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Model behavior | Mansfield parks department strikes a pose to help dogs find a home

Almost every dog featured in the photo shoot has been adopted.

MANSFIELD, Texas — It’s not surprising that the Mansfield animal shelter, like many shelters in North Texas, is running out of room.

What is surprising is what the city is doing about it.

“It was a very creative way to express that these dogs needed homes,” said Mansfield parks department employee Colby Tice. 

“This was a very unique way of trying to get them adopted,” said parks department employee Steven Gill.

The solution: a photoshoot.

To help clear the shelter city officials invited park workers to pose with the pups. The photos were taken in a field of bluebonnets at Oliver Nature Park.

So far, the photos have been viewed by thousands on social media.

But not everyone was looking at the dogs.

“There were some comments they really loved the animals and some they liked us a little more,” said Gill.

About five years ago, Mansfield held a lighthearted photo shoot with the parks department employees, just to highlight the great work they do. That time, many of them were hesitant.

Not this time around.

“This time they were very eager,” said Ann Beck, marketing and communications manager for the parks department. “They all came prepared. They had poses in mind.”

Blanketed by bluebonnets, it’s hard to tell who enjoyed it more -- the dogs or the workers.

The photos may seem silly, but make no bones about it, there’s a reason for that.

“It’s easier when you’re not looking behind kennel doors to actually imagine that as a dog that you might bring home with you,“ said Nicolette Ricciuti, director of regulatory compliance and animal care and control.

Ricciuti is right. In less than a week, nearly every dog in the photos has been adopted.

City officials are grateful and park workers say they’re hopeful they can be models, and advocates, for dogs who need a home.

“Not just the dogs in the photos, but hopefully some light will shine on the whole shelter to get them all adopted,” Tice said.

They did one small photo shoot, but they clearly see the bigger picture.

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