Interspersed among all the things you’d expect to see in Kaitlyn Garrett’s office — desk, rolling chair, filing cabinet — are a few things that definitely didn’t come from Staples. Like the cellophane bag of salmon-flavored dog treats casually propped up next to the printer. Or the wardrobe rack of neatly hung, miniature clothing: a cow costume, a Hello Kitty onesie, a red tutu, a ringer tee emblazoned with cartoon unicorns and rainbows. There’s also the miniature photography studio that takes up most of the room’s space, complete with a white seamless backdrop and professional lights. And in the background, the slightly muffled cacophony of hundreds of barking dogs.

On a pad of paper on Garrett’s desk is a scribbled list of names: Franky, Frieda, Lady, Mackey. It’s Garrett’s ongoing, ever-evolving roster of dogs that need help — the ones who have been in metro Atlanta’s DeKalb County Animal Services shelter, where she works as the shelter’s on-site social media coordinator, for months. These are the dogs that shelter visitors walk past without stopping, or whose characteristics simply make them a little tougher to “sell.” One of the names on the list is Strudel, a stocky little warthoggish dog with velvety ears. She was picked up by animal control three months ago and has been sitting in the shelter ever since. Garrett knows Strudel will need a little extra push in order to find a home: black dogs are historically overlooked in shelters, and people are still wary of pit bulls. Strudel is both.

Garrett retrieves Strudel from her kennel run on the…