For the last year, photographer Theron Humphrey has been traveling the United states capturing the stories of people who have accepted rescued pets into their lives for his “Why We Rescue.” With the help of Purina, he is out to help change the public’s perception of adopted rescue animals as especially temperamental or unhealthy.

Through his intimate photographs and through audio recordings of the pet owners’ experiences, Humphrey paints a picture of rescued animals as tender and loving family members with their own personalities and their own histories.

Although his photos are beautiful in their own right, they really come alive with the pet owners’ audio testimonials. Some of these animals come from truly heartbreaking backgrounds, while others were simply left by owners that could no longer care for them. Judging by the owner’s stories, however, it is clear that all of these animals have become essential loving parts of the families and household that they were welcomed into.

Despite many indications that adopted pets are just as sociable as newly bought and raised pets, “it might surprise you to learn that roughly three out of four people acquiring a new pet aren’t considering adoption from a shelter,” points out the photographer.

Source: (via: mymodernmet)