Beauty of Shelter Dogs Photographed in New Book by Florida Photographer


We have all heard the age old adage “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” How often things appear ugly or unworthy to those that never take the time to look beyond the surface and see the inner beauty.

So many people look at a stray dog and immediately feel fear, disgust, or worse, apathy. They see the lonely, forgotten dog as nothing Portrait of a Shelter Dogbut a nuisance. They use words like “mangy,” “dirty,” “ugly,” etc, and shun the poor creature. They think the same of shelter dogs in the capacity of “Why would I want someone else’s castoffs?”

Have you ever walked through a shelter and looked at the dogs on the other side of the cage door? You will be greeted by beautiful eyes filled with hope looking back at you. You will experience the gentle, polite wag of a tail. In each one is the innate desire for someone to see them as they really are; worthy of love and a home to call their own.

Erica Polites, a professional photographer in south Florida, took the time to study and photograph shelter dogs at three different rescues in Palm Beach County. She spent hours each week photographing them and learning their stories.

The result was a beautifully designed book entitled Portrait of a Shelter Dog. The best way to describe the book is “a visual celebration of shelter dogs.”

The book allows these animals to have a voice if only in portrait form and lets them share their stories of abuse, loneliness, abandonment, and heartache.

Erica challenges readers to look beyond the hair loss, skin damage, mange, crooked faces, or signs of cruel treatment and knowing who they are, flawed as they might seem.

In reading Erica’s well-crafted tribute to the shelter dog you experience the natural perfection of every dog’s soul. You also feel her intense love for her topic. Erica has had a deep commitment to animal advocacy throughout her entire life. She has felt a strong need to educate people about animals and become an animal advocate believing this is a necessary component in stopping animal abuse and neglect.

This filled her with a natural inclination to take pictures of those dogs who were once someone’s adorable, much loved puppy reduced to a downtrodden, forgotten dog whose heart and spirit is broken.

She has also seen firsthand the lack of protection that our lawmakers extend to shelter dogs and farm animals.

It is Erica’s deepest hope that her book Portrait of a Shelter Dog will draw attention to the beauty and gentle nature of shelter dogs and the need to care for those among us with no voice.

To order a copy of Portrait of a Shelter Dog, go to

There is always more that can be done for the protection and well being of our domestic animals at the hands of humans. Visit your local shelters, adopt a shelter dog as opposed to buying from a breeder, or volunteer your time or money to them.

To contact or donate to the three shelters whose dogs were used in this book, please visit their websites:

Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control

Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League

Big Dog Ranch Rescue

“Our lives begin to end the moment we become silent about things that matter.”
Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

Suggested by the author: A dog’s journey


About the Author

Denise Carey-Costa has been a lifelong advocate for animals. She has written numerous children’s books promoting kindness and compassion for all creatures and raising awareness for the plight of unwanted animals. Denise tours with her books to schools and libraries teaching the importance of spaying and neutering your pets, adopting a shelter pet and how to report animal cruelty. Visit and all other book retailers to see books written by Denise Carey-Costa.


Raunchy Adaptation of Classic TV Series Arrives on Home Video

  Chips DVD Review by Kam Williams Raunchy Adaptation of Classic TV Series Arrives on Home Video Whenever a classic television series is made into a movie, the buzz always seems to be about whether the screen version will be a creative variation on the theme or merely a campy, cornball, take-the-money-and-run ripoff trading in familiar formulas and shopworn cliches. After all, for every inspired adaptation like Batman (1989), Charlie's … [Read More its Good for You.....]


Gil’s Goodwill!

  Gil Robertson The “Book of Black Heroes” Interview with Kam Williams Gil's Goodwill! For nearly three decades, writer/author Gil L. Robertson, IV has used the written word to enlighten, empower and uplift. The one-time political organizer initially made his mark in entertainment journalism, penning over 50 national magazine covers and contributing bylines to a wide range of publications that include the Los Angeles Times, the Atlanta … [Read More its Good for You...]


The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

How to Hire a Winner in Real Estate

  How to Hire a Winner in Real Estate by Amy Lignor   You want to buy that new house because the twins are on their way. Little Betty and Little John are already there, but who knew you would have even more so soon? What’s that? Oh…well, of course, in order to buy that new home with four bedrooms instead of two, you will also need to sell your present homestead in order to get the money needed to start paying on a new one. And, of … [Read More its Good for You.....]


Ejogo’s Largo!

    Carmen Ejogo The “It Comes at Night” Interview with Kam Williams Ejogo's Largo! Carmen Ejogo has established a distinguished career in both feature films and television. She is best known thus far for her leading role of civil rights activist ‘Coretta Scott King’ opposite David Oyelowo in Ava DuVernay's universally acclaimed SELMA as well as being singled out for her ‘mind-blowing’ lead role as Sister in SPARKLE alongside … [Read More its Good for You...]


Tidewater 230 LXF Combines Luxury, Family Friendly Features

  Tidewater 230 LXF Combines Luxury, Family Friendly Features By Craig Lamb Are you looking for a family friendly, center console fishing rig in the 23-foot class? Your search is over with the 230 LXF from Tidewater Boats. The all-new 230 LXF has a centerline of 23’ with a wide beam spanning 8’ 10.” The boat weighs 3,200 pounds and has a fuel capacity of 95 gallons for peace of mind on long trips. Best balance of performance and fuel … [Read More its Good for You...]


You Don’t Have to be Greek to be a “Zorba” Fanatic

  You Don’t Have to be Greek to be a “Zorba” Fanatic by Amy Lignor   No, the sport is not called ‘Zorba’, but it most definitely fits for this article’s title. This most unusual sport is actually called ‘Zorbing’, and has caught on like wildfire across the globe. And now, seeing as that the NBA has wrapped, with Golden State proving that they were determined to make amends for last season; and with the NHL closing up shop for the season … [Read More its Good for You...]


Add Value with Summer Home Renovation Projects

  Add Value with Summer Home Renovation Projects by Amy Lignor   There are a whole list of summer activities for you and the kids planned. Most of them, of course, you want to be nothing but fun, such as grilling outside on the patio or swimming in the pool. However, having the backyard pool and patio are two things you really need in place before either of those activities could be enjoyed. And building this area could be a great … [Read More its Good for You...]


Finding Relaxation in the Most Remote Locations of All

    Finding Relaxation in the Most Remote Locations of All by Amy Lignor   It is a fact that the largest travel locations are also beyond popular. Among the downsides of this fact is that when you’re looking for peace, quiet, and basically a chance to do nothing more than spend time with yourself and, perhaps, one other best friend, the most popular places don’t offer that. In other words, it is the most remote (sometimes most … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]