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Shelter’s ‘Feature Films’ Have Folks Lining Up To Adopt The Furry Stars

A picture is worth a thousand words, but a video is worth a million pictures! Kaitlyn Garrett quickly figured this out when she began working as the social media coordinator for Atlanta’s DeKalb Animal Services in 2014.

After posting photos of the shelter’s sweetest, silliest dogs, Garrett realized many were being overlooked because their amazing personalities just didn’t come across in still images.

With the help of DeKalb’s wonderful staff and volunteers, Garrett began shooting short videos of the adoptable cuties romping, playing and snuggling with their human pals. The experiment was a hit! Featured dogs began flying out the shelter doors like iPhone 8s!

“Making videos is an invaluable tool,” Garrett told iHeartDogs. “We generally feature dogs that have a hard time getting adopted because their sweet personalities often don’t come across in the kennel environment. With videos, people see the dog’s personality more and can imagine themselves as their parent.”

Sometimes the dogs are dressed in colorful jammies or irresistible Halloween costumes, but mostly the videos simply feature dogs doing what dogs do – playing with toys, eating treats, kissing humans, and soliciting belly rubs.

Garrett finds it especially rewarding when people are inspired to travel from other states to adopt the pooches they fell in love with through her Facebook videos.

Like Tuna, for example. His dad came all the way from Texas to add this goofy, parrot-mouthed pooch to his pack!

Kuku – now named Pedro – is another video success story. The big-eared, blocky-headed pup was recently featured on the DeKalb Facebook page decked out in a pair of onesie PJs and a jaunty headband. He frolicked about, gave gentle Pibble kisses, and passed out in a volunteer’s lap. It was movie magic.

Needless to say, dog lovers immediately clamored to become the lucky recipient of Kuku’s heart. That honor ended up going to Lisa McWilliams of Omaha, Nebraska.

“My goal was to be able to save a dog that didn’t stand much of a chance of getting a home,” McWilliams told iHeartDogs. “When I saw the video of Kuku – now Pedro – I totally fell in love with him, as did a couple of thousand other people! I knew he was the one for my family.”

Image Credit: DeKalb Animal Services


As soon as she got the news that her application was approved, McWilliams hopped in the car with her oldest son and made the 18 hour journey to meet her family’s newest rescue. As expected, it was love at first sight.

“The future only holds good things for this special boy,” McWilliams said. “And I hope that anyone reading this will consider adopting or fostering a shelter dog.  The love and appreciation a shelter dog exhibits is like none other!”

DeKalb County Animal Services is managed by the non-profit organization LifeLine Animal Project. Since taking over DeKalb and another Atlanta-area shelter in 2013, LifeLine has helped drop euthanasia rates by more than 50%. Their goal is to “transform metro Atlanta into a no-kill community that prioritizes saving the lives of its homeless pets.”


Featured Images via Facebook/DeKalb County Animal Services

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Written by Dina Fantegrossi
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