Seth Casteel and Finding FIDO Sneak Peak
Z Living’s newest original series Finding FIDO airs Tuesdays at 9PM EST. The Z Living network brings you the best in health & wellness entertainment. Finding FIDO is all about matchmaking—only instead of human couples, host (and FIDO friend!) Seth Casteel is pairing people with pooches. Whether it’s a sociable dog that can help owners overcome shyness, an active dog that encourages exercise, or even a dog that can help detect the onset of an owner’s epileptic seizure, Casteel matches each participant’s specialized needs and criteria to his or her new best friend.
Here is a sneak peak of the interview FIDO Friendly Editor Susan Sims conducted with Seth – the full article will be featured in our Spring issue!
When and why did you start working with animals in shelters to start photographing them so they would look great to prospective pet parents and easier to adopt?
In 2007, I was working at a movie studio and some friends of mine discovered a litter of kittens on the studio lot. I volunteered to take a few pictures to help get them adopted.. We snuck the kittens into an executive's office while he was out to lunch and let the kittens hop around on the furniture - taking pictures the entire time. We sent the photos out through the studio email network and twenty-four hours later, they were all adopted. Yay!!! A few weeks later, we found another litter of kittens, took some more pictures, and more adoptions! I then became a volunteer with Los Angeles Animal Services, photographing dogs and cats to help increase adoptions.
Your Underwater Dogs book is a huge success, what made you decide to shoot dogs underwater?
So many people think it was my idea, but it wasn't! It was a dog's idea! Buster the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel decided to turn our "on-land" photo shoot into an "in-the-pool" shoot when he started jumping in after his favorite ball. The above-water pictures just didn't tell the whole story, so I cruised off, bought a point-and-shoot underwater camera, zipped back and jumped in. The resulting pictures were the beginning of the series of Underwater Dogs, and now a tattoo of Buster takes up pretty much my entire arm!
In your new show Finding Fido, can you share the most memorable moment when matching rescue dogs with their new forever homes?
Each episode is so special to me, so it's difficult to choose a favorite! I just love to see how dogs make us better as humans! It's inspiring!
What words of advice do you have for those of us ready to rescue a dog from a local shelter?
First, I would say to really sit down and think it through - are you READY for this responsibility? The idea of adopting a dog is so exciting, but you do have to be ready for the commitment. Next, do your homework. What kind of dog might be right for you? And what kind of dog might you be right for? Evaluate your situation - What is your home like? Do you have a yard? Do you have access to nearby park? Do you have stairs? What is your schedule like? Do you travel? Do you have help to take care of the dog? Do you have kids? The answers to these questions will help guide you in the right direction! Take your time, meet various types of dogs and then be ready when "the one" comes along!
What is next on the horizon?
I would love to see FINDING FIDO continue! We are just getting started - there is so much to do! I think a second season would so awesome! I'm also working on a few new books and calendars, several editorial assignments about other types of animals, and developing UNDERWATER DOGS into a feature film!