March 12, 2014

Motley Zoo Saves Kittens in the Cutest Way Possible: Rescue Animals Pose for Pictures with Snoop Dogg, Macklemore, and Slayer

I follow a lot of photo-nerd stuff on the internet. Recently, there was an excellent article on the Huffington Post about how photographs can save the lives of shelter animals across the country. The article mentioned Seth Casteel’s website One Picture Saves a Life (a partnership with, where the photographer posts tutorials to help shelters take better pictures of the animals they are trying to find homes for.​ The idea is that if you take a crappy, bummer-ish picture of a cat or dog or bunny—often when it’s terrified upon first landing in a shelter—the chances of it getting adopted are slim. But if you know how to take a flattering photo of a well-fed and groomed animal, looking healthy and happy, it has a real, honest-to-goodness chance of finding a new owner.

But what if you upped the ante even further? Motley Zoo is a nonprofit animal rescue based in Redmond, and its cofounder Jme Thomas (pronounced Jamie) has one of the best photo ideas to date: What if you took a photo of Macklemore, or Snoop Dogg, or some of the dudes in Slayer holding a kitten or a puppy? That’s a no-brainer: The cool-groupie rock animal picture gets blasted around the internets, and the animal gets adopted right away! Hannah Levin (producer and host of Seek and Destroy on KEXP) recently started working with Thomas to organize animal/musician meet-and-greets. “There’s something endlessly entertaining about handing a kitten to a rough and tough rock dude and watching him melt,” says Levin. “Most importantly, though, it’s proven to be an effective way to find homes for the four-legged buddies.”

Named as KING 5’s favorite local charity last year, Motley Zoo, which was founded in 2009, is certainly kicking some ass. “We have adopted out 1,200 pets to date,” says Thomas. “I started Motley with my husband, Bryan. We wanted to change the idea of what an animal rescue could be—we wanted to make it fun and a little rock ‘n’ roll. And it’s working.” She says future photo shoots will include ZZ Top, Mastodon, and Mötley Crüe.

Motley Zoo is volunteer-run and could use your help—or, better yet, a donation. To adopt, volunteer, or give money, go to

To see more of Niffer Calderwood’s photography, go to

All via The Stranger

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