APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – He has a way with animals. A soft-spoken, kind-hearted approach that helps the dogs feel safe and secure. He’s also a two-time winner of the Mr. Wisconsin bodybuilding championship.
Photographer, David Baye volunteers his time at the Fox Valley Humane Association to help spotlight dogs up for adoption.
“I wanted to take some of the energy and focus I put into my bodybuilding and put it toward volunteering.” Baye says.
After a close friend in the fitness industry taught him the ropes, he found his niche in photography… particularly dogs looking for their forever homes.
Baye is still active in the bodybuilding community, training 6 days a week. However, honing his craft as a photographer and sharing his love for animals seemed like a natural fit.
David’s picture are great advantage to the Humane Association. Vicki Prey of the FVHA says, “The pictures he takes are of the more difficult to place or longer term animals.”
Having these photos done helps show the personalities of the dogs.
Baye was crowned with the Mr. Wisconsin title twice, once in 2012, another in 2018. He added if he can match the energy he put into his competitions into his volunteering, it makes him feel good knowing he can help in any small way for animals to find their families.
Watching him work through his process with the dogs is heartwarming. He has a gentle rapport the dogs immediately respond to. Baye told us prior to a photo shoot, “I’ve sat in kennels for two hours before, just to get the dog to trust me.”
Any tips for those of us wanting to capture the perfect Christmas card with our own four-legged family members?
He says, having a quiet environment helps them feel calm… and lots of treats.
“These shelter dogs aren’t broken,” he added. “These are dogs with an infinite amount of love to give looking for a second chance at life.” That’s relatable whether you have four legs or two.
The Fox Valley Humane Association is located at N115 2 Mile Road in Appleton. Reach out to them with questions at (920) 733-1717 and online at foxvalleypets.org.
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