How to Photograph Your Pet

Pet Photos Can be Challenging

A good photo is one of the most important things to help a dog, cat, or other animal get adopted. Seth Casteel is world famous for his images of Underwater Dogs, but in the world of animal shelters he’s just as famous for his images that help shelter dogs and cats look their very best.

At the website One Picture Saves A Life, Seth Casteel has generously donated his time and expertise to show people the best way to take photos of pets.

The Wallowa County Humane Society needs pet photographers.  If you have a digital camera and a little extra time on your hands, we can always use some extra help!

8 easy tips that will make any dog or cat a shining star

  • Keep clutter out of the way.  Take a few minutes to clear a space so that all the focus is on the animal.  That includes standing as far away from the animal as you can, while still maintaining control of the dog or cat’s position.
  • If you need to hold a dog or cat, place a solid-colored blanket or cloth over your hand and arm.  When you hold the pet, place its paws over the blanket.  Now the focus will be on the pet, not on you.
  • If you need to use a leash, hold the leash up and away from the dog.  This will make it much easier to “erase” the leash from a photo.
  • Get close and at eye-level, or just above eye-level.
  • Take the image outdoors, in a shady area.  Indoor images often cause green “demon eyes” in dogs.  Just like with people, the eyes are very important in animal portraits!
  • For indoor photos, try to have the light coming from behind where you are standing, instead of behind the dog or cat.
  • Be aware of the background behind the pet.  A white cat with a white wall for a background makes it hard to see the details.
  • Play with your pet and see if you can get it to relax.  A slightly panting dog can make for a photo where the dog appears to be smiling!  A cat will be more relaxed and willing to sit for a photo session.

Some examples of very good photos:

Private F3 web Exemplar photo Blossom Josie small Evee small Smiling black lab adopted Rowdy new web 

Giving Up Your Pet

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Giving up your pet is one of the most difficult decisions a pet owner can make.  Whether it’s because of illness, moving to a location that won’t accept pets, or maybe it just isn’t working out, we’re here to help guide you to make the right choice.  If you do decide that you have to give up your pet, please call Carol at 541-398-8586. We will try to find a foster home for your pet until it can be adopted.  However, it may be necessary for you to keep your pet until we can find a foster home or a forever home. The Wallowa County Humane Society does not have its own shelter.

The WCHS offers a place for your pet to be seen on our website called “Private Adoption.”  Email a good photo and info on your pet, age, sex, spayed or neutered, vaccinations, personality, etc. to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Our webmaster will then post it on our website.  You must provide your phone # as the adoption of your pet does not go through the WCHS.  We just provide a place for it to be seen for a quicker placement in a new home.  DO NOT say FREE.  Charge a few dollars at minimum.  There are unscrupulous people who look at ads, online or in the paper for FREE pets, especially puppies, cats, kittens and small dogs and pit bulls for fighting or selling to laboratories. 

If you need more information on screening potential adopters for your pet,  contact us. 541-398-8586.

We know you want to do what’s best for your four-legged friend.  You can help spread the word by listing your dog for adoption on Fido Love for more national and regional coverage. The right person is out there to give a new home to your pet, but it does take some effort to find just the right home for your friend.

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If you have a particular breed of dog or cat, there are often rescue organizations on the Internet that will help you find a new home for your pet.  An excellent source for breed-specific information is the Rescue Shelter website.  Choose the dog or cat breed that you want to find a home for, or to adopt, and the website will give you a list of organizations for that breed.

For example, to find a rescue organization in Oregon for Beagles, go to the Rescue Shelter website.  Choose Beagle from the dropdown menu for Dogs.  Then click on Oregon from the United States map.  Any state that has a number on it means that it has a rescue organization for that breed of dog or cat.  When you click on a state, the next page that appears will have a list of rescue organizations.  Click on the link for any website to find out more information about who they are and what they do.

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Click on the Beagle image to see an example of the results.

 Watch this quick how-to video on how to use the Rescue Shelter website.  Click on the icon in the lower right-hand corner of the video and it will open to full screen.

 If you’re looking to adopt a dog or cat and can’t find the right one through the Wallowa County Humane Society, please take a look at Petfinder.

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Warning!  Do not list your pet on Craig’s List.

There have been many stories in the news about people who have listed their pets on Craig’s List, and found out later that their animals were sold to laboratories, or abused, or even tortured and killed. Please do not let your beloved pet or innocent puppy or kitten become a victim. Contact the WCHS. We’re here to help you and your pets.