Life Lessons

Life Lessons: Finding forever homes

Life Lessons: Finding forever homes

More than 7 million dogs, cats, and other companion animals enter shelters each year in the United States.

Estimates are about 4 million of them are put to death because they can't find homes.

Many potential pet owners refuse to set foot in animal shelters, worried about what they will see.

However, one woman is making it her mission to help people see what they're missing and hopefully find these pets a forever home.

From birds, to cats, dogs and even some rabbits, Sheri Berliner's home is filled with more pets than most. Many of these animals have been rescued from shelters.

They're temporary visitors waiting for their shot at permanent homes.

"I would like to see every animal being cherished and loved, and not have this problem of shelters where there's cages and cages of animals and waiting to see which ones to kill," says Berliner.

Berliner's tactic is to shoot the animals, with a camera! She is a pet photographer.

Her work is featured on numerous web sites, email lists, and newspapers, and is helping to save the lives of thousands of animals.

"Sheri's photos have been essential in our animals finding homes," says Kristan Richards of Famous Fido Rescue and Adoption Agency.

Ria Majeske adopted her cat after seeing one of Sheri's photos.

"One photo just really grabbed me," says Majeske.

She says Sheri has even inspired her to volunteer time to helping animals, and sees how Sheri's dedication and love of animals is helping to save them.

"I average about 60 to 100 foster pets a year: dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, occasional bird, and they all find a home," Majeske explains. "A few, I keep."

You could say a picture by Sheri is worth a thousand homes.

You can see many of her photos on www.petfinder.com.

Sheri's work has also been featured in art galleries, national magazines, and the Chicago Tribune newspaper. You can check out more photos on her website at www.petraits.com.



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