RENO, Nev. (KOLO) Several years ago, Lorin A'Costa was volunteering at the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe when she came across a 6-year-old Great Dane mix.
"He had a funny look about him that a lot of folks didn't like," she said.
But there was something about the dog, named Ralphie, that pulled at A'Costa. She began spending time with him, and quickly fell in love. It was the funny look, the big eyes, and the gentle giant's affection that won A'Costa and her husband, Peter, over.
"I know what it feels like to be unwanted," Lorin said. "So when I see them, and I see that feeling coming from them, you just got to love them."
For Peter, all it took was a head on his shoulder for him and Ralphie to form a bond.
"We've been best buddies ever since," he said.
It's bonds and stories like Ralphie's that prompted Christy and Jasen Arias, owners of the photography studio Moirae Creatives, to start the 'Furever Reno' project. The project, started in 2017, collects the stories of shelter animals and their adoptive families, and captures their bond in photographs.
"It's pure," Christy said. "It's better than people love any, and every day. They are so intuative. They save lives, they add life, and the stories just go on, and on, and on, and on."
All of the photos are placed into a coffee table book along with the rescue stories. The mission is to change the perception of shelter animals.
"We don't want to do the 'Sarah McLachlan' thing," Jasen said. "We don't want people to change the channel because it's sad or hurtful. We want people to keep turning the page because it's just that much more adorable faces. It's a celebration of life because of rescuing, not the sad stories of what we're trying to save them from."
For a $100 donation, people are guaranteed a place in the 'Furever Reno' book. People can then purchase the photographs for themselves from Moirae Creatives. But you don't have to have a rescue animal to support the mission. The 2017 version of the book is available at Sundance Books or the SPCA. The animal shelter receives 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the 2017 version. Moirae Creatives is currently working on the 2018 version of the book, and is looking for people to participate.
"If it can influence anyone to maybe see themselves in these stories and these families, and go and rescue and adopt," Christy said. "That's what they're ready for. They're ready for a home."
To get involved in the project, click here.