Watch Shelter Dogs Play Dress-Up for the Camera

See photographer Tammy Swarek at work, dressing up shelter dogs to boost their chances for adoption.

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Dogs in need of adoption are getting a leg up with the help of contemporary portrait photographer Tammy Swarek. The Arkansas-based professional has been dressing up pups as humans to show the sweetest, cutest, funniest, or quirkiest side of each potential pet.

As a pup parent herself, Swarek has always played dress-up with her four-legged family members. So it’s natural that she take the fun to her work while showcasing the individual personality of each shelter pet she meets. Dressing dogs in button-downs, ties, and vests certainly puts a unique spin on their adoptive profiles.

“I wanted someone to see that picture of a dog and have some type of connection with it that they wouldn’t ordinarily have just by seeing it shot in a cage,” Swarek says of the motivation for her photography project in this three-minute video by Barcroft TV.

Swarek works primarily with her local shelter, the Union County Animal Protection Society (UCAPS), in El Dorado, Arkansas. The UCAPS manager describes the project as a sort of “rags to riches” transformation, while adding that it’s helping change the perception of shelter animals. With playful hats and pretty flowers adorning their heads, it’s a creative way to help these sweet creatures find loving homes fast.

Read more about Tammy Swarek on our sister site, Dogster.

Top photo: Ms. Wesson by Tammy Swarek.

Whitney C. Harris

Whitney is a New York-based writer for websites including Dogster,, and A former book and magazine editor, she enjoys running (with her dog, Finley), watching movies (also with Finley), and cooking meatless meals (usually with Finley watching close by). She and her husband (and Finley, too) welcomed a baby girl named Rowan in August.


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