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A Portrait of Two Dogs taken at a previous event. All photos courtesy of Zilker Bark/Alex Hopes

Have Your Dog’s Portrait Taken For a Good Cause

An Austin-based 'dogtographer' is coming to town, and he needs your dog's smiling face to help raise funds for the Denver Dumb Friends League.

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While we all may be dogtographers at heart—snapping infinite portraits of our own dogs or any adorable four-legged friend that comes along—few can actually make a living of it. Alex Hopes, known on social media as Zilker Bark, is one of the lucky ones. What started as a love of his own dog, Sid, and a passion for photography has transformed into a full-fledged business. And now, Hopes is traveling across to country and using his photo skills to help raise money for no-kill shelters.

On Saturday, Hopes and crew will be at Denver’s The Watering Bowl to do a series of 10-minute photo shoots to benefit the Denver Dumb Friends League (DDFL). Bringing with him a miniature version of Austin’s iconic “I love you so much” mural, you can get 6-by-9 inch photos of your posing pup printed at the bar for a $30 minimum donation. One-hundred percent of the proceeds raised from this event will go to support the DDFL, with addition funds being raised through a raffle that Yeti has supplied merchandise for. (Hopes doesn’t make any money from these events, so he is also asking supporters to make a donation to his project.)

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Over the next seven months, Hopes will tour more than 65 cities across the country. His goal is not only to raise money for shelters that do not receive city funding, but also to find homes for some of the long-stay dogs in shelters. With more than 8 million animals currently in shelters across the country, he hopes that photographing these animals will help them find fur-ever homes.

If you are unable to attend Saturday’s event, or if 10 minutes just isn’t enough to capture your dog’s essence, Zilker Bark will also be at Cheesman Park on Sunday, June 11, for private sessions (which you can book on the event’s webpage) and in Durango on June 17.

In just seven events, Zilker Bark has raised more than $50,000 for no-kill shelters. And the Denver Dumb Friends League, which rescued and cared for around 19,000 pets in 2016, is the perfect organization to benefit from this cause.

Your dog is already a model, so why not get him the headshot that he deserves?

If you go: June 10, 3–5 p.m.; The Watering Bowl, 5411 Leetsdale Dr.; $30 per portrait or support the cause on Patreon.

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