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As a devoted pet owner, you probably have vivid memories of the day you first met your furry friend — whether you found him at a shelter or from a breeder, got him as a puppy or later in life. Now, through this brilliant idea, those memories are being caught on camera. It’s too sweet not to share!

When shelter animals are still waiting for their families, you can see their sadness in their photos. The social media coordinator at the Humane Society of Utah had an epiphany: potential adopters might be more excited by funny, original photos, so she gave each dog the limelight by taking them into her makeshift studio, playing with them, and capturing each one’s unique personality on film. Here’s how it turned out for them…

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Just a few months into 2015, the shelter is already on track to break its record-breaking 2014 adoption rate. We bet those pups — and their new owners — are a lot happier now, too. Beyond placing pets in their homes, this project shows how valuable it can be when we use social media for (and on behalf of!) our pets. We hope this is a trend!

Do you have photos or stories from the day you got your pet? Send them our way!