Hair Of The Dog?

One thing we know for sure, dog lovers are a hearty lot, ready to share in their camaraderie and love of dogs. Whether it’s hosting dog-themed parties for friends or fundraising for an animal advocacy cause, it’s a given – the festivities almost always involve food and drink. Many adult beverages are named after a dog breed or are dog-inspired. We thought it would be fun to feature some of them alongside their recipes in our spring issue.

Our staging area was the award-winning ulele, located in historic Tampa Heights. It’s the newest restaurant from the Gonzmart family’s Columbia Restaurant Group and features native-inspired foods and spirits. The backdrop, vibe and colors made for some gorgeous photography.

While working with ulele Mixologist Chuck Cooper and ulele Head Brewmaster Timothy A. Shackton, we discovered their profound love of dogs. Both men were eager to share stories of how, when and why they adopted their dogs. It became obvious that this was too good to be true, and that we would be returning for a second, more dog-centric photo shoot.

But first – the drink recipes for your summer imbibing.

Colorado Bulldog 11/2 ounces Tito’s Vodka 11/2 ounces Kahlua 1 ounce cream or condensed milk Dark cola soda Combine vodka, Kahlua and cream in tin. Shake. Strain over fresh ice into a collins or pilsner glass. Top with fresh cola. Garnish with three chocolate chips and serve with a tall straw. Serves one. Shown with a shot of ulele espresso.

Colorado Bulldog. Photograph by Laura Allen Studios for The New Barker.

Colorado Bulldog. Photograph by Laura Allen Studios for The New Barker.

Pomeranian 11/2 ounces white rum (Don Q) 1/2 ounce pomegranate liqueur (Pama) 1/2 ounce triple sec 1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice 1/4 ounce fresh squeezed grapefruit juice Combine rum, liqueur, triple sec and juices in tin. Shake. Strain over fresh ice into an old fashioned glass. Garnish with lemon wheel and cocktail straw. Serves one.

Salty Chihuahua Wet the rim of an old fashioned glass with lime juice, then dip in crushed pink peppercorn and salt. 11/2 tequila (Patron Anejo) 1/2 ounce grapefruit liqueur (Pamplemousse) 5 to 6 ounces fresh squeezed grapefruit juice Combine tequila, liqueur and juice in tin. Shake. Strain over fresh ice into the peppercorn and salt rimmed old fashioned glass. Garnish with grapefruit wheel. Serves one.

Mixologist Chuck Cooper pours a Pomeranian (left) and a Salty Chihuahua.

Mixologist Chuck Cooper pours a Pomeranian (left) and a Salty Chihuahua.

Hair of the Dog 2 ounces vodka (Cane Fireant) 1 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice 1 ounce sangrita 1 ounce fresh egg white 1 slice of jalapeño or Thai chili pepper Combine all ingredients in tin. Shake. Strain over fresh ice into an old fashioned glass. Garnish with lemon and chili. Serve with a tall straw. Serves one.

"Learning about spirits enhances my need to know. It Intrigues me and made me realize I'm a history buff. After work, I go home and read books about booze, then create new drinks." Mixologist, Chuck Cooper, pouring a Hair Of The Dog.

“Learning about spirits enhances my need to know. It intrigues me and made me realize I’m a history buff. After work, I go home and read books about booze, then create new drinks.” Mixologist, Chuck Cooper, pouring a Hair Of The Dog.

Bloodhound 1 ounce Gin (Nolet’s) 1/3 ounce dry vermouth 1/3 ounce sweet vermouth 1/4 strawberry puree Combine all ingredients in tin with crushed ice. Shake. Strain into coupe glass. Garnish with a slice of strawberry. Serves one.

The beautiful Bloodhound.

The beautiful Bloodhound.

Dog’s Nose 11/2 ounce Absolut Vanilla Vodka 14 ounces Buckhorn Black Nutmeg or cinnamon Add vodka to a 16 ounce chilled pilsner glass. Pour beer over vodka to fill glass. Dust with the freshly grated nutmeg or cinnamon. Serves one.

Inside the Ulele Spring Brewery (left to right): Rusty Red, Pirate's Barrel Lager, Buckhorn Black Lager for Dog's Nose.

Inside the Ulele Spring Brewery (left to right): Rusty Red, Pirate’s Barrel Lager, Buckhorn Black Lager for Dog’s Nose.

The colloquialism, hair of the dog originally referred to a method of treatment after being bitten by a rabid dog. In the Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (1898), Ebenezer Cobham Brewer wrote, “In Scotland, it was a popular belief that a few hairs of the dog that bit you applied to the wound would prevent evil consequences. Applied to drinks, it means, if overnight you have indulged too freely, take a glass of the same wine within 24 hours to soothe the nerves.”

The Money Shot, in one take, at the front entry of ulele. Wow. From left to right: Guinevere, Hope, Abby, Bella, Levi, Miss Roux, Peter. Photograph by award-winning photographer, Laura Allen.

The Money Shot, in one take, at the front entry of ulele. Wow. From left to right: Guinevere, Hope, Abby, Bella, Levi, Miss Roux, Peter. Photograph by award-winning photographer, Laura Allen.

Two Gentle Giants. One Imposing Message.

For nearly two decades, Sergeant First Class Joe Swoboda served his country with distinction. But during three deployments to Iraq between 2003 and 2005, he saw and did things that changed him forever. He now has Post Traumatic Stress Disease (PTSD) as a result of those wartime experiences. The repeated detonation of bombs resulted in his traumatic brain injury (TBI).

“What I experienced in Iraq, day in and day out, made it nearly impossible for me to return to normal life as a civilian,” said Swoboda. In desperation, he reached out to K9s For Warriors, a Ponte Vedra organization that pairs service dogs with veterans diagnosed with PTSD and TBI.

“It changed my life. Having Lilly as my service dog is like having a ‘Battle Buddy’ by my side, all the time,” said Joe. “Along with the love and support of my family, I feel whole again.”

Giving Warriors And Shelter Dogs A New Leash On Life. Ninety-five percent of the canines used in the K9s For Warriors program are former rescue/shelter dogs or owner surrenders. K9s For Warriors carefully selects dogs for their program from animal shelters across the country and professionally trains them at their facility. Each dog is matched with a warrior to live, learn and bond together for three weeks in the company of up to four other warrior-dog teams. There is no charge to the veteran. Each warrior-dog team is a partnership, which means not only do dogs care for their warriors, but warriors must provide proper care for their dogs. And, it’s working.

K9s For Warriors is the only service dog organization for post-9/11 veterans that requires them to live and train on site with their service dog before going home. As a result, the program has a 96 percent success rate and, within six months of graduation, 92 percent of warrior graduates have reduced or eliminated their prescription medication. This year, K9s For Warriors launched “Stop 22,” a campaign aimed at raising awareness of and action to end the epidemic of veteran suicides. It is estimated that 22 veterans commit suicide every day. [1]

“We’re losing 8,000 of America’s military heroes each year due to suicide, which is heart-breaking and unacceptable,” said Shari Duval, president, K9s For Warriors. Let’s put that into perspective, if that’s even possible. 22 veterans a day are committing suicide. In two days and nine hours, that number climbs to 53 — the equivalent of an entire NFL football team. Over the period of two months, two weeks, three days and two hours, the number rises to 1696 veterans who lose their lives to suicide — the total number of players in the NFL.

Lilly, a Labrador Mastiff mix, was pulled from a high-kill shelter and trained to become a service dog by K9s For Warriors. She was paired with Joe two years ago, almost as soon as he arrived on campus. Now, Joe travels the country with Lilly, to talk to veterans about K9s for Warriors and to help bring awareness to the public about the Stop 22 Campaign. We talked with Joe at this year’s Global Pet Expo in Orlando just prior to the K9 Advantix II presentation, announcing its support of the program for the second year in a row. “I had a guy call me last month. He was desperate, and felt he had no other option but to kill himself,” said Joe. “The guy was married and had four kids. And he was ready to end it all. We talked and I told him I knew what he was going through. I was there. I told him about K9s for Warriors and how they changed my life; how Lilly has changed my life.”

“I tell veterans that you can still have a life after combat. It will be a different life, but it can be a good life,” Joe told us. “Seek help. Call K9s for Warriors. Get a dog and prepare to live,” he added.

[1] U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Mental Health Services, Suicide Prevention Program, Suicide Data Report 2012, va.gov/opa/docs/Suicide-Data-Report-2012-final.pdf. Accessed 1/30/15.

Well Done…Is Better Than Well Said.

As a young couple, Anthony and Monisha had all but one thing in common. He grew up with a profound love for dogs. She had been raised to fear them. But, once he introduced her to his own family pet, a Jack Russell Terrier named Bagel, how could she resist? “Bagel welcomed me into the wonderful world of dogs by worming is way gently into my heart. Once a dog worms his way into your heart, it changes you,” said Monisha.

Besides – Anthony was Monisha’s soul mate, whom she loved and trusted implicitly. Level-headed and with their sights set on becoming doctors, they were meant to be married, and she was destined to  love dogs.

After their pre-dog wedding, they settled into a Central Florida home. Over a period of time, he gently convinced her to consider bringing a dog into their family-fold, sooner than later. They agreed that this was not a decision to be taken lightly, so together they visited the Sanford location of the SPCA of Central Florida every week. For one reason or another, the couple could not agree on which dog to adopt. They remained positive and committed to the cause, convinced that soon, their patience would pay off.

On the eighth week, the couple walked past another countless number of homeless dogs in the shelter, each one with a compelling back story. The secret desire to just take each one home was outweighed by the mitigating factor that it’s simply impossible to save all of them.

And then, one dog timidly met each of their gazes. Frightened, but appearing to know this might be his last chance at redemption, he powered up his best irresistible traits and caught the attention of Monisha and Anthony.

They named him Franklin, after Benjamin Franklin, whose statue rests on a bench at the University of Pennsylvania. Now married 19 years, Monisha remembers, “Anthony and I lunched near that statue almost daily during our 10 years of medical school in Philadelphia.”

Happy Franklin

Happy Franklin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A two-year-old English Foxhound, Franklin had been found wandering the woods in rural Florida, wearing a hunting collar. Sometimes, when a dog bred for hunting is no longer able to do his job, he is dumped in rural areas, or left behind in the woods to fend for himself. Obviously, not every dog ends up as fortunate as Franklin.

Even though Franklin may have displayed some shyness, what attracted the couple to the dog was his stoic attitude. “He was confined to a kennel with another dog who had pooped all over the place. Franklin was clearly not happy with his roommate and was staying as far away from him as he could. When we took him out to the play yard, he ran around and seemed genuinely happy to play with us. But when we returned him to the kennel, he resumed his ‘I’m so disgusted by you’ attitude toward his roommate. He even gave Anthony a surly look. We knew then we had to bring him home,” said Monisha.

Franklin's Upright Tail.

Franklin’s Upright Tail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once home, Franklin didn’t wag his tail. In fact, Monisha and Anthony just thought his tail was one that would remain in a permanent down mode. It wasn’t a tail set between his back legs, which could indicate that he was scared. No, it was just a tail that remained downward, with no motion whatsoever. He felt safe in one room of their home — the laundry room. Those first few weeks, he would always return to his safe room after going outside for walks or eating his meal.

Three weeks to the day after Franklin came home with Monisha and Anthony, the couple was sitting in their living room. “We heard this pitter patter of paws and looked at one another,” said Monisha. Franklin had wandered out of his safe room, looked at the couple and raised his tail. “It’s as if he knew this was really his permanent home, and he was showing us,” said Monisha.

franklin_B

Forever Franklin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Franklin’s Friends, based in Maitland, Florida, raises money through a variety of events as well as through direct donor solicitation. The organization accepts and reviews applications from local animal charities for their fundraising dollars all year. While they strive to support what they believe are the three pillars of animal welfare: Rescue/Shelter, Spay/Neuter and Community Education, they do restrict their funds to 501(c)(3) organizations or government agencies that have the highest standards of veterinary care. The application asks what kind of screening tests are done on intake, what vaccines are administered, how kennels are sanitized, parasite control measures, testing and treatment for heartworm and heartworm prevention protocols. For more information, visit Franklin’s Friends website and follow them on the Franklin’s Friends Facebook page.

To read the full story and view more photos, visit The New Barker digital series and go to page 30 of the magazine (winter 2014/15).

“Well Done Is Better Than Well Said.” – a quote by Benjamin Franklin.

 

 

Say It Isn’t So…

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) has really stepped in some doggy doo-doo this time by donating a large sum of money (six figures) ostensibly in support of puppy mills.

In December, 2013 Phoenix, Arizona city officials passed an ordinance prohibiting pet stores from selling dogs obtained from commercial breeders. The ordinance is aimed at undermining the business of puppy mills, the large scale commercial breeding facilities that serve as the primary source of puppies trafficked by pet stores.

Frank and Vicki Mineo, the owners of a chain of Arizona pet stores called Puppies ‘N Love, have filed a federal lawsuit in response to the Phoenix ordinance. Fearful of losing their business, the Mineos have claimed that the city of Phoenix overstepped its bounds. A judge has granted an injunction prohibiting Phoenix from enforcing the law until the case is further evaluated.

It appears the Mineos have low friends in high places, helping them fund their lawsuit. Please remember these names: The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) is one of the largest pro-puppy mill lobbying groups in the country. Two members are Ryan Boyle of the Hunte Corporation and Joe Watson of Petland. And then there is the APPA, the leading not-for-profit trade association made up of more than 1000 pet product manufacturers. Their mission is to “promote, develop and advance pet ownership and the pet products industry…” The voice of the APPA, Bob Vetere, President and CEO, tells us, enthusiastically every year how much money we Americans are spending on our pets.

The APPA has donated a large sum of money to support the Mineos in their legal battle against Phoenix. Is that really a good use of APPA money, Mr. Vetere? Why did you feel that the APPA needed to become involved in such a controversial case?

In response to the APPA’s involvement with the Mineo puppy mill case, Vetere released this statement: “We all want to see puppy mills eliminated today. But America’s pet lovers have made it clear that banning the sale of dogs and cats at local pet stores is not the best way to do it. What this poll tells us is that pet owners want tougher breeder standards so that they can be confident that dogs and cats are raised humanely and in the best interests of the animal.”

In her recent blog, Speaking For Spot, Nancy Kay, DVM responds to Vetere’s statement: “Attention Mr. Vetere! The poll you refer to appears to be a complete farce aimed at duping the public while protecting the best interests of the for-profit businesses you represent. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the regulatory body in charge of promoting “tougher breeder standards” has failed miserably to improve the conditions for puppy mill dogs. The USDA makes progress one millimeter at a time, when what is needed is one mile at a time. Additionally, efforts to enforce existing USDA guidelines are abysmal at best. Lastly, Mr. Vetere, what is wrong with tackling the puppy mill issue with a multi-pronged approach? Why not institute tougher breeder standards while, at the same time, eliminate the sale of pet store puppies?”

By the way, there have been several pet stores across the country who have voluntarily stopped selling puppies and changed their business model. They are now successfully partnering with local shelters and rescue groups to offer homeless pets for adoption. That’s a good, pro-active start to eliminating puppy mills, without any assistance from the slow-moving arm of the government. Independent business owners taking a stand.

On a related note: Miami has placed a six-month moratorium on “new” stores selling dogs or cats. Commissioners were pressured by Don Anthony, spokesperson for the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida, who stated that retail pet shops “get their dogs from puppy mills…” The plan, for now, is to “research the effects of the moratorium in order to reach a decision on whether or not to institute an outright ban.”

To view a list of other Florida municipalities that have instituted retail pet sale bans, visit this page, created by Best Friends.

The New Barker would like to know your thoughts on the poll that Bob Vetere and Dr. McKay referred to earlier in this post, and the “tougher breeder standards” the USDA is attempting to set up. We would like to hear from breeders and shelter/rescue group volunteers. What are your thoughts on how puppy mills can be eliminated?

The Dogs of Summer.

In the world of Minor League Baseball, 2008 may have been the year of the dog, according to Benjamin Hill of MiLB. On January 18 of that year, the Greensboro Grasshoppers announced that the collar of Miss Babe Ruth, the club’s popular Black Labrador, had sold for $290 in a charity auction. Miss Babe Ruth was billed as the youngest bat dog in the history of the Minor Leagues when she made her on-field debut in Greensboro in 2006.

Also on January 18, 2008, Maverick the Wonder Dog became part of the Brooklyn Cyclones front office. And just three days later, the Trenton Thunder announced that Chase, their popular Golden Retriever, had fathered a litter of puppies.

Chase was actually acquired at the end of the Thunder’s 2002 season. Over the years, he became a disc-chasing community icon. Fans lined up at every game to obtain his paw-tograph. Even Derek Jeter was among Chase’s long list of close and personal friends. Chase retired in 2013, and soon after passed away. His son, Home Run took over as the lone bat dog for the Trenton Thunder. He even brings water out to the umpires during games. Check out the Chase Video tribute. What a ham.

Major League Baseball is catching up. Earlier this year, the Milwaukee Brewers adopted Hank, a stray dog found near the MLB team’s Phoenix spring training facility. He was hungry and scared, and appeared to have been hit by a car.

Healed and healthy, Hank now travels with the team. So, now we’re wondering if he’ll be with the team as they meet up to play the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on July 28, 29 and 30. We would love Hank to meet Bailey, a Florida Ambassadog for shelter dogs everywhere.  Her favorite team is the Tampa Bay Rays, and she loves Joe Maddon (but, has yet to meet him). She even channels Maddon by wearing her own Ray Ban glasses while listening to #Bruce Springsteen. In fact, Glory Days might be Bailey’s favorite song.

Just a few years ago, Bailey was 12 hours from being euthanized when a volunteer from the Humane Society of Tampa Bay discovered her, sitting in the back of a crate. She was shivering, scared and had painful tight mats all over her fur. Bailey’s story is like thousands of other dogs waiting to be adopted. Luckily, today she lives a good life, traveling everywhere with her humans, including to Tropicana Field during the Bark in the Ball Park Dog Day. She has also been the Doggie Dining Diva for THE NEW BARKER, contributing as a “restaurant reviewer.” (#Laura Reily and #Jeff Houck, watch your backs…).

We know how supportive the Rays have been to local rescue organizations such as Pet Pal Animal Shelter. Could a meet up on the pitcher’s mound between Bailey and Hank occur during the Rays vs Brewers game to show a unified support for shelter dogs everywhere? Stay tuned. THE NEW BARKER plans to lobby for it, and we’ll need our fans’ voices and votes to make it work. Please visit the Event page at THE NEW BARKER on Facebook. Simply cast your vote for either Bailey or Hank by writing a comment as to why you think one or the other (or even both) should step up to the pitcher’s mound on July 30 to throw (or goober) the first pitch. Then share the page to your family and friends. It’s all in good fun to help bring more awareness to the Adopt Don’t Shop philosophy.

Chase, the official bat dog for the Trenton Thunder.

Chase, the official bat dog for the Trenton Thunder.

Miss Babe Ruth made her debut with the Greensboro Grasshoppers in 2006.

Miss Babe Ruth made her debut with the Greensboro Grasshoppers in 2006.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tampa Bay Rays fan, Bailey and her Joe Maddon Ray Bans.

Tampa Bay Rays fan, Bailey and her Joe Maddon Ray Bans.

Hank, mascot for MLB's Milwaukee Brewers, running the bases.

Hank, mascot for MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers, running the bases.

Ice Cream Is The Answer. (Who Cares What The Question Is).

A scoop of Toasted Coconut and a scoop of Valrhona Chocolate.

A scoop of Toasted Coconut and a scoop of Valrhona Chocolate.

Have you ever been to an ice cream tasting? Ulele presented a delicious experience for the palate as well as the eyes to a lucky few of us last week in Tampa. An official opening date for this fabulous new restaurant has not yet been announced. When it does open, look out, foodies. All details point to success for this newest Gonzmart family project.

Located in the heart of Tampa Heights with a wonderful view of the Hillsborough River, the restaurant (and brewery) will focus on all things local, including fresh fruits, veggies, seafood and “other proteins” from Florida. Richard Gonzmart and his head brewmaster Tim Shackton are even developing a specially-crafted beer to be named after Richard’s German Shepherd Dog, Rusty. And, in keeping with all things sustainable, they are contemplating the creation of dog treats from the spent brewing grains. Is there a Ulele dog treat tasting event in the very near future? Be sure to stay connected to THE NEW BARKER for details.

But, let’s get back to the important subject at hand – the ice cream tasting. American author Ernestine Ulmer is best known for her quote, “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” And that’s just exactly what we did last Wednesday at Ulele. Imagine the smooth, creamy, cold and refreshing scoops of six (yes, six) different flavors of ice cream, served up in a half coconut shell. Turns out Mr. Shackton’s other passion is making homemade ice cream. Lucky for all of the taste testers, he did not disappoint. Valrhona Chocolate. Naviera Espresso Swirl. Ugandan Vanilla Bean. Florida Mango. Florida Wildflower Honey. And my personal favorite – Toasted Coconut – transported me to another time.

Savoring each spoonful, with my eyes closed, I saw a little girl visiting grandparents in Puerto Rico with her mother. Details and presentation are just as important as the food itself to fulfill a unique experience. So, the delicious memory of a street vendor handing me a half coconut shell filled with creamy coconut ice cream on that sunny day so many years ago, was perfectly recreated last Wednesday evening at Ulele. It is no coincidence that Richard Gonzmart’s philosophy for his new venture is to honor past generations while creating memories for the next generation.

We were each given a form to rate the ice cream. And, oh my goodness, that was tough. But, hey that’s the price a hardworking ice cream taster must pay in order to enjoy the fruits of someone else’s creativity in the kitchen. Understandably, I did not require dinner that evening. Which now reminds me of an Erma Bombeck quote, “Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.”

Looking out onto the Hillsborough River from inside Ulele.

Looking out onto the Hillsborough River from inside Ulele.

Arrowheads that Richard Gonzmart has been collecting over the years, have been infused into the bar tops.

Arrowheads that Richard Gonzmart has been collecting over the years, have been infused into the bar tops.

Richard Gonzmart giving the taste testers a little background on the inspiration of Ulele.

Richard Gonzmart giving the taste testers a little background on the inspiration of Ulele.

Every Picture Tells A Story. Or, Does It?

It’s tough to photograph a shelter dog and make him look good for adoption. How do you make one black dog stand out from all the other black dogs? And, a Pit Bull by any other name is still a Pit Bull, right?

With thousands of dogs coming through Florida shelters every week, what is the significance of one photo on a shelter’s website to help get a dog noticed? How does the photographer capture the look on a dog’s face that will hopefully lead to adoption?

Donating countless number of hours, professional photographers have been asking that question of themselves for years. Thank goodness, through their tenacity, learned skills and creativity we’re seeing much more colorful, professional-looking portraits of shelter dogs. It has become a wonderful marketing tool for shelters and rescue groups alike, ultimately leading to more adoptions. But, make no mistake about it, this is not an easy task to accomplish, nor is it for the squeamish. 

 

Photographers encounter shelter dogs that are often scared, sometimes dirty, certainly not well-groomed, most definitely excitable, skittish, and unable to look at a camera. Before setting up the shot, a photographer may wonder what the backstory is on the dog. Owner-surrendered after years of serving up love and companionship to a human who can no longer care for him? Perhaps found wandering the streets for who knows how long; hungry for food, starving for friendship? What could possibly be going through the dog’s mind as it’s walked down a concrete hallway among other barking dogs; confined to a cage until, who knows what will happen next?

Sometimes, the photographer will be able to read a little bit about the dog’s history on the clipboard attached to his cage door. Of course, it’s never a happy story. So it takes a lot of deep breathing to regain composure. After all, it’s pretty difficult to set up a good photo when the shooting eye is blurred. 

To help give shelter dogs the second chance they deserve, photographers like Seth Casteel offer up best photography practices through his One Picture Saves program. He was doing this long before his Underwater Dogs project took off. Another photographer from Budapest, Hungary is creating surreal scenes to help change the perception of shelter dogs. The project, Help Dogs With Images, is the creation of photographer Sarolta Ban who has close to 200,000 Facebook fans. Now through June she is asking her fans to upload images of shelter dogs. To increase the photo’s visibility, she uses her Photoshop skills to create a montage. Some of her photos appear below this post.

All of the photographers who contribute to The New Barker dog magazine donate their time and money to photograph shelter dogs, capturing their most positive attributes. It is an honor to work with this talented group of people who make their living as professional photographers, including St. Petersburg’s Danette Morse, Clearwater’s Laura Allen, Boca Raton’s Tina VaLant, Miami’s Jaime Seymour-Newton and Orlando’s Donna Miller.

Some, like Laura Allen, will set up shop several weekends a year for professional photo sessions. Using her mobile studio, she donates a portion of her sales to non-profits like the SPCA of Tampa Bay and Animal Coalition of Tampa. “These organizations provide a great service to our community. It’s important to me to support them,” said Laura.

When you see these photographers around your neighborhood working, thank them. They are doing their part to help increase adoption rates, thereby reducing euthanasia numbers in Florida shelters – one photograph at a time.

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Mia was once a shelter dog. She was photographed by Laura Allen Studios.

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Shelter dog, Photoshop montage by Sarolta Banilla of Budapest, Hungary.

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Shelter dog, Photoshop montage by Sarolta Banilla, photographer.

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Shelter dog in a Photoshop montage created by Budapest, Hungary photographer, Sarolta Banilla.