Greg Murray says he believes every animal deserves love, and he’s using his camera to prove it.

Cleveland, Ohio – October – National Dog Shelter month is a cause that we wholeheartedly support as a team Ready Pet GO!

There are so many heroes at rescues all over Northeast Ohio who work tirelessly to help pets get adopted. We decided to focus on one of them who donates his time so that all animals get the “best chance” in a loving home.

If you visit a kennel, you usually see dozens of pets, sometimes in cages or on playgrounds. It can be noisy for you, and certainly stressful for them.

Photographer Greg Murray see adoptable pets differently; alone in his quieter Cleveland studio. When the animal is on the floor, you will also find Murray there.

“I mean, I’m so lucky to work with animals. I get to hold them, play with them here.”

Murray’s story is now well known in Northeast Ohio. Nine years ago, he changed careers in HR – taking a leap of faith to follow his heart and combine his passion for art with his love of animals.

“It’s like the greatest thing ever. I couldn’t do anything else. It’s my life,” Murray said when we visited him recently.

Make no mistake, it took time. For the first few years, Murray slowly built his pet photography business. Then came out a small book of his work called “Peanut butter dogs” took off.

“And it went viral. You know how People, todaylike a million different websites,” Murray said.

Since then, his business has expanded. And also the variety of animals he hires to photograph. Besides dogs and cats, there are pigs, reptiles, birds, cows and more.

“Gosh, you name it. I must have taken a picture of it.”

But the animals closest to his heart are the underdogs: rescues fighting for attention at local shelters. It is deeply personal for him. Murray says his family adopted many rescues while growing up. Now he and his wife have two adopted dogs.

“I started photographing animals as a volunteer with the Cleveland APL and spending time with these animals at the shelter, pulling them out of kennels and stuff. They deserve a home. They were not put in such a position. They deserve to be loved.”

Many of his subjects are pit bulls. He joined the fight against Lakewood’s pit bull ban, which ended in 2018. The fight inspired his second book”Pit bull heroes.”

“With a large portion of the shelter population being pit bulls, I think it’s important for people to know that all dogs are individuals and deserve to be treated as individuals. What a dog looks like will not determine their behavior. Dog Assessment on the grounds that looks do not mean safety. Safety is that all dogs and people have a responsibility to treat their dogs well, no matter what they look like.”

Through his lens, Murray is able to find that special quality in each animal.

I like it Balla playful, treat-seeking puppy still looking for the right person.

“When you look into an animal’s eyes, especially those dog eyes, you can really connect with them. And anything I can do to get a dog noticed, especially a hard-to-adopt dog or any other animal, rabbit, you know, it’s a good feeling,” he said.

Even the Flemish giant rabbit – thrown into the Metropark. At 20 pounds, “clover” lots of bunnies to love and her portrait is the perfect lure for potential adopters.

Murray is more than happy to do his part, believing that all it takes to help these animals find their forever homes is just the right shot.

“To hear that feedback from someone who said, ‘I saw your photo. I went to see the dog and adopted it.’ It’s a huge smile on my face,” he said.

For his part, Murray appreciates the attention these animals are getting because of his unique photography.

“The time I spent volunteering to take these photos pales in comparison to the time spent by staff and volunteers at shelters and rescue organizations. They are true heroes who make a difference every day by caring for these animals and doing everything they can. can deliver them to forever homes. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without them. The effort and time that some of these people put into saving animals is worth celebrating. Northeast Ohio is so fortunate to have such a dedicated animal rescue community.”

Murray has published three books. The 4th is in development.

He also creates an annual rescue dog calendar and donates a portion of the proceeds to a charity of his choice. For his own Saved calendar for 2023which is available now, Murray chose Neighborhood Pets and Outreach and Resource Centerwhich supports people in financial need by helping them keep pets in their homes.

Cat lovers, there will be a calendar for you too. Murray is finishing up a version for feline fanatics and will post a link soon.

VISIT Photo by Greg Murray.

Check out the saved 2023 calendar HERE.

Check out more information on adopting Baloo HERE.

Check out Clover’s adoption information HERE.

Learn more about the Neighborhood Pet Resource Center and Outreach HERE.

Editor’s note: The video in the player above was originally published in a previous pet story on September 28, 2022.