Professional photographer Monica Hoover shoots from the heart. Her locally based company, Rescued Cards, publishes greeting cards with high-quality photos of animals needing homes-raising awareness and funds for rescue organizations.
"These groups need marketing and money," says Hoover, whose adoption of two rescued pit bulls moved her to action. "I wanted to take better photos of rescue animals to improve their chances of getting adopted."
Hoover turned her lens on the furry charges of The Barking Lot, a shelter in El Cajon, and Friends of the Humane Society de Tijuana, a San Diego volunteer organization that provides rescue and other services in the Mexican city. Her resulting line of sustainably produced greeting cards-introduced last spring in partnership with her husband, Justin Ternes, and graphic designer Justin Clark-has expanded to include shelters across the country. (Fifteen percent of pro?ts support the featured pets.)
Hoover's work impressed the San Diego-based, non-pro?t Petco Foundation, which has chosen Rescued Cards to lead its annual Tree of Hope holiday fundraiser for animal shelters and rescue organizations. A six-card set is offered in exchange for a $20 donation at more than 1,100 Petco retail locations nationwide (and at petcofoundation.org).
"I'm not a hero," Hoover says. "I'm just trying to expose the sel?essness and dedication rescuers have in saving the lives of so many animals."