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Three Times the Charm for This Shelter Dog

By PetcoFoundation on Mar. 23, 2017

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Each year, the Petco Foundation invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Guinnevere Shuster won Humane Society of Utah in Murray, Utah a 2016 Holiday Wishes award. 

More than three years ago, I volunteered to photograph shelter animals twice a week at the Humane Society of Utah to help get animals adopted.

Tubs was a happy 18-month-old bully mix who came to the shelter as a stray. He had been adopted and returned to the shelter two times through no fault of his own.

He became one of my favorites over the next six weeks. Even though I had already taken his adoption picture, I walked him every time I visited the shelter.

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An unfortunate event, which was a blessing in disguise, brought Tubs into my family.  

One day, someone burglarized my home. Fortunately, Wumbi, my small Aussie mix, and Seven, my elderly cat, came through unscathed. The next day, however, I decided to bring Tubs home on a trial adoption. They said he wasn't a fan of cats, but somehow I knew we were meant to be together. He ended up getting along with my cat just fine and has been with us ever since.

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I became obsessed with taking pictures of Tubs. He loved to ham it up for the camera and allowed me to dress him up. I was sad that so many shelter dogs might not get second, third or fourth chances, like Tubs. I decided to stop photographing weddings, people and special events and photograph shelter animals full time instead.

Tubs inspired me to take a risk and follow my heart. With no experience in the animal welfare industry, I took a leap and have never looked back.

To date, I have photographed more than 7,000 shelter animals, including Tubs.

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