In honor of this October’s Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog month, we asked staffers all over the country to submit photos of special pooches who’ve been waiting way too long for their forever families. Our contest judge, amazing photographer Traer Scott, did a fantastic job of choosing the following adorable, silly, wiggly, alert, loyal, people-pleasing (not to mention photogenic!) dogs sniffing around for the place they’ll call home.
And here they are, pooches of the hour:
Name: Brad Pitt
Breed: Pit bull terrier
Age: 3 years old
Currently Being Cared for by: K-9 Bed & Biscuit, Greeley, CO
Photo by: Donna Dershem
Judge’s Comment: “Absolutely stunning image. Composition, depth of field and use of muted color and light are perfect. The beauty and pensive expression of the dog make this a striking portrait.”
Background: Brad Pitt was found running down a rural road not far from the shelter. He’s been at the shelter for about two yearsfar too long for such a good boy. Unfortunately, some Colorado towns have ordinances against his breed, but he is among the most deserving of a forever home.
Why You’ll Love Him: He’s drop-dead gorgeous, sweet and gentle. He’s also got quite a personality and good manners, too. He can sit and shake and wants very badly to please.
To Find Out More About Brad Pitt:
K-9 Bed & Biscuit
14253 Hwy. 392
Greeley, CO 80631
Breed: Beagle/terrier mix
Age: 3 years old
Special Needs: Wendie has a thyroid condition and is on medication to control it. She is otherwise very healthy.
Currently Being Cared for by: The Humane Society of Greater Kansas City, Kansas City, KS
Photo by: Jana Brunner
Judge’s Comment: “Great use of color and composition. This is a fun, vivid portrait.”
Background: Wendie was found as a stray and has been at the humane society for well over a year.
Why You’ll Love Her: That smile and her wiggle are pretty darn irresistible! When you meet Wendie, you just can't help but feel good. She looks up at you with that big smile on her face, those sparkly eyes and her tail just a waggin' as fast as it can. She's one happy dog.
How She Gets Along with People: She’s very friendly and affectionate and she loves meeting new people. She's silly, too. She'll put her head down on her paws and her rear end up in the air and "woo woo woo" at you! Wendie's been to several fundraising events and "meet and greets" with the public, and she's very comfortable in the role of ambassador. She likes children, too, rides very well in the car and appears to be housetrained.
Her Personality: Wendie can be a little bossy with other dogs. She can't help itshe's just a sassy broad. She does tend to like big male dogs. Until just recently she shared her kennel with Miles, a very large shepherd/hound mix, and they got along fine.
Her Claim To Fame: Wendie has her own Summer Fun music video on the HSGKC website.
To Find Out More About Wendie:
The Humane Society of Greater Kansas City
5445 Parallel Parkway
Kansas City, KS 66104
(913) 596-1000, ext. 14
Breed: Terrier mix
Age: 2-3 years old
Currently Being Cared for by: Humane Society of Greater Akron, Peninsula, OH
Submitted by: Tisha Angelo
Judge’s Comment: “Intense color saturation, flash and strong depth-of-field make this a very successful, eye-catching image.”
Why You’ll Love Him: Harrison loves dogs and kids. He does fine with cats and loves every human he meets.
What People Who Meet Him Say: He’s a sweetie pie and a cuddle bug.
To Find Out More About Harrison:
Humane Society of Greater Akron
4904 Quick Rd.
Peninsula, OH 44264
Breed: Labrador retriever mix
Age: 1 1/2 years old
Currently Being Cared for by: SPCA Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Photo by: Kathleen Fuller
Judge’s Comment: “Sharp, close focus and a clever, playful expression make this a highly appealing portrait.”
Background: Loki’s a bit of a mystery boy. Since he was picked up as a stray, his background is unknown.
Why You’ll Love Him: He has a great personality and loves to play. He weighs around 55 pounds, so he’s no small dog. Many people seem to want a small dog and pass by the great larger dogs like Loki, but his size just means he has a lot of love to give.
To Find Out More About Loki:
3949 Colerain Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45223
Name: Ms. Bogie (AKA Bogie Bear)
Age: 2 years old
Currently Being Cared for by: Adopt-A-Mutt, Tucson, AZ
Submitted by: Brian Hatcher
Judge’s Comment: “The receding background, vivid colors and strong composition give this great portrait a lot of visual depth and texture.”
Background: Ms. Bogie was abandoned at a local kennel for about eight months. You would think that would break her spirit and she would be a bit withdrawn and nervous, but not Bogie. She's just as sweet and friendly as the first day she checked in.
Why You’ll Love Her: While in foster care, Ms. Bogie turned out to be quite the little Einstein. She had one accident in the house on her first day, but quickly figured out she was supposed to go outside. She will also proudly show off her ability to sit and shake to anybody who will take her paw. She does well on a leash, is very attentive to her human companions and seems to pick up on new things pretty quickly.
The Silly Things She Does: Bogie Bear is a very affectionate girl who thinks, at 50-some pounds, she's still a lap dog. Bogie love, we call it! She loves to chase her tennis ball and even brings it back to you, sometimes. She's looking for new ways to play with stuffed animals, but tug of war is by far her favorite.
What The People Who Know Her Say: This cute girl is a real love bug with tons of loyalty and affection to give. If you would like to adopt Bogie, please contact us and we can set up a time for you to meet her.
To Find Out More About Ms. Bogie:
9575 East Millmar Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85730-4503
Breed: German shepherd mix
Age: 2 years old
Currently Being Cared for by: Florida East Coast Humane Society, St. Augustine, FL
Submitted by: Cindy Bishop
Judge’s Comment: “Great use of natural light brings out the eyes of this perky subject.”
Why You’ll Love Him: Rusty’s a pretty boy who loves to please. He gets along well with cats, other dogs and children. He adores people and knows no strangers. He loves his volunteer trainers and his shelter staff, greets everyone within sight distance and thoroughly enjoys his strolls through the field.
His Good Manners: Rusty is very "trainable." He is not a food-guarder and he can already sit and walk well on his leash.
To Find Out More About Rusty (ID# 11294):
Florida East Coast Humane Society
1665 Old Moultrie Rd.
St. Augustine, FL 32084
(904) 829-2737, ext. 19
Breed: Yellow Labrador retriever and vizsla
Age: 1 year old
Currently Being Cared for by: Wake County Animal Control and Adoption Center, Raleigh, NC
Photo by: Laura Welsh
Judge’s Comment: “Superb use of color and texture in this charming image.”
Background: Lucy came to the shelter in September with five puppies. All of her puppies were adopted, but Lucy was stuck at the shelter for a little over a month, which is a very long time for this shelter! Although a family did come to look at her, they ended up choosing another dog, but Lucy was saved from euthanasia by New Leash on Life Rescue, located in Wake Forest, NC. Lucy is currently in a foster home with New Leash on Life and will be until she is adopted.
Photographer’s Comments: “Lucy is medium-sizedabout 21 inches at the shoulderand is one of the most affectionate dogs I have ever known. Her eyes are striking and soulful. She makes wonderful eye contact and seems to hang on your every word. When I first went into the kennel with her she was a little shy of the camera, but when I crouched down and spoke to her she came right over and tried to get into my lap!”
How She Acts Around Others: Her previous owners said she was great with children, but not cats, and New Leash On Life has confirmed this. She also has no reports of dog aggression so far.
Her Training: Lucy is housetrained and knows basic obedience commands such as Sit, Lie Down and Off.
What She Loves To Do: Lucy's favorite thing in the world is just to cuddle. When one volunteer took her out into the courtyard for her potty break, she would do her business and then, instead of sniffing around the yard and checking out things like most other dogs did, she came right back, hopped on the bench beside her human companion and stretched out across her lap.
How She Shows Affection: When you’re standing up she likes to give you hugs, but she is very gentle and will "off" if you tell her to. She will play if you want to play, but settles down quickly if you just want to relax with her. This lovely, intelligent girl is content to just be with her humans.
Her Health: The best thing about Lucy is that she’s never gotten sick, depressed or unruly after all the time she’s spent in the shelter. She’s kept her upbeat attitude and continued to smile.
To Find Out More About Lucy:
Wake County Animal Control and Adoption Center
820 Beacon Lake Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27610
Breed: Shepherd mix
Age: 4 years old
Currently Being Cared for by: Waggin' Tails Dog Rescue, Northville, MI
Submitted by: Denise Eichburg
Judge’s Comment: “I like the composition and lolling tongue. A very sweet, disarming photo.”
Background: Maverick came to the shelter in January 2007, when his previous family moved and left him behind. He was tied to the house with no shelter, food or water in the dead of a bitter Michigan winter, and was underweight and heartworm-positive. 10 months later, Maverick is in tip-top health and just waiting for that special home to call his own.
Why You’ll Love Him: Maverick is a very sweet, loving boy and really bonds with his humans. He’s a very loyal companion.
His Ideal Home: He would do best with dog-savvy humans and because of his size (about 90 pounds) he would do best in a home without small children. We’re hoping someone will see what a great guy Maverick is and give him a much-needed chance at a happy life!
To Find Out More About Maverick:
Waggin' Tails Dog Rescue
PO Box 438
Northville, MI 48167
Breed: American Staffordshire terrier/bull terrier mix
Age: 16 months old
Currently Being Cared for by: Dearborn Animal Shelter, Dearborn, MI
Photo by: Laura Flowers
Judge’s Comment: “A very fun and comical image made strong by the different colored eyes. I feel like this guy is about to kiss me.”
Background: Bambino has been waiting for a new home since June.
Why You’ll Love Him: He has one blue and one brown eye, a rarity for his type. He’s very active and playful, and when he craves attention, he often shows it through very entertaining vocal displays. Always charming and friendly, this boy’s temperament is wonderful and he plays well with others.
His Training: Bambino is highly motivated by food, which makes it much easier to train him. He can sit on command and has been taught using clicker training.
His Ideal Home: Bambino is well socialized and really wants a home where he can be free to play and love his new family.
To Find Out More About Bambino:
Dearborn Animal Shelter
Dearborn, MI 49120
Name: Van Gogh
Breed: Pit bull/shepherd mix
Age: 7 months old
Currently Being Cared for by: Wisconsin Humane Society, Milwaukee, WI
Submitted By: Beth Maresh
Judge’s Comment: “The focus is as sharp and perky as the ears in this irresistible photo.”
Background: Van Gogh came to the shelter as a surrender.
Why You’ll Love Him: He’s the life of the party! Van Gogh loves to go for long walks with volunteers and is especially fond of spending time in the play area where he can run after balls and play fetch. He has a fantastic personality, is very intelligent and alert and is an expert at discovering which pocket holds the cookie!
His Ideal Home: This boy would love a home where he is given lots of love, plenty of exercise and room to run and play.
To Find Out More About Van Gogh:
Wisconsin Humane Society
4500 West Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53208
Breed: Pit bull/Labrador retriever mix
Age: A little over a year old
Currently being cared for by: Greater Androscoggin Humane Society, Lewiston, ME
Photo by: Allyson Collins
Background: Domino arrived as a stray and has made herself very comfortable in her foster home, playing with both cats and dogs when she's not being a lap dog with the humans. Because of where the shelter is located, it’s difficult to place pit bulls and pit bull mixes. They’re transferred to other shelters that can either comfortably place them or find foster homes for ones who need a bit of socialization.
Why You’ll Love Her: She’s an energetic bundle of extreme happiness. She’s forever chasing her tail and always finding entertainment in the simplest things.
What She Loves to Do: Domino loves to play with Kongs stuffed with peanut butter and goes into complete “spaz” mode at 9:00 P.M. on the dot every night. She can be seen, at this time, flying through the air from chair to couch to chair again just loving life and shaking out the sillies before bed.
Her Training Skills: Domino knows many different basic commands and would be a great dog for agility or fly ball as she can often be seen airborneusually in the house.
To Find Out More About Domino:
Greater Androscoggin Humane Society
55 Strawberry Ave.
Lewiston, ME 04240
Age: 1-2 years old
Currently Being Cared for by: Placer County Animal Services, Auburn, CA
Submitted by: Wendy Dapore
Background: Molly was returned to the shelter after being adopted out. After she was returned, it was discovered that she had contracted heartworm disease. She has since been treated and has recovered beautifully!
Why You’ll Love Her: Molly is a lovely husky girl. She’s friendly and attentive, knows how to sit on command and does great “watch me's.” She is also very gentle and walks nicely on a leash.
Her Ideal Home: Molly can be a bit of an escape artist, so a secure fence in her new home is a must.
To Find Out More About Molly:
Placer County Animal Services
11251 B Ave.
Auburn, CA 95603
Name: Katamandu *ADOPTED*
Breed: Rottweiler mix
Age: 1 year old
Submitted by: Alexandra Elliott Navarro
Why You’ll Love Him: This boy is extremely friendly, energetic and very playful. In this picture he has his favorite toy with hima ball.
His Manners: Katamandu is always ready to greet you with a few licks and lots of tail wagging!
Why We Think He’s So Smart: If he’s given a ball, he just amuses himself and plays with it, tossing it and running all over.
Name: Dino *ADOPTED*
Breed: Pit bull mix
Age: 12 years old
Submitted by: Melissa Oglesbee
Background: Dino was seized by animal control on March 3, 2006, and brought to the Asheville Humane Society shelter. He had been chained outside without food or water and minimal shelter, and was unaltered. Although he was skin and bones, he was still friendly and alert. Dino received his name because every bone in his body was visible, and he looked like a dinosaur skeleton.
Since Dino was evidence in a court case against the owner for animal cruelty, he had to stay at the shelter indefinitely until a verdict could be reached. The case took a year to unfold, and it was determined that Dino's owner had been cruel and neglectful. During his long wait at the shelter, Dino won the hearts of the staff. At long last, he is ready to be placed for permanent adoption!
Why You’ll Love Him: Dino howls a sad moan when he wants to be walked or if he wants a second lunch...which, of course, he always wants! He is a big old couch potato who hates the cold, and likes lots of blankets to burrow into. He loves everybody, and is especially fond of car rides and going on errands, which he does regularly with our staff and volunteers. He is truly a dignified old boy who just loves attention. He grunts like a pig when you scratch his favorite spot, loves to snuggle, and his favorite thing in the world is a Kong filled with yummy treats.
His Ideal Home: Dino needs and deserves a loving home that will let him relax for the rest of his years. Please note, he must be the only animal in the household.
Why He’s A Hero to Us: Most dogs would not have done as well as Dino in a shelter environment for such a long time. Dino is a true hero with the will to survive until the day he can be loved the way all dogs deserve.
Breed: Retriever mix
Age: 1 year old
Currently Being Cared for by: New Rochelle Humane Society, New Rochelle, NY
Submitted By: Dana Rocco
Background: Mya was left in a pen outside the shelter one night during the summer. Since the shelter staff had no previous history on Mya, they’ve had to learn about her personality day by day.
Why You’ll Love Her: Mya is a toy fanatic and loves chasing and playing with toys. She loves meeting new people and is good with most dogs.
Her Training: Mya’s been busy learning basic manners at the shelter. She now excels at Sit, Down and Shake!
To Find Out More About Mya:
New Rochelle Humane Society
70 Portman Rd.
New Rochelle, NY 10801
Guest Judge, Traer Scott
We’re thrilled to have Traer Scott as our final judge for this year’s contest. While volunteering at shelters, she was asked to take photos of the dogs she was working with. As her files grew, Scott realized that many of the dogs whose photos she had in her archives never made it out of the shelter alive. "I found that no matter what, I couldn't bring myself to delete their photos, which were in some cases the only record of their existence," she says. A few months later, Scott began to create the beautiful, honest portraits that make up her book Shelter Dogs.