By Kevin McSpadden
April 10, 2015

With the help of some professional quality photos, an adorable marketing strategy and social media, the Humane Society of Utah is making sure every dog has its day.

Instead of taking the usual mournful pictures of dogs in their pens, social-media coordinator Guinnevere Shuster, who took the photos, thought about how to make the animals more appealing to potential adopters.

“I was hoping that it would help change people’s options and perceptions of shelter dogs. Showing off the individual personalities of the dogs, instead of the sad ‘behind bars’ images that have become associated with shelter animals,” she tells TIME.

The pictures are posted on the organization’s Facebook and Instagram pages and have been wildly successful, but according to special-event manager Rachel Kelly, they have had a more important impact.

“Since we have started utilizing social media, we had a record-breaking number of adoptions, placing over 10,000 animals into homes in 2014. We are already set to break that record this year … We definitely attribute this photo campaign as a large part of this success, as they capture the unique personality of each animal,” she tells TIME.

Cats have predictably proved to be more difficult, but Shuster says she has an “arsenal of treats and bribes” to give it another go.

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