Inspired by New York Fashion Week hitting runways next Thursday, February 6th, the team at Helen Woodward Animal Center decided to show off the swankier-sides of our fuzzy friends with a furry fashion photo shoot.  With the generous support of local business Chowhound Photography (, Center staff hopes the BeFUR-and-AfFUR Make-Overs will have potential adopters taking a second look to see the true beauty and top-model dispositions of fashion-forward dogs and cats seeking forever homes.

The idea of capturing orphan pets in high-fashion photo settings stemmed from numerous reports citing an increase in adoption rates of orphan pets with great profile pictures vs. photos showing the same pets in less flattering surroundings.  Helen Woodward Animal Center PR Manager Jessica Gercke explained, “It’s amazing how often I meet people who don’t understand that a puppy purchased from a breeder is no different than a puppy adopted at a rescue facility.  Both dogs have the same capacity to love, learn and become amazing family pets but images of orphan animals looking unhappy, behind bars, can lead to misperceptions of what these animals are really like.  A fashion photo shoot allows us to highlight the unique personality of each of these wonderful pets and show off their incredible beauty.”



Amy VandenBerg of Chowhound Photography in Encinitas donated her skills to the shoot.  Though her website displays a preference for more natural settings, she was up for the high-fashion theme.  “Animals are so open and ready to display all of their enthusiasm for life and a fascination with the world around them,” said Vandenberg.  “I absolutely love capturing a pet's personality for my clients, and it's just as rewarding to be able to capture the personality of an animal waiting for their forever home.  It's a chance to let them shine in a photo like they do in real life.  Every pet is unique, and showing that uniqueness in a photo can make all the difference when it means winning over a potential adopter.”

Haute Couture is a thrill on the runway and the latest fashion trend is always in demand, but the true love of a devoted companion is something that will simply never go out of style.

If you are interested in adopting, would like to make a donation, or would like more information, please contact Helen Woodward Animal Center Adoption Department at: 858-756-4117 ext. 313, visit or stop by at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.

New York Fashion Week for Pets - Helen Woodward Animal Center

Inspired by Fashion Week hitting runways throughout New York, the team at Helen Woodward Animal Center decided to show off the swankier-sides of their adoptable friends with a furry fashion photo shoot. The photos, taken by volunteer photographer Ri

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