Life-size cutouts of shelter pets drive adoptions

- A local photographer, garden store, and the Humane Society of Tampa Bay have joined together to help shelter dogs get adopted.

It started with an idea from pet photographer Adam Goldberg. He's known for his fun and goofy photos of shelter dogs and adored pets.

Goldberg took his idea to local businesses. The plan was to place life-size cutouts of the pups all over the Bay Area.

"They immediately see plants, but they also see these life-size dogs," said Autumn Schwab, owner of Thrive: Garden + Water. "[The cutouts] are just fun for one, that's their reaction. And two, they read the tag and we explain why we put those in direct site of our customers."

The tags on the cutouts say "Help Drive Pet Adoptions" and "These cutouts represent the hundreds of shelter pets available for adoption every day."

They also encourage people to take photos with the cutouts and share them on social media with the #DrivePetAdoptions.

Six dogs at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay are featured on the current set of cutouts.

Businesses pay $45 per cutout, mostly to cover the cost of printing, and display them at their storefronts. Thirteen local businesses are participating so far, including Volvo of Tampa, Cappy's Pizzeria and Urban Tails Grooming.

And of course, the Humane Society is on board.

"What we hope will happen is that people will stop, look at these pictures, and learn about how many hundreds of animals are available of adoption at local shelters," said Ornella Varchi of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.

Five of the six dogs featured on the cutouts have already been adopted.

They've been at storefronts for the past two weeks. Everyone involved hopes the program will grow, with more dogs, more businesses, and more cutouts.

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