Individuals Who Assist Canine Discover Houses – Dogster

The steps a dog takes to find his perfect adoptive family force him to rely on different types of loving people. Sophie Gamand, Lisa Lemieux and Bobby Humphreys are three such people.

The photographer

Sophie Gaman

The French artist Sophie Gamand is known for her poignant pictures of pit bulls in colorful and dreamlike flower crowns. When she moved to the United States in 2010, she aimed her camera at dogs. Here she started taking photos at a veterinary clinic and met a rescuer who brought her foster families to her home. An invitation to take photos of the puppies to help them adopt, led Sophie on her current path.

With every step forward, her commitment and passion as an animal rights activist was strengthened. After learning about the enormous numbers of dogs in animal shelters in the United States, she began photographing 20 to 30 dogs in need of adoption every day. Long hours led her to learn more about life in the shelter, the dogs hoping to be adopted and the finality of those who weren’t. This annoyed Sophie: “Making art with it is my coping mechanism,” she explains.

During her sessions, she found she was afraid of the dogs, whose short, muscular shape earned them the Pit Bull label. Instead of indulging in the tension she felt when a pit bull was brought in front of her camera, she came up with a project that would force her to get to know them better by spending intimate time with them. The Pit Bull Flower Power Project was born!

Sophie “crowned” and photographed around 450 dogs in the USA. The goal was for the images to pay homage to the numerous lives lost, as dogs identified as pits are the most euthanized “breed” in the United States. While browsing the collection you will find a number of puppies who can’t help but smile at the thought of Sophie’s touch and some nice treats!

Sophie’s art has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for animal rescues around the world.

The volunteer

Lisa Lemieux

After her 36-year retirement as an educator, Lisa Lemieux deliberately looked for places where she could help dogs and other animals, especially in the event of a disaster. To meet this need in her Vermont area, she helped set up a local Disaster Animal Response Team (DART).

It was through this group that she learned about the Great Danes of New Hampshire. 84 Great Danes were confiscated from an alleged puppy factory. The Humane Society of the United States was tasked with moving the dogs to a place where they could be taken into loving homes and assisting. The group said they needed volunteers. Lisa thought the hour and a half drive from her house was short enough to check in.

She discovered that she could help HSUS and their local Humane Society Chapter with dogs, cats, and even everyday maintenance. It was a place where she could continue to achieve her ultimate retirement goal and do something positive. It was an added bonus that their work would also help animals.

Because of her time with humane society and personal experience with her puppy Karma, Lisa learned a lesson that she wanted to share with us. “People tend to overlook fearful, shy, shy dogs, older dogs, dogs with disabilities,” she explains, “…”

The protector

Bobby Humphrey

Big Guy, Littles World Sanctuary, a place for neglected, abandoned, and abused Chihuahuas to receive medical attention and find safety, is the result of Bobby Humphreys’ personal path in life.

When Bobby’s wife, who also held the title of employee and training partner, abruptly left him, he collapsed. He had lost so much and had to go through such a traumatic event that he saw no way out. A friend refused to let him give up, and when she needed someone to look after her son’s dog, a spirited Chihuahua named Lady, Bobby felt obliged to say the dog could stay with him.

Before long the two became friends and Lady became Bobby’s savior. Although he had a number of different “Big Guy” breeds in his life, he had never before come across a dog that was so in tune with human emotions.

While looking for his own “lady”, he found out about a Chihuahua who needed a family. Their meeting did not go well. The little puppy tried to bite him every time he approached him. He was inclined to pass the dog on, but then thought that if the puppy acted like this on each new person, they would never be adopted. He couldn’t let that happen. He asked to put the dog in his car. Within a few minutes he took photos of the two of them, the dog nestled against Bobby, their knight in shining armor.

It went on like this, every Chihuahua he met seemed to be worse off than the other. At the urging of some friends, he started the charitable sanctuary that is his life today. He finances the project with donations and the profits of his canine CBD products based on hemp. “They did so much for me,” says Bobby about the little dogs, “… I know what it feels like to be abandoned … none of the dogs I come into contact with will ever have to feel it again.”

© Drazen Zigic | Getty Images

Earlier this year, Los Angeles, California became the largest US city with no kills. The no-kill label requires a savings rate of 90% or more for the animals entering a shelter.

With the help of groups like the Best Friends Animal Society, which launched the No Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) initiative in 2012, Los Angeles rose from a savings rate of 56% to over 90% in 2020.

A city that goes to “no kill” status is no easy task. It requires people, shelters and rescue groups to work together to find a way to provide a high quality of life for all homeless animals.

Michelle Sathe, PR manager for Best Friends Animal Society, tells you how you can help your city achieve this formidable status.


  • Volunteering at a local animal shelter or rescue service
  • Adopt your next pet
  • Maintain a pet spay or neuter your pets
  • Donate to a local animal shelter or rescue
  • Share shelters and pets on your social channels, and ask family and friends to share them too.

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