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CHICAGO — Three years ago, Josh Feeney walked into Chicago Animal Care and Control to volunteer and saw a desperate need for one of his biggest passions.

“So many dogs come in and they have bad pictures of them taken, and people assess a dog at their cage, and its scared, its crying, so I thought I can try and take some pictures, I can try and network on social media,” Feeney said.

With his devotion for dogs and talented photography, Josh is on a mission to change the perception of the dogs and cats who find themselves in a shelter.

“When people think of shelter dogs, I think people have this misconception of damaged goods — that’s really not the case,” he said. “Dogs come here and cats through no fault of their own, but this is the view people often carry when considering a shelter pet.”

Pups out of their element, unable to express the joy they would share with a loving family — that’s where Feeney steps in.

“I try to think, what kind of picture can I represent to see someone wanting to take this dog home, so a dog doing what you would do in a natural setting like going to the park, playing fetch, or just normal picture someone would take,” he said.

Depending on his work schedule, Feeney is able to capture anywhere from 25 to 75 dogs a week. Then, the professional photos are then blasted across social media.

“What’s really, really gratifying is getting immediate results. People who I don’t even know will tag people I don’t know, and they tag people, and a lot of these dogs find homes.” Feeney said. “And it’s because of pictures, it’s because of social media, it’s because people network.”

More networking, he hopes, to get more pets into homes.

Some of the photos featured in this story were taken by Amstaphy.

More info:

Adopt A Dog program
Skates’ Sidekicks
Saturday, Jan. 17, 5pm
Allstate Arena, Rosemont

To view pets available for adoption through cacc, visit

Chicago Animal Care and Control
2741 S. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60608