Bridge Bruisers. Aker and Smith joined forces to set up an initial photo-shoot for shelter dogs earlier this month.
Smith, who has photographed people and people with their pets as part of her business, had never done a photo-shoot with shelter animals. Smith said she and Aker got the dogs outside in a natural, relaxed atmosphere to bring out their personalities — some running in the play yard and others simply enjoying being out in the grass.
“The dogs are the stars and they did great,” Smith said.
The photos which presented the dogs’ loving and loyal natures paid off. In the first 24 hours of the photos circulating on the Kelly Smith Photography and Mason County Animal Shelter Facebook pages, two dogs were rescued and the next day three more dogs followed suit.
Smith said she plans to continue to volunteer her time and photography services on an “as needed” basis at the shelter which is in real need of volunteers to assist with other aspects of the shelter’s operation. Next up for Smith is taking similar photos of cats available for adoption at the shelter.
When Smith posts news photos, they will also be shared on the Point Pleasant Register Facebook Page and some will appear inside the newspaper’s print edition as well. Of course, some of the dogs featured in the initial photo-shoot are still available for adoption and can be found on Kelly Smith Photography or the Mason County Animal Shelter Facebook pages.
Those who wish to adopt a cat or dog from the shelter can do so by stopping by noon to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday or call 1-304-675-6458 for more information. The shelter can also be reached about adoptions by messaging its Facebook page.
Reach Beth Sergent at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.