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Terrified, emaciated dog comes to life as volunteer sits with him for human connection

He tries making himself so small in the kennel until he realizes he's safe.

Terrified dog transforms after human sits with him.

There's something about dogs that makes people just want to cuddle them. They have some of the sweetest faces with big curious eyes that make them almost look cartoonish at times. But not all dogs get humans that want to snuggle up with them on cold nights; some dogs are neglected or abandoned. That's where animal shelters come in, and they work diligently to take care of any medical needs and find these animals loving homes.

Volunteers are essential to animal shelters running effectively to fill in the gaps employees may not have time for. Rocky Kanaka has been volunteering to sit with dogs to provide comfort. Recently he uploaded a video of an extremely emaciated Vizsla mix that was doing his best to make himself as small as possible in the corner of the kennel.

Kanaka immediately wanted to help him adjust so he would feel comfortable enough to eat and eventually get adopted. The dog appeared scared of his new location and had actually rubbed his nose raw from anxiety, but everything changed when Kanaka came along.

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Photo by Terricks Noah on Unsplash

Richmond kids help shelter dogs get adopted.

There is not much cuter in this world than dogs, with the exception of kids, but putting the two together makes for all kinds of adorable. That’s exactly what Cody and Marie Lucas found when they were on the hunt to rescue a dog from an animal shelter. They knew they wanted a dog and had been to several animal shelters looking for the perfect pup to adopt. When they got to Richmond Animal Care and Control in Virginia they noticed something different about the kennels that held the dogs up for adoption.

There were hand-drawn pictures and colorful notes attached to the dog kennels. On the kennel of a 5-year-old American Staffordshire terrier named Duquesa, the note read “I’m cute and short haired. I can cuddle and bark. Please adopt me.” The note was written in a child’s handwriting. There was another note on Duquesa’s kennel written in Spanish that read “Yo necesito to be adopted. Yo necesito food and agua. Please adopt me.” Marie said that after reading the letters and looking at the dog's sweet face “how could I not love her?”

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Photo courtesy of Sir Darius Brown
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This article originally appeared on 07.11.19

Young entrepreneur Darius Brown is on a mission to find homes for shelter animals, and he's doing it with style—literally. The 14-year-old makes bow ties for dogs and cats in the hopes that it will help more of them find homes.

Many people find it hard to resist a puppy. But a puppy with a bowtie? That's just not even fair.

Brown, who goes by Sir Darius Brown on social media, wears a bow tie himself most of the time. "Literally everywhere I go, I wear a bow tie" he says.

It all started when he was eight and his older sister started making hair bows in cosmetology school. Brown had been diagnosed at age two with comprehension, speech, and fine motor skills delays, and helping out with his sister's sewing projects seemed to help him.

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Chewy spotlights the photographers who help pets get adopted
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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."