The awesome staff and volunteers at BARCS have created such an amazing and unique program that I just HAVE to share.  Several days a week, usually before the shelter opens, a dedicated group of volunteers organize, run, and supervise what they call play group.  The play group at BARCS is such a great idea and it really shows how wonderful the staff and volunteers of BARCS are.  They are really doing everything they can for these wonderful animals and I am so honored to be a part of such an amazing group of people.  BARCS is one of the only shelters in the area that have such a program and other shelters around the state (and country) should really think about instituting a similar program if they haven’t already.  The coordinators of the program pick several dogs to participate in play group each day and this allows the dogs to socialize, play, run off energy, and just be a fun-loving dogs for a while.  It really is amazing to watch and it is so helpful in getting these dogs adopted out to wonderful homes quickly.

I had the honor of being asked to photograph the play group on Sunday and, let me tell you, it was a blast!  One of my favorite dogs, Carmen, was in play group so it was a little hard for me to focus on my photography and ignore the dogs.  She decided that since I was ignoring her, she would just lay down on my feet.  Man, I love that dog and I hope she is adopted soon!  All in all, it was really neat being on the “inside” – in the middle of a pack of probably 15 or more dogs, all having a blast together.

This photo is one of my absolute favorites from the session.  To me, this is the essence of play group.  The joy on the dogs’ faces is priceless and for a few minutes each day, they get to break out of their kennels and romp outside in the fresh air with their buddies.  By the end of play group, they are exhausted – which is a good thing!  I just love seeing these dogs have so much fun.

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Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers and staff members at BARCS for doing such great things for these amazing animals.  You work so hard to advocate for these dogs and I truly feel like I am so blessed to be a part of such a great organization.  Keep up the great work.  You are truly making a huge difference in the lives of the voiceless.