Newspaper Feature on Pup-a-Razzi Fundraiser

We wanted to share an article published in our local newspaper, The Standard Times, about our fundraiser that is coming up this weekend. So here it is!

Four-legged Photo Shoot to Benefit Forever Paws

September 04, 2012 12:00 AM

NEW BEDFORD — Dogs are natural fashion models, but now they have a chance to be model citizens, as well. and Iris Images have teamed up for Pup-a-Razzi, a photo-op fundraiser at Buttonwood Park to benefit Forever Paws Animal Shelter in Fall River. Forever Paws is the contracted facility for New Bedford and Westport for lost or abandoned animals.

There will be two photo sessions: 1-4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

Elizabeth Cincotta, co-creator of DailyDogBlog with fellow New Bedford High School alum Melissa Cusson, is a former volunteer with Forever Paws. "We wanted the beneficiary to be a local shelter — definitely one that is no-kill," she said.

Cincotta and Cusson started the website in January 2012 over their mutual love of pets. The website features everything from health and safety tips to adoption information and general pet news.

"Melissa and I always used to talk about our pets in high school, and last year we got back in touch because she adopted a new dog similar to my Gadget," said Cincotta.

Vanessa Machado, New Bedford resident and owner of Iris Images, was recruited by DailyDogBlog to photograph pets to feature on the website. Because she wanted to expand her pet photography portfolio, Machado — who named her business after her first dog — came up with the idea of hosting a photo shoot event.

"I've always been passionate about animals," said Machado, who started her wedding photography business a year ago. Her website is

For $10, dog owners will choose from a variety of photo themes and receive five digital images of their pet; $5 from each shoot will go to Forever Paws. Images will be posted to or emailed to the pet owner. The dogs will also receive a special treat to bring home. Participants may also bring their own costumes and props and will assemble near the Warming House to ensure the dogs remain leashed.

Gail Furtado, president of the Forever Paws Board of Directors, knows exactly where the money will go.

"We have seven puppies that were taken during a drug raid. They were emaciated and covered with mange," Furtado said. "This money will be spent on their medical care to prepare them for a future adoption." The puppies were rescued last month in New Bedford.

Pre-registration is suggested. To request a time slot, email Machado at Walk-ups are also welcome. For more information, visit