In Pet Adoptions, Photos Matter

This photogenic whippet girl was adopted from WRAP in a week

This photogenic whippet girl was adopted from Whippet Rescue in a week

I look at the Whippet Rescue and Placement website every week. Having three already in a two-room apartment, I’m not looking to add to the family, I just enjoy meeting more whippets.

Over the past year, I’ve noticed that beauty matters in how quickly the foster dogs are adopted, and so do the photographs. Which is sad, because it reminds me of that heartbreaking scene in Cider House Rules when all the orphans know that the adopting couple looking them over will choose the prettiest little girl, and they do.

This week a dog that could be a sister of C-Biscuit, Picchu and Sesame was adopted from WRAP after only a week or two. To my eye, she was beautiful – and showcasing her outside in front of lovely flowers made her even more appealing.

The first photo we saw of Picchu, in whippet foster care

The first photo we saw of Picchu, in whippet foster care

Well-taken photographs of any dog can surely help their case in attracting new owners. 

I especially understand this because the first photo we saw of our little Machu Picchu was from her WRAP foster home, and neither Bob nor I felt particularly interested in her. We almost didn’t go meet her – I find that painfully unbelievable now.  As we often wonder, Who could turn down our little Picchu?

 

Picchu (center), as we see her every day in our whippet packette

Our treasured Picchu (center), as we see her every day in our whippet packette

As a lay person, I can offer these tips to rescuers showcasing dogs for adoption. Photos are all from whippets currently available from Whippet Rescue:

An affectionate dog is an appealing dog (This is Caesar, available in )

An affectionate dog is an appealing dog (This whippet is Caesar, available in Colorado)

 

A Sears-like portrait, with a blanket for a background and a little work posing, showcases a dog

A Sears-like portrait, with a blanket for a background and a little work posing, showcases a dog (This whippet is Devon, available in Colorado)

 

At a minimum, make sure pictures are in focus (This is Goldie, available in

At a minimum, pictures should be in focus (This whippet is Goldie, available in South Carolina)

 

An outdoor, full-body shot works well (This is Peaches,

An outdoor, full-body shot works well (This whippet is Peaches, available in South Carolina)

 

A dog looking comfy and snuggly lets a potential adopter imagine them relaxing at their own home (This is Luke,

A dog looking comfy and snuggly lets a potential adopter imagine them relaxing at their own home (This whippet is Luke, available in Colorado)

Because what grabs one family’s attention might not grab another’s, including several photos is always better than a single shot. 

To happy, loving homes for all of the WRAP whippets and other rescue dogs and cats!

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7 Comments

Filed under Getting a Dog / Adding to the Family

7 responses to “In Pet Adoptions, Photos Matter

  1. K.Varsz

    Taking a nice photo is essential to “selling” an adoptable dog. I once found a whippet listed as a whippet mix on Petfinder that had a blurry photo just of the face looking through metal bars. I was so sure it was a whippet- I just had a feeling. (All dogs deserve to be adopted but I concentrate on one breed because I can’t save them all.) I posted on a whippet board and someone quickly drove to the shelter to find a very sad, very emaciated 100% whippet. I will never forget how happy I was when I read the story of how the person adopted him and plumped him up.(It would have been nice to see a face shot and a full body shot of this guy to begin with.) So glad I acted on “a feeling”.

    Julie Poole (animal/people photographer) deserves a ton of credit on this subject. She volunteers time and photos to a local shelter to get the animals their new homes. She is one of those great people that makes a huge difference in the world.

    • sesameseedfund

      Good for you for scouting the Petfinder boards and finding that whippet a home! And thanks for letting me know about Julie Poole – I know her work from her whippet photos but didn’t know about the pro bono work. That’s wonderful!

  2. Ken

    Great article! It was mentioned by Greg on the Whippetsanity list. K. Varsz’s story and Picchu’s happy situation show that fortunately the lack of a good photo doesn’t prevent happy endings. But it would sure help.

    • sesameseedfund

      Thanks, Ken. And how nice of Greg (C.Square Whippets and our dogs’ “other daddy”) to mention it! Appreciate your keeping up with the blog… hi to Bailey & Deva!

  3. i do the same thing you do – scout the WRAP listings “just to look” though i don’t intend to get another for this pack – and have always thought the same thing. the sad, blurry, taken-in-the-kitchen-jail pics don’t give ya that warm & fuzzy feeling…and the gorgeous flower shots and smart collar of your first example had me noticing she’d fit right in with my 2 blondes, when i first saw her too. there’s sadly a post up right now that doesn’t even have a picture, worse off than even that blurry one.

  4. How do you find these dogs? It seems people are not taking you advice. I can’t find any Whippets for adoption in Colorado.

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