NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A photographer from New Zealand is using her photography to help dogs and cats living in shelters.

Felix the cat and Miracle the dog became best friends at the Humane Society of New York. The two were adopted together about a month ago into the same home, but returned to the shelter to pose for a photo shoot to help tell their success story.

Photographer Rachael Hale McKenna took the shots for her new book, “The New York Dog,” which is filled with pictures of more than 100 pooches from the five boroughs, many of them rescues.

McKenna chose the Humane Society to receive part of the proceeds of her book after being blown-away by the passion of these animal lovers.

“The hardest working, most animal loving and just so dedicated to be working with the animals and making sure they get the perfect homes,” she told CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu.

McKenna has been shooting for 20 years and says there are lots of tricks of the trade anyone can try at home to snap a pic of their pet.

For dogs, she says make sure they’re in the mood. She says take them for a walk before the shoot and feed them. Also choose a spot where they’re happiest.

Cats can be pretty challenging to photograph, so use feather teasers to get their attention. And she says there’s always the “Hanzel and Gretel technique.”

“Theoretically, all going well, the cats will follow the treats and sit right here and smile for the camera,” she said.

If you want a portrait studio look, just hang a sheet or blanket behind your pets.

The biggest tip, McKenna says, is to be patient and you’ll get the shot.

“The New York Dog” is McKenna’s 15th book. She has photographed animals all around the world, but says she’s never met more passionate animal lovers than New Yorkers.

For more about the Humane Society or the book, visit

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