HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Four Hattiesburg residents say a common bond drew them to photography. They share a goal of wanting to make a difference in the lives of Southern Pine Animal Shelter animals.
Beth Bice says she and several others started the program Southern Pines Animal Shelter Pet Photography Project more than a year.
"With the intention of getting together professional and amateur photographers around locally, and take quality photos of shelter animals," said Bice.
Bice says the purpose of the program isn't just taking the pictures. The real impact happens once the animals pictures are posted to their Facebook page.
"And use social media to help adopt them," said Bice.
According to Project Coordinator for Southern Pines Animal Shelter Pet Photography, Rachael Fairchild the social media push is working.
"Since the inception of the project live release rate has increased by 23.41 percent," said Fairchild.
Bice and Fairchild agree that social media has attracted more people to help the shelter, and shine a different light on our fury friends.
"A lot of people have a negative perception of shelter animals. People don't think there are pure bred dogs in shelters. People think shelter dogs are sick, mangy, not cute. What our photos help to do is get out the word that shelter dogs are great," said Fairchild.
Their photos help to get six dogs a new home in August.
"Live with Kelly and Michael was having a dog week. They were featuring photos of adoptable animals in shelters all over the country. Our photos were selected to be aired on that show. Six of our dogs were aired. They were seen all over the country, and I believe they all got adopted," said Fairchild.
Bice says the project involves a lot of volunteer hours, using their own cameras and purchases resources, but they do it for one reason.
"Absolutely, purely out of love for animals," said Bice.