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Dog Who Had Given Up At Shelter Reaches Out For A Friend

| Published on May 10, 2017

Dogs often greet visitors to the shelter with yelps of hope, as they press up against the bars of their kennel.

Pick me! Pick me!

But everything about this dog at Baldwin Park Animal Care Center in Los Angeles suggested she would rather disappear.

Even the card attached to her kennel could muster only this introduction: “I don’t have a name yet …”

Image Source: John Hwang


When John Hwang spotted her during a visit last week, he saw a small dog who only wanted to get smaller. The Los Angeles photographer often visits the shelter to chronicles the animals there, hoping to bring much-needed attention to them — and maybe even a forever home.

This dog-with-no-name didn’t seem ready for her close up. Hwang was just about to leave.

“She didn’t come up to the fence,” he tells iHeartDogs. “She was way in there — a tiny little dog curled up in a ball in a kennel that was just dark and cold.”

Indeed, Hwang was struck by how vast the dog’s kennel seemed with just a tiny curled up dog at the farthest edge.

“My first thought was this is one of those dogs that are just in shock over being in this kind of environment,” he says.

But for some reason, at the very last moment, this dog summoned the strength to give it one more try.

Image Source: John Hwang


Maybe it was something about the kind, gentle stranger.

“People ask me, ‘How do you choose dogs? There are so many dogs at the shelter,” Hwang says. “For me, it just happens. I’m more interested in the connection. That’s what I want to capture — the connection.”

And in this case, a dog-with-no-name dog made it happen. She nudged her face against the fence.

Then she found a gap in the fence and rested her head in Hwang’s outstretched hand. Connection made.

Image Source: John Hwang


“It was just so beautiful the way she reached out to me. I felt like she was doing all the work,” Hwang says. “She was reaching out to me. And I thought, ‘I want to be able to capture that and show just how much she was wanting to connect with somebody.”

Hwang’s pictures were shared hundreds of times on social media.

And a few days later, when he checked up on the dog’s status, he learned that she had been adopted.

Image Source: John Hwang

He doesn’t know who pulled her — or even if his pictures made a difference — but he does know that somewhere out there, there’s a dog who has a name now.

And a dog who can probably thank a stranger with a camera, who took the time to connect with her.

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