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Aug 19, 2015 12:51 PM ET

Archived: Finding Shelter- Portraits of Volunteers and Shelter Animals: Finding Shelter chronicles the deep, intimate bond between animal shelter volunteers and the abandoned animals they care for

iCrowdNewswire - Aug 19, 2015

“Images of homeless dogs have become, unfortunately, an all too familiar site… Freidin’s photos emphasize that, in many cases, it’s not just the dog relying on the generosity of the volunteers, but also people turning to abandoned animals for their own sense of love and security.”  –Four and Sons Magazine

My name is Jesse Freidin and I’ve been photographing dogs for the past ten years. My work has been featured in major magazines around the world. I’m lucky enough to have received some amazing awards, and am also the creator of “The Doggie Gaga Project,” a series in which I photographed dogs dressed as Lady Gaga with Polaroid film that went viral overnight. 

Credentials aside, my work has always been driven by my deep passion for animal advocacy and a near obsession with the dog/human bond. I am fascinated by the depth and emotion of that symbiotic relationship. I want to tell the stories that are not being heard which is why Finding Shelter began–to give voice to a small community that is directly responsible for keeping millions of abandoned animals alive every day.

“I volunteer to help the greater dog community by giving back some of the love that my old dogs gave to me. Encouraging and reassuring them that they are safe, loved and that there’s warmth and goodness left in the world just for them.” Jeremiah + Picasso

Finding Shelter is not project about shelter dogs. It is a project about people. It is a story told through photographs of thousands of volunteers that care for the once loved and unwanted animals that fill our shelters, accompanied by volunteer’s personal accounts of why this work is so meaningful and life–changing, all compiled into a beautifully printed photography book.

I seek to capture the selflessness and emotional resilience of the people who give those animals their second chance. I’ll travel the country, visiting shelters and photographing the emotional bond between dogs and volunteer workers.

With your support, I will do this visual research and produce a beautiful photography book. 

“There is great celebration when a dog who has been here for several months finally gets adopted. This is why I continue to volunteer at the shelter. I believe that humans have a responsibility to care for these animals that we have made our companions.”

 “With each dog to whom I give love- be it walking them, reading to them or pulling them from a shelter- I am becoming a more whole and healthy person.”

“I volunteered in my local shelters and watched them have to euthanize perfectly friendly, adoptable animals. I felt that it was my responsibility to help solve this crisis, and started Wags and Walks Rescue- now the fastest growing rescue in the nation.” Lesley + Kona

Though a publisher has shown interest in this book, I must fund the entire production cost myself and may end up having to self publish entirely. Please help me turn this project into a reality by donating, sharing this Kickstarter with friends, and being a part of this inspirational and important work. 

A percentage of proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to animal shelters and shelter education. I’ll also be giving each shelter digital photographs of their adoptable animals which they can use online to help get these pets adopted. Most importantly, Finding Shelter aims to drive awareness to local shelters and rescue programs across the country, helping direct new adopters to available animals, encourage volunteerism, and begin a more compassionate and deeper discussion around animal rescue.

“We, as volunteers, know that not all of our pets will find a home, but we make sure that during their time at the shelter those animals feel loved and cherished. Shelter pets deserve to find a forever family, and I volunteer to make that happen.”



I’ll be photographing over 150 volunteers at 12 shelters from coast to coast.

Finding Shelter Cross Country Trip
Finding Shelter Cross Country Trip


This beautiful photography book will feature a full page spread for every animal/volunteer pair, accompanied by a personal account of why each volunteer dedicates themselves to such challenging and rewarding work. These stories, seen side by side with the portraits, are incredibly moving.



This is a passion project, not a way to make a profit. Below is a graph of where every penny of the $12,500 will go. Notice there is no section called “commission for the artist.” 

Finding Shelter Expense Chart
Finding Shelter Expense Chart

So far, finding Shelter has been featured in:
The Huffington Post
The Dodo
7×7 Magazine
Four and Songs Magazine
The Bark Magazine
…. and more.


Polaroids From The Road: examples, images will vary

Tshirt Design: (dog illustration by Lili Chin of Doggie Drawings)

8×10″ ‘HOWL’ Print: matted and signed

 11×14″ Basset Print: signed, loose print (comes with below print)

 11×14″ Group on Couch Print: signed, loose print (comes with above print)

A shelter is a place of mutual healing for humans and dogs, and I am grateful for the privilege to show the restorative powers of that bond through this project. 

Please give what you can. You may select a reward from our great list of perks after you confirm your donation, or you may simply donate to the project without any reward– it’s completely up to you. I appreciate any and all support in making this book a reality. 

Contact Information:

Jesse Freidin

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