Photographer Fights For The Underdog

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Animal photographer Lori Fusaro has been helping shelter pets find homes for more than a decade. This work has inspired her to create an art book called Silver Hearts.

As we are told, a picture speaks a thousand words and a Los Angeles pet photographer is counting on that old adage.

Local animal photographer Lori Fusaro has a special place in her heart for the underdog. She has been helping pets find homes for more than a decade. This work has inspired her to create an art book called Silver Hearts.

Fusaro’s unique contribution are her stunning photographs of shelter animals that showcase their true spirit. These pictures allow potential adopters to see them as family pets and have been instrumental in getting these animals adopted.

“It takes a special brand of dog lover to capture the essence of a dog’s individual personality inside of a twenty minute photo shoot and Lori shows us how it’s done. Her work is sublime,” said BAD RAP founder Donna Reynolds, who has worked with Fusaro for several years.

During her time at the shelters, Fusaro learned that dogs are surrendered every day to shelters for many reasons—the most heartbreaking of which is that the dog is "too old." Senior dogs who are relinquished to animal shelters most often don't make it out alive.

And that was the certain fate for Fusaro’s Silver Hearts book inspiration—a dog-named Shady. Fusaro met the old girl on one of her trips to the shelter.

“Something about Shady touched me. She was ancient—the shelter said she was 16 and that she had cancer. She was alone and depressed and I couldn’t get her face out of my mind,” said the artist.

Fusaro couldn’t let her die in the shelter and so she adopted her.

As a result of meeting Shady, who Fusaro renamed Sunny, she discovered many old pets are left at the shelter. Unwilling to let these dogs languish there, she has decided to do something to spread awareness for these wise old souls.

“I will be traveling all over the country as part of my Silver Hearts project, photographing as many senior dogs as I can and making a one-of-a-kind art book. My goal is to tell each dog's story and show them as the wise, beautiful and worthy souls that they are. Mature dogs still have a lot of zest for living,” Fusaro explains.

“I used to be one of those people who thought my heart couldn't handle bringing an older dog into my life. That it would be just too painful for me to love a dog knowing their time was limited.”

“I came to realize that no creature should die alone and every animal deserves a home, even if it's for a short time. With this book, I hope to show that old dogs still have a lot of love to give,” said Fusaro.

Indeed. The power of love can work miracles. Sunny is still going strong a year after Fusaro brought her home.

Fusaro has been a photographer for 14 years and an animal rescuer for 10. Many of her photographs have received critical acclaim. They have graced the pages and covers of calendars, publications, and been showcased in art exhibits.

She has been honored as one of the top photographers in Los Angeles for the last four years and is featured in the book 'So You Want To Be A Pet Photographer.’

Fusaro has also been involved with several non-profit organizations including HeARTs Speak, Angel City Pit Bulls and Guide Dogs For The Blind. Even with those high-profile organizations on her resume, Fusaro's most important effort by far is that she has been instrumental in helping hundreds of dogs, young and old, find homes.

“My mantra has become, ‘If not me, then who?’ With this book, I hope to make that mantra resonate with others. Together we can make a difference. Love doesn't keep track of years.”

For more information about the Silver Hearts book project visit or

Lori Fusaro
Fusaro Photography

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