Inspiring LaBelle – One pet photo at a time

Tricia develops rapport with the animals at first and then wins them over with her caring behavior. (Caloosa Belle/Val White)

“I originally started volunteering at the Caloosa Humane Society in 2010. That’s where my love for photographing abandoned animals began,” says Tricia Boone. When a conversation starts with an opening line like that you know it’s going to be a tear jerker!

Tricia, an avid animal lover, says that she felt a connection to animals from a very early age. “I’ve always had dogs, cats, hamsters, ferrets, horses. I’ve always loved animals. It’s funny as I look back at my childhood pictures, I’m either at a petting zoo, or I’ve got some animal in my hands.”

Boone grew up in Fort Myers and now lives in Immokalee, but spends a lot of her days volunteering with the forgotten or overlooked animals of LaBelle.

What Tricia does to raise awareness for the adoptable dogs either at the Caloosa Humane Society or at LaBelle Animal Control is both heart-touching and creative genius.

Tricia develops rapport with the animals at first and then wins them over with her caring behavior. Once a relationship is established, Tricia takes the dogs out for a photoshoot (think cutest adoptable pets calendar shoot) and then posts the photos all throughout social media to try and raise awareness for these dogs that could be the forever pets of the families in our area. The idea is so effective because families get to see the dog portrayed as an adorable and loving pet in these gorgeous photos, instead of an abandoned sad dog behind a chain link fence which has been the ‘typical’ portrayal of such potential pets in the past.

When I met with Tricia at the LaBelle Animal Control she was in the midst of one of these photo shoots with an abandoned dog she has lovingly named Lexi.

Tricia was never a photographer before she started taking photos of animals and since she has been taking photography classes to hone her skills. Her next goal is to begin taking photos of people and their pets.

“My most treasured aspect of photographing these abandoned animals, aside from them getting adopted or rescued, is seeing my reflection in their eyes. If you ever see those photographs you can see me in there, taking their picture,” says Boone with a quiver in her voice. (I told you this conversation was going to be a tear jerker!)

The love that Tricia has for these animals is so inspiring. What a great thing for these abandoned animals to be able to see through their eyes. Someone who loves them with a devotion and dedication that acts tirelessly on their behalf to ensure their survival and happiness.

The world needs more women like Tricia Boone.

Val can be reached at cbnews@newszap.com

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