Thursday, October 20, 2016

Watch this beautiful reunion between a shelter dog and his person

For many families, it's hard to imagine losing everything you love. Going through a divorce, losing your home and living in your vehicle. Sadly, for Jose and Chaos, this was a reality. Jose, being a loving, responsible pet owner, realized that this was not a good life for Chaos and arranged for him to go live with a friend until he could get back on his feet. Three months later, as his situation turned, Jose was ready to bring Chaos back into his home and life, but the people caring for him would not give his dog back. Jose was heartbroken and thought he would never see his friend again. 

However, fast forward a year and a half, a Winnebago County Animal Services employee walked outside and found a dog in her driveway. Luckily, this pup had a microchip and one day after the surprising call that his friend was safe, Jose was able to make a trip to the shelter to pick up his friend. 

After a few moments of hesitation (what dog wouldn't be confused and scared with all these changes), Chaos recognized his best buddy and sprang into his arms! It's a beautiful moment to watch and a great reminder of how important microchips really are! 

Stephanie Conrad
Pet Studio Art | Owner | Artist

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Don't forget to grab a Halloween Candy Bag for your little trick or treaters this month! Pet Studio Art totes are perfect for carting around your candy haul this Halloween! 

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Use code candy at checkout to get a free necklace of your choice when you purchase any two tote bags!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Mutt Monday: Mary Jane Seeks Forever Home

When starting the ever important search for a new forever family member, you will likely have a list of qualities you would like in your new furry friend. 

Dog friendly? Check. 
People Friendly? Check.  
Vaccinated and Spayed? Check. 
Adorable? Check. 
Charming? Check.
Small and cuddly?  Check.

... and by choosing adoption you are saving a life, which is the biggest 'check' of all when deciding to add a new pet to your family! 

Mary Jane is a 2 year old Boston Terrier mix (maybe a little Rat Terrier in the mix as well) who would love an active home of her own. She walks well on a leash, and gets along with other dogs, although she definitely prefers the company of less dominant dogs. Mary Jane is housebroken, loves toys and being pampered in the bath. Have a cozy bed? Mary Jane is a great snuggler and would truly enjoy curling up in your lap while you lounge on the couch or work at your desk. 

This beautiful lady is available for adoption through Forgotten Friends mixed Breed Rescue. You can show your support for the amazing work that this organization does by visiting their website or making a donation to help more dogs like Mary Jane. 

PUPDATE: Mary Jane now has an adoption pending, but would love for you to check out her fabulous friends available for adoption through Forgotten Friends Mixed Breed Rescue!

Stephanie Conrad

Pet Studio Art | Owner | Artist

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Cat becomes friends with a window washer and it's adorable!

Our cats are so incredibly entertaining! They are sweet, silly and as you can see with this high-rise dwelling kitty, they love to make new friends! Not only does this cat enjoy playing with the squeegee, the window washer is equally entertained! 

Share photos and videos of your cats being cute and silly on our facebook page

Stephanie Conrad
Pet Studio Art | Owner | Artist

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Mutt Monday: Annabelle Lee

This Mutt Monday, I am thrilled to feature Annabelle Lee, a gorgeous Basset Hound mix available for adoption through Helping Hands Basset Rescue in Austin, TX. 

I had the pleasure of meeting Annabelle and her foster family at Strut Your Mutt Austin, presented by Best Friend's Animal Society last month. This event highlights area rescues and invites them to showcase their adoptable pets. After chatting with her foster family, I learned that Annabelle Lee was on the list to be put down at a South Texas Shelter. Her crime? Annabelle had a large cyst on her hip and her stray hold was up, which in this shelter's eyes made her unadoptable. Luckily for Annabelle, a kind stranger called Helping Hands Basset Rescue and they headed off to scoop her up.

Helping Hands not only ensured that Annabelle received proper medical care to have her cyst removed, but they also arranged for a foster family to care for her until she is ready to be adopted.

In her foster home, Annabelle started to show her true side, she loves car rides, is house trained and adores attention. Her favorite pastime is snuggling up in a chair with you. Annabelle enjoys the company of other dogs once she has a change to get to know them and is also good with cats.

If you are interested in learning more about Annabelle or scheduling a meet and greet, contact Helping Hands Basset Rescue for more information!

Mention Helping Hands Basset Rescue with any order at and I will happily donate 20% of our profits to HHBR to help more dogs like Annabelle!

Stephanie Conrad
Pet Studio Art | Owner | Artist

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Sunday, October 9, 2016

RePAWblican vs DeMEOWcrat

Okay, so maybe we can't actually elect our pets to be President, but doesn't a world filled with long walks, more treats than we can handle and snuggles on the couch sound dreamy? 

Choose your nominee with one of our adorable 
Pawlititcal tote bags >>

Enter code president to receive FREE standard shipping
on any order through Friday 11-8-2016

Stephanie Conrad

Pet Studio Art | Owner | Artist

Monday, October 3, 2016

Mutt Monday: Noah

This Mutt Monday features Noah, a gorgeous pup available for adoption through the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter.

This charming gentleman is about 2 years old, neutered and up to date on his vaccinations. Noah came from a rough background and obviously had not been treated kindly by humans in the past. Luckily, the shelter was able to arrange a wonderful foster home and Noah is now thriving as he gets ready to be adopted into a family of his own! 

If you are interested in meeting Noah, stop by the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter in Georgetown, TX and ask for him at the front desk. The Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter is an open admission county-run shelter. They take in all animals within their jurisdiction and in spite of thousands of animals entering their doors each year, they are successfully a No Kill shelter with a 90%+ save rate for the pets in their care.

Show your support for this shelter by making a donation or visiting

Stephanie Conrad
Pet Studio Art | Owner | Artist

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Noah and Ellie, both available for adoption through the
Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Puppy Mill Awareness Day Austin!

Billy, available for adoption through
Austin Dog Rescue
Puppy Mill Awareness Day Austin is an extremely special day in Central Texas. Not only do we see a community of pet lovers come together to find homes for adoptable animals, but this great charity puts on an event that highlights some of the saddest stories in animal welfare. 

PMAD Austin was founded by my lovely friend, Courtney, who also happens to be the vice president of Paws of Austin Great Dane Rescue. In addition to her huge dogs, Courtney also has a huge heart. After working with American Humane Association on several cases to help save dogs from puppy mills, she decided to do something more. Puppy Mill Awareness Day Austin was formed and has been hosting this event annually over the last several years. 
Zeus, available for adoption through
Don't Bully Me Rescue

PMAD partners with area rescue groups and invites them to bring out their adoptable pets to meet potential adopters and spread the message about their adoption programs. Rescues like Don't Bully Me Rescue, where I met Zeus, an adoptable pit bull mix who has been waiting for his forever home for nearly 4 years! 

As an active member in the Austin animal welfare scene, it's always lovely to meet new rescues and chat with old friends about our adoption stories, our heartbreaking rescue cases and our hopes for the future. Austin is an amazing city, the largest No Kill city in the nation and yet, we still see so many neglected animals here in Central Texas. As long as there is money to be made with breeding dogs, irresponsible, greedy people will exploit them for cash. 

So, what is the difference between a  responsible breeder and a puppy mill? 
Mellow, available for adoption
through Wee Rescue in Austin, TX
A puppy mill is a large scale breeding operation where purebred or 'designer' dogs are bred solely for the money they can bring to the business that is selling them. The dogs often get no medical care, the adult dogs and puppies are kept in cramped, unsanitary cages and the puppies are generally taken from their mothers far too soon in order to sell them when they are as small and 'cute' as possible. Puppy Mills often sell to pet stores, where they will have no interaction with the new owner and these puppies are often unsocialized and can be sick. 

A responsible breeder will always be involved in the well being of the puppy. They will generally raise the breed for the traits of the breed vs money. Responsible breeders will ensure that the puppies and their parents receive medical care, live in healthy, proper conditions and that the puppies are properly socialized and old enough before they are taken from their mothers. Not all breeders are responsible, as being a responsible breeder takes a lot of time and money, so it isn't quite as profitable as a business. Not all breeders are responsible, so it is important to do research and meet the breeders, adult dogs and see the conditions that the puppies have been living in before considering a breeder purchase. 

Yes, there are some responsible breeders, however, every breed of dog ends up in rescue at some point or another. The most responsible choice you can make as a pet owner is to look into rescue and be patient. Even if you don't see your new pup right away, I assure you that with a little time, you will find the perfect pet to adopt! Petfinder is an amazing place to start searching for your new family member. Choose adoption and you will be saving two lives - the pet you adopt and the next pet who is able to take their kennel at the shelter or rescue. 

Stephanie Conrad
Pet Studio Art | Owner | Artist

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

This Kitten Might be a Husky After All

Sometimes, a story just melts your heart. For me, this story of a sweet kitten who was saved by her Husky pack really brightens my day! Rosie the kitten was brought into her family as a foster when she was just days old. She was sick and needed some special TLC. Surprisingly, Lilo, a Husky instantly took to Rosie and from then, something truly special happened. This tiny kitten started improving. As time went on, it was obvious she had found her home with Lilo and the rest of her Husky pack. This little kitten now spends her days as one of the big dogs! 

Stephanie Conrad
Pet Studio Art | Owner | Artist 

Who doesn't love a Husky!? Show off your puppy love with one of our adorable 'Flame the Husky' tote bags!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Don't fight the Help!

Lou, adopted through WCRAS.

As a volunteer for an open-admission shelter, my job of photographing animals can seen daunting and never ending. Luckily for me, I volunteer with a shelter that truly appreciates every single volunteer that offers their time and talents for the greater good of the shelter pets. Unfortunately, across the country, this is not always the case. 

As a member of several artist-based organizations, including one called Hearts Speak (Artist's Helping Animals), I hear the sad tales that come out of these shelters. Not necessarily the sad tales of the animals themselves, but of how shelters will alienate those that want to help. I hear the stories of egos getting in the way of life saving changes and stories of volunteers being banned or turned away when they make suggestions on how those shelters can improve their save rates and continue to help more animals. 

Each and every time I hear these stories,  I realize how wonderful the city of Austin truly is for homeless animals. My heart also breaks a little with each story as I know first hand how stressful and heartbreaking this work can be. It makes me wonder how any person involved in animal welfare can blatantly disregard programs or simple suggestions to help the animals in their care.
Reba, saved through WCRAS.
Due to the welcoming environment of the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter, I happily donate my time helping not only with photographing animals, but with occasionally helping with marketing on social media. It's where my skill set lies, as I am constantly marketing my own business and artwork. I love being able to help in this way, but it also gives me personal insight into the types of images, stories and shelter happenings our supporters really respond to. Knowing these things helps us plan our marketing and reach new goals and audiences to share our shelter pets. Positive marketing for our shelter is priceless when it comes to bringing in adopters, and isn't that what it's all about? 

Just this week, I heard a story from a fellow photographer who donates her time in the same manner that I do. Her frustration lies with the shelter staff, as they continually post low quality sad shelter photos over her beautiful, cheery photos. The staff justifies this by stating that they want people to 'see  the sad animals and want to adopt them'.  After taking a peek at the shelter photos vs those that my friend has taken, I am horrified that the shelter staff even thinks there is a chance the 'sad' photos would get more attention. Over  the past 7 years, as Austin has become the largest No Kill city in America, I have learned many things, one of those being this; having a positive image for your shelter and animal welfare organizations brings in your community. No one wants to see sad things, and sad shelter photos keeps potential adopters, fosters and volunteers at bay. Not only are the photos depressing, they can give the image that your facility is dirty, your animals are sad and sick and that you don't care to put in the effort to ensure they are happy, healthy animals waiting for their forever homes. 
Professional photo shoots are priceless to shelter animals. A before
and after shot of a shelter cat named Mufasa, who was adopted shortly
after his new photos were added to his online biography. 
At almost any given time, you can look at our shelter website and see cheerful images of dogs and cats just waiting for the perfect family. After all, as a shelter, we are competing with breeders in our area, who no doubt are showcasing the adorable 'puppy in the window' image. The effort our photography team of 6 puts into our shelter image is incredible. We speak almost daily, with one volunteer putting together a list each morning to send to us, highlighting the animals that need updated photos, including where in the shelter they are located (in the dog adoption area, stray hold, etc). This helps us maximize our volunteer time and keeps everyone in the loop so we do not duplicate photos and end up hurting feelings by uploading images over another photographer's shots. The team work is beautiful and I know that we are all working together for the greater good of these shelter pets! 

A shelter with positive, bright photos is welcoming. Your website is often the first impression the public will have of your shelter. If you have low quality photos of animals up, how do you expect to be perceived? They say a photo is worth 1000 words, but I say, a photo can truly be the difference between life and death for shelter animals. 

If you have a photographer that wants to donate their time, welcome them! If you have a blogger who wants to write a story on a special dog available for adoption, invite them to tour your shelter! Volunteers give new life to charities and they have the passion and drive to truly help save lives! 

Stephanie Conrad

Pet Studio Art | Owner | Artist 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Meet Olive & Toby!

Olive, available for adoption though Love-A-Bull, Inc. 
I absolutely love volunteering my time offering photo sessions for rescue organizations. It's my way of giving back to charities that I support and of course, I love to snuggle with new pups and kitties any chance I get. Happily, last week, I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing two beautiful dogs for a great rescue, Love-A-Bull, Inc. This organization has been one that I have worked closely with for years. Their rescue program is top notch, offering foster homes to rescued bully breeds in the Austin area, and they also have committed themselves to being a positive voice for dogs in our community. 

Olive and Toby are just two of the great dogs that are part of Love-A-Bull's program right now. Olive came into Love-A-Bull's program after being found locked in a storage shed, heavily pregnant and malnourished. This charming girl ended up having 8 beautiful puppies, who Love-A-Bull happily raised until they were old enough to be adopted. Once her puppies found their forever homes, it was Olive's turn and it seemed that her happy ending would be an easy one as she was adopted into a home of her own. Sadly, two years went by and Olive was returned to the Love-A-Bull program, where she is currently waiting for a new and hopefully forever family to find her. Olive is a little selective with other dogs, so she needs to be in a single pet home, but she loves attention. After I picked this sweet girl up from the boarding facility, I was in awe of how calmly she rode in the passenger seat of my car as I rubbed her velvety fur on our way to the park for her photo shoot. Olive is very attentive and was a dream subject during our photo shoot! 

Toby, available for adoption through Love-A-Bull, Inc. 
Toby joined the Love-A-Bull program after being discovered at a small rural shelter in Georgetown, TX, He is about 2 years old, goofy, playful and overall a wonderful dog! When Toby first came out to say hello, this tall, lanky, goofy boy just made my day! Toby is a little taller than the average pit bull, maybe he has a little Hound in him, but that doesn't stop him from thinking he is a tiny lap dog. After happily hopping into my car, Toby tried to curl up between me and the steering wheel for some scratches. After I asked him to scoot over to the passenger seat, this funny boy tried his hardest to curl into a ball, never quite finding a comfortable spot on the ride over to a local park for his photo shoot. Toby was thrilled to be out and we ended up spending time walking around to sniff everything in sight before starting our shoot. Once asked, Toby was quite the gentleman, sitting nicely for his photo and really enjoying my banana and peanut butter puppy treats!

These two dogs would love to find a forever home of their own. If you are interested, or please share if you have a friend that might be interested in adopting, visit Love-A-Bull's website to learn more! 

Stephanie Conrad
Pet Studio Art | Owner | Artist

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