Rita Earl Blackwell, a professional photographer, adopted her first dog from the local animal rescue facility where she volunteers at. As she walked out of the premises, she noticed the sad looks of the dogs left behind. She felt sorry for them and figured that there was a way for her to help.
Unable to support the dogs financially, Rita started using her camera to help. Every time she visits a shelter, she spends time with the dogs, talking, playing, and snuggling with them. She also takes pictures and videos of them, making sure to highlight their best qualities.
Every week, Rita goes to different shelters in her town. She chooses the overcrowded ones because she knows that’s where she’d make the biggest difference. The more dogs she gets to photograph and film, the better.
Taking pictures and videos of shelter dogs can be very tiring, but knowing she can help them, Rita continues to do what she does best. After all, she likes to spend time with dogs. Learning about their struggles and what they’ve been through inspires her more.
One of the dogs that Rita met was Knuckles, a massive Pitbull-Mastiff mix. He looked intimidating and scary, but when she took him out in the yard, he melted in her arms. She saw how sweet and gentle he was, and made sure her camera captured it so others could see it, too.
Besides Knuckles, Rita also came upon two bonded female dogs that shared a kennel. They wagged their entire body when they saw her, and she just couldn’t leave them behind. That same day, she went home with them, and even her husband was so happy to have them.
It’s been a few years since Rita started filming and photographing shelter dogs. The beautiful pictures she posted online paved the way for potential adopters to see the animals. To date, she’s helped hundreds of shelter dogs find forever homes.
At first, Rita was nervous to step foot in a shelter, thinking she’d leave with a broken heart. She realized she was wrong. With the little time she spends with the shelter dogs, she brings them joy and finds comfort for herself, too.
Credits: Rita Earl Blackwell and GeoBeats Animals