Few things fuel the soul like a happy ending. For those who are close to the day-to-day workings of animal rescue this is especially true. HeARTs Speak artists provide life-changing services to their communities, but sadly those photo shoots, portraits, illustrations, and written words aren’t always punctuated by a family walking off into the sunset with their newest addition.

We firmly believe that adoption should be the only option, but until the ratio swings in favor of more lives saved than lost, it’s important to bask in the glow of a success story. Lady found hers, Kyla and Delaware landed theirs together, and now HeARTs Speak member, John Bouma, is adding countless others to the list.

John, owner of MaxNorman Pet Photography, is a master of looking on the bright side. He visits Miami-Dade Animal Services regularly, arming countless residents with beautiful professional portraits with which to fortify their search for a forever home.

Now, John is proving that photos are just as important after a love match is made. His follow-up celebratory photo shoots are not just for us, but also for the numerous staff and volunteers of Miami-Dade Animal Services who work tirelessly to see the shelter’s residents home safe. Where photographic documentation lit a spark to find a pet a home, now it is also the cherry on top for those who cared for the adopted during their period of homelessness.

Meet Mali and Olivia, one installment of John’s ongoing ‘happy tails project’.

Their adopter, Monica, knew she wanted a dog but didn’t initially understand how the shelter system worked. Following some research, she decided to adopt from Miami-Dade Animal Services due to its status as an open-admission shelter. She felt she would truly be saving a life.

During her second visit to the shelter, Monica approached the last kennel in the adoption area. There she discovered a small, furry face running in her direction and the rest, as they say, is history. That face belonged to Mali, and Monica couldn’t walk fast enough to the adoption counter to make his adoption official!

Olivia, on the other hand, is proof that sharing works and that pictures are all-powerful. Two years after Monica adopted Mali, Olivia’s image was shared on Facebook by a friend, and Monica was taken by her resemblance to her first fur child, Mali.

The fuzzy twosome have adjusted well to their new home and life, and Monica is grateful for the very special bond they’ve all formed together as a family; a large part of which, she says, is because they’re adopted.

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