Mariel, Ryan, & pups
Georgia Pet Dog Photographer

August 30, 2018

Last week I finally got to visit Royal Animal Refugea registered 501(c)(3) rescue / “no-kill shelter” in Peachtree City. I got to meet the dogs and learn about all the amazing work they’re doing to help save animals in Georgia. I walked away so inspired, because it’s always been a dream of mine to open an animal shelter… and this shelter literally started with a couple people that dreamt of making a difference. When they opened a little over a year ago, they only had a few dogs, but they now have over 50 in their care, and they have saved over 600 dogs in their first year!!!

They decided to open the rescue due to the new laws regarding euthanasia in Fayette County. Dogs have 30 days to make it out of the county shelter, or they’re euthanized. Healthy, adoptable animals. Even when there are kennels open. It’s absolutely horrific. Royal Animal Refuge works to eliminate the overcrowding in the county & surrounding counties and pull dogs that are on death row. They believe that every dog deserves a second chance, no matter their past, their breed, or their age. And when dogs are at their facility, they provide the dogs with a home-like environment until they can find their forever homes. Thanks to the help of an amazing staff and incredible volunteers, the dogs get a ton of outdoor playtime, a lot of socialization, and even specialized training when they’re dealing with behavioral issues. 

I am just in AWE of this place and the people behind it. Speaking of, I learned of Royal Animal Refuge through their current director, Mariel, who happens to be a fellow photographer. We’ve bonded over the past months about photography, and she’s who sparked me to visit Peachtree City to tour the refuge — and then photograph her family! I LOVED her three sweet pups, Atlas, Bando, and Nova. They were so well behaved… even with distractions like ducks running around (there’s a picture below where they’re mesmerized by the ducks!). Mariel & her husband Ryan got married almost 2 years ago and haven’t gotten updated portraits since, so we went to one of the COOLEST places — Turnipseed Nursery Farms — and enjoyed an evening sweating & exploring. :)

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Claire Diana