Star Wars characters pose with shelter pets for a unique spin on a classic photo shoot.

The Force is strong with these furry rescue animals.

What's better than super-cute pictures of animals?

Super-cute pictures of animals PLUS STAR WARS.

That's right — in a recent photo shoot, the Ottawa Humane Society used the Force to show off some of their adorable adoptable pets.


A Stormtrooper holds a cat, and the cat is clearly unsure about all this. Image via Rohit Saxena.

Wait, what's going on here?

Good question. The Ottawa Humane society, a charity that helps more than 10,000 animals each year, recently teamed up with photographer Rohit Saxena and the all-volunteer 501st Capital City Garrison to make this series of rescue pets with Star Wars characters.

Here's Garindan, the greatest spy in Mos Eisley, holding a guinea pig. Image via Rohit Saxena.

The point of the series was to showcase the pets in fun, positive ways.

The group also wanted to reach a different audience than a typical photo series would.

"This was all in the name of doing something a little different from our standard adoption pictures."

"This was all in the name of doing something a little different from our standard adoption pictures," Saxena explained. "Given the global, overwhelming response, I think we've made progress."

A Tusken Raider — one of the Sand People — cuddles a cute little kitty. Image via Rohit Saxena.

Hmm, is there a "dark side of The Force" to rescue pets? Aren't they unhealthy and misbehaved?

Short answer: No! That's a complete myth.

Saxena even shared his own rescue dog story with me: "We adopted a rescue dog named Sprocket 4 years ago, and it's no exaggeration to say he's everyone's best friend in our home and neighborhood. ... Everyone seeking a pet should visit and support their local shelters, and at least consider shelter adoption — you'll be a hero in the eyes of your pet."

C'mon, even Mark Hamill thinks shelter pets are awesome (OK, I'm reading between the lines here):

As for how the shoot itself went, Saxena said, "We've gotten pretty good at comforting reluctant animals long enough for a quick picture, or even knowing when to let them take a pass. That said, the animals were a brave bunch that week ... so we had a surprisingly smooth photo shoot."

"We've gotten pretty good at comforting reluctant animals long enough for a quick picture, or even knowing when to let them take a pass."

Another Stormtrooper takes a break from being "a bad guy" to walk their cute pooch. Image via Rohit Saxena.

About 7.6 million companion animals enter shelters in the U.S. every year.

Yeah, 7.6 million. But the situation is far from hopeless. You can make a huge difference by volunteering with your local shelter, adding your own rescue pet to your family, or even just making sure your pet is spayed or neutered.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with one final image — of a guinea pig battle.

All three characters join together for a battle of guinea pigs. What, did you miss that scene in the movies? Image via Rohit Saxena.

Most Shared
Photo by Alfons Morales on Unsplash

Last month, the Chicago Public Library system became the largest in the country to eliminate late fees thanks to Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot.

While the move, which was implemented October 1, was intended to "remove unfair barriers to basic library access, especially for youth and low-income patrons," it had another positive outcome. Since the removal of overdue fees, along with the elimination of any outstanding charges on people's accounts, libraries across the city saw a surge in the return of overdue books over the last several weeks.

"The amount of books returned has increased by 240 percent…We're very, very happy to have that. … Those books have a value and cost money to buy. We want those assets back. We also want the patron to come back," Library Commissioner Andrea Telli said at a City Council budget hearing, the Chicago-Sun Times reports.

According to a press release from Lightfoot, late fees rarely have the impact they're intended to. "Research from other fine-free systems has indicated that fines do not increase return rates, and further that the cost of collecting and maintaining overdue fees often outweighs the revenue generated by them."

Keep Reading Show less
Cities
via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

Actress Kristen Bell and "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon showed off their vocal and comedic chops on Tuesday night when the performed a medley of 17 Disney songs, spanning nine decades, in just five minutes.

The duo started with 1940's "When You Wish Upon a Star" and ended with 2013's "Let it Go" from "Frozen."

Bell will reprise her role as Anna in Disney's upcoming "Frozen 2."

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

We all know that social media can be a cesspool of trolly negativity, but sometimes a story comes along that totally restores your faith in the whole thing. Enter the KFC proposal that started off being mocked and ended up with a swarm of support from individuals and companies who united to give the couple an experience to remember.

Facebook user Tae Spears shared the story with screenshots from Twitter, and the response has been overwhelming.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via Twitter / ESPN

Madison Square Garden in New York City is known for having hosted some legendary performances. George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh in '71, Billy Joel's 12 sellouts in '06, and Carmelo Anthony's 62 points in a 2014 victory against the Charlotte Bobcats, just to name a few.

But it's hard to imagine one person holding the legendary arena in the palm of their hand quite like Pete DuPré, better known as "Harmonica Pete," did on Veterans Day.

Keep Reading Show less
popular