Cone of Fame

Cone of Fame
A Chicago-based photographer turns shame to fame for shelter dogs awaiting adoption


Is there anything more embarrassing for a dog than the dreaded “cone of shame?” We might be projecting, but it certainly seems like they feel not only silly but slightly mortified. And if you’re a dog in a shelter recovering from a spay or neuter, well, you can just forget about finding your furever home while sporting one of those plastic monstrosities.

Recognizing this, photographer Erin Einbender started her Cone of Fame project while volunteering at the One Tail at a Time rescue in Chicago. Using brightly coloured pom poms, butterflies, flowers, and even garbage(!), Einbender and the other volunteers decorate the cones and then she photographs available dogs wearing them loudly and proudly. The pictures serve the dual purpose of emphasizing the importance of spaying/neutering your pets, as well as lifting the spirits of the dogs wearing the cones, making them look happier and more appealing to potential adopters. And the idea worked—every one of the smiling dogs from her first set of photos was quickly adopted into loving homes.

Erin is not stopping there. She already has plans for the next series of quirky cone photos, showcasing longer-term shelter dogs that have been patiently waiting for their permanent homes for extended periods of time. She’s hoping the exposure (and amazing photography, of course!) will help to speed up their search. Judging by how fast the previous dogs were snapped up, they should have no problem at all!

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