Why I love Helping Adoptable Dogs

It’s a warm spring morning, and I’m laying on the grass as usual. My camera’s pointed at Luke, a sweet hound that just stepped off a transport van.

This guy travelled all night from Houston, Texas, to Whitewater, Wisconsin. The goal of this trip? To help him and other adoptable dogs find forever homes.

My job is simple. To help catch the eyes of potential adopters, so they see the beauty in each of these pups. These are my favorite mornings, knowing I may play even a small role in an adoption. Let me share with you why I love helping adoptable dogs.

Adoptable Hound with Alberts Dog Lounge Shadow Dog Photography

Dogs love their people.

Usually when I meet dogs looking to be adopted, they’re scared, confused, and often seem a bit disconnected from humans. I can’t blame them, since somewhere along the line they were let down. Their favorite people are nowhere to be found.

Now to be clear, I truly sympathize with those who have to part with their dog through no fault of their own. Sometimes life can be cruel, and no true dog lover ever wants to have to say goodbye to their best friend. There are times when a dog parent must make the right decision for their dog, even if it means letting them go.

Dogs are for life.

For all of the other people who “discard” their dogs, I’m not a fan. Dogs are a lifetime commitment, and aren’t something to give up simply because of moving homes, having a baby, or bringing home a new puppy. Dogs can be noisy, messy, expensive (I won’t even try to add up our vet and food bills) and challenging. They can be naughty, destructive, and may act poorly towards other dogs or people.

They aren’t born trained, they aren’t mind readers (you may have to teach them to leave your roast chicken alone), and most dogs won’t appreciate staying inside a house, alone, all day and night.

Small Dog with Alberts Dog Lounge Shadow Dog Photography

Dogs are social creatures, and want to be with you. They’re eager to learn, they want to please, and although some take more work than others, they can excel at so many amazing things. Dogs are loyal, they’ll love you unconditionally, and are always happy to see you when you return home each day.

Put in the time and effort to work with your dog, and you’ll have a faithful partner that will never want to leave your side.

I’ve seen the transformation time and time again. I’ve watched homeless dogs that have been rescued, adopted, and then go on to do great things. And by great things I mean becoming a wonderful family member, a therapy or service dog, a dog that excels in various sports, or even as a working K9 for local authorities.

German Shepherd in Kenosha Wisconsin Shadow Dog Photography

So why do I love helping adoptable dogs?

It’s incredible to hear how a simple photo has caught someone’s attention. My goal is to help people connect with these amazing souls. These dogs still have so much life in them, and I try to bring that out in their portraits. Capturing each dog’s unique expression, quirky hair, crooked teeth, or lopsided ears, that’s the magic for me. These dogs have their own wonderful features and my job is to show them off to the world.

Husky in Whitewater Wisconsin Shadow Dog Photography

I love when my friends at Albert’s Dog Lounge, Safe Harbor Humane Society, or Rettungs-Haus Shepherds Inc. tell me that my photos helped dogs find a new forever family. Often these dogs have been waiting a very long time before I meet them.

Here’s another reason I love helping adoptable dogs. Sometimes it’s the adopters who are most affected. Some people bring a dog home and soon realize how much their dog is improving their day to day life.

For those struggling with depression or anxiety (or both), a dog becomes the reason to get up every single day. So many people are struggling in life, and many have found the comfort and reassurance from a four-legged friend. Dogs enrich so many lives, and to think I can help them find families to love, families that will love the dogs in return, that’s why I love helping adoptable dogs.

It never gets old hearing how someone’s life is so much better since adopting their new best friend.

Pitbull Shadow Dog Photography Whitewater Wisconsin


Book Project

If you have a dog that has enriched your life, or has in some way saved your life, CLICK HERE. Your dog can be a part of my book project, Stand With Me: Stories of Dogs Saving Lives.

This post is part of a blog circle with other fabulous photographers around the globe. Up next: Angela Schneider of Big White Dog Photography on why she loves to publish photography books about dogs. Keep clicking at the bottom of each post until you end up right back here in the Shadow Dog pack. Enjoy!

Hi, I'm Jan

I help dog parents celebrate their best friends with adventurous portrait sessions and extraordinary artwork for their home. Tail wags and smiles guaranteed! Based in Whitewater, WI.


  1. Tracy Allard

    Gorgeous images Jan, love the richness and depth (especially in the first dog’s eyes – although I have to confess, I did not expect him to be so short LOL – but adorable nonetheless). I know your images will help these sweet pups find loving homes.

  2. Darlene

    Helping adoptable dogs find there forever homes is so meaningful and it’s a wonderful thing that you do! Thank YOU!

  3. Cahlean

    It’s awesome that you help dogs find new families to live with and love with your photography. I hope they all are adopted!

  4. Kim Hollis

    Reading this makes me want to volunteer my time to help dogs get adopted. I love that you do this and I love Luke. I hope he has found or finds his forever home soon!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More posts for you…

11 Books for Dog Lovers

11 Books for Dog Lovers

11 Books for Dog Lovers If you’re a reader and you have a love for your canine friends, check out this list of 11...