Second chances: Decatur native Seth Casteel’s photography helps dogs find new homes

LOS ANGELES – When a dog or cat arrives at an animal shelter in a large city, it often is confused, scared, dirty and disoriented from a harsh life on the street, coupled with the alien experience of being captured and transported to a strange shelter.

At this point, the animals often have their photos taken, and this photo of a dejected, often abused animal is the face that people looking to potentially adopt a pet see online or on fliers. Professional photographer Seth Casteel knew there must be a better way, one that showed animals’ good qualities and made adoption more likely.

“The animal’s photo is its calling card, and a good photo is the difference between life and death to these potential pets,” said Casteel, who was born and raised in Decatur before finding a calling among the animal shelters of California. “When you see a good photo of a pet, you’re going to notice it. Plus, good photos not only attract more attention to the pets but help combat the image of the shelter as a terrible place.”

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