50 States, 50 Pets, 50 Stories

Theron Humphrey traveled the country to document true stories of shelter pets in every state. Purina ONE is proud to have helped make it happen.

In 2012, we worked with Theron to kick off his Why We Rescue project - an online collection of photographs and interviews with 12 New York City residents that focused on the relationships between shelter pets and the people who adopted them. Each unique and inspiring story gave us a whole new perspective on why people choose to adopt a pet.

In 2013, we decided to make the project even bigger by partnering with Theron to document and share pet adoption stories from every state in the nation. 50 pets. 50 stories. 50 new ways to think about what makes pets so important to all of us.

Theron and his dog Maddie logged thousands of miles on the road, connecting with pet owners all over the country and capturing their stories firsthand. The resulting images and interviews will fuel our larger effort to change the negative perceptions that prevent too many people from considering a shelter pet when they are ready to adopt a new pet. Here's a peek at some of the people and pets Theron met on his journey:

Katie (Florida) lives with her two adopted pets on a 27-foot sailboat. "No matter what you have to put up with, I think it's always gonna end up worth it,” she says of her unique living arrangement. “It's unconditional love ... I really appreciate that and think that everyone should experience it."

Rescue Katie

Stephen (Georgia) has an adopted pitbull named Triple Coupon Thursday. "Having a pitbull is one of my passions,” he says, “to expose people to their nature and how friendly they can be."

Rescue Stephen

Angela (South Carolina) has six dogs of her own and cares for more than 30 other dogs — including lots of coonhounds — as part of her own animal rescue service. “It's insanity,” she says, “but it's a good insanity.”

Rescue Angela

Laura (Alabama) says she’s been passionate about pets since she was a kid: "I was that child who could never watch a movie where an animal got hurt because I would thrash around and cry yelling, 'Don't let the animal die!' "

Rescue Laura

To see the complete project and hear from more pet adopters, visit the Why We Rescue website.