Cuteness Overload

AWSOM Stories

Written by Lens And Leash

We at Lens and Leash normally reach out to photographers initially to see if they are interested in teaming up with us to photograph an animal shelter but in the case of A.W.S.O.M. Shelter in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania they already had a resident volunteer that photographs the animals on a weekly basis.

The wonderful thing about volunteers is that many people give their time in various ways to help these facilities and animals find their forever homes. One of them being photographing the new animals that come to the shelter. A good photo can help an animal find a home a lot quicker. Many times these animals already have some stigma attached to them because they are at a shelter when many times it is at no fault of their own that they were given up or left behind.

Animal Welfare Society of Monroe or AWSOM as they are known for is an incredible facility and wellness center based in Monroe County and has now been a “No Kill” shelter since 2009. John Auer has been photographing the animals there for the past three years and he goes in every week to photograph the new faces. AWSOM and John joined forces this time to highlight the pups that have been there the longest and need their faces, stories and personalities to be seen and heard.

John Auer has a long history of playing and working with cameras of all styles. With a father in the film industry it was easy to follow in the documenting life scene. When he was younger his dog Lana was his perfect model. Thank goodness this world had people like John in it to help document and volunteer his precious time to help save furry lives.


7 years old and a bundle of love… her past has been one that she wants to leave behind.

She is happy and active and is now learning how to play and be a dog. With such a tough past she does have some health issues and is now in a foster to keep her less stressed and out of the shelter….. but nothing that won’t let her live a happy furever life.

Henry Blake

Good morning from handsome Henry Blake!

This cutie is 11 months old, neutered, UTD on shots, litter trained and ready to finally find the family meant for him. He’s a great kitty who deserves a chance at happy ever after.


Look into these deep brown eyes and you will fall in love. Well, at least that is what our boy Duke hopes will happen. At 1 year old, Duke, a black lab mix, came to us as a stray and is now ready for his forever home.

Are you looking for a complete​ly adorable, loving, energetic ready to love you forever pup​?

​If you are an active family​ he is your match.​ He is such a good boy. Walks well and wants to be loved.​


Say hello to this Hunk of a Dog we named Kevin!
Our boy came to us as a stray so we do not know what his life was like before AWSOM, but we do know he is one of biggest goofballs we have ever met.

Kevin is a 1 year old terrier mix. He is dog friendly and would do great with kids 8 years and older. Our boy can be a bit clumsy due to his large size and goofy personality.

Kevin loves to go for hikes and enjoys play dates with his fellow shelter dogs.

This sweet boy would love a family and a home of his own. Boyfriend is neutered, UTD on shots, micro chipped and ready to get the heck out of here.


Well Hello Beautiful.
Just like the gem, our girl Ruby is just as precious. This sweet girl came to us as a stray on many occasions.
Her family wanted her to stay safe so they decided to put her in the capable hands of AWSOM.
Ruby is a love bug and really wants a loving home of her own.

Ruby is up to date on vaccines, spayed, microchipped and ready to go home now, like right now.

Abby Lu

Does anyone remember our Abby Lu?
Our gal came to us as a stray and boy were we surprised to find out she was deaf.

Never fear, we jumped right in and searched high and low for the perfect home for her. We had finally found it and she was adopted.

BUT….. then tragedy hit. Abby Lu’s momma got sick and passed away. Can you imagine her heartbreak and confusion?

Abby Lu is 7 years old now and back in a stressful environment. It is not doing her any good and she is not handling it well.

Abby Lu is super duper sweet. She does not like cats but is dog friendly, as long as the dog is respectful.

Her ideal family would be one that would work from home, stay at home or only be gone for a little bit. As you can imagine being deaf, that it will take her time to adjust more so than a hearing dog.

Abby Lu would love to be sleeping in her very own home tonight.


“Their affection is timeless, the devotion is ageless.” “Their love is forever.”

At almost 11 years old Beau has found himself in a shelter.
His momma and daddy loved him very much, but could no longer care for him.
So AWSOM stepped in and it wasn’t long before we fell in love with him too.

Beau is cat, dog and kid friendly. All he wants is to be by your side and be loved.
It really is that simple.

Beau is up to date with vaccines, microchipped and neutered.
He is officially ready to join your family.

Sweet Alabama

Meet our very own Sweet Alabama.
This girl came to us as a stray and boy she had quite the tale to tell. She was so scared of everything and everyone, but our wonderful staff at Awsom worked hard and gained her trust. Now she is ready for adoption.

Ali girl is a 3 year old German Shepherd mix.
She is dog and cat friendly. We are not sure of how she feels about the youngsters but you can bring them down to meet her.


Wake up to our boy Vader!

This cutie pie is a 2.5 year old Border Collie mix, is neutered, UTD on shots and the little goofball is ready for a new home.

Little boy is playful, cuddly, friendly, loving, curious, comical and, well let’s just say he is the perfect boy! He will need some training but this guy is super smart and eager to please so we have no doubt he will catch on very quickly.


We are so happy to introduce you to the happy girl DAISY!

Daisy was adopted 3 years ago into a very loving family and was recently returned because of a chance in circumstances. In fact, they love her so much that they decided it would be best for her to find a family that could better care for her. Can do!

Daisy, a gorgeous, 4.5 year old German Shepherd mix, is spayed, UTD on shots, micro chipped and ready to take long walks with the person meant for her. Sweet girl is still a bit lost and confused after being brought back to us, but staff and volunteers are giving her lots of TLC and she is becoming more relaxed each day. She is just lovely to be with. Daisy gets along great with respectful dogs (a meet and greet with your existing dog is a must) but prefers to be in a home with no cats and no children.

She is a really special girl who deserves a family who can promise her forever. If you are that family, please come to the AWSOM shelter in Stroudsburg, PA, any day, from 11-4. We know you will love her as much as they do!


Say HELLO to our girl Harper!

This stunning girl is a 2 year old Great Dane mix.
She was recently surrendered because her family could no longer care for her.
This sweet girl can be shy at first and may need a little time to warm up, but she is worth the extra TLC.
Once Harper is comfortable she simply leans against you and begs for some loving.
Come on down and meet the gentle giant.


Blue is a 4 year old American Blue Heeler mix. This sweet boy was recently returned due to family circumstances.
No worries buddy, we got you.

Blue is dog friendly, but prefers females. He lived with children and just adored them. Blue loves his daily hikes and playtime.
He does have a lot of energy so will need daily exercise, but then will be more than happy too cuddle up for a nap.
If you are interested in Blue please come and meet him.


“Here’s looking at you kid”.
Meet our very own Bogart.
This little guy is a 4 year old pug mix. He came to us as a stray and try as we might, we could not find his owners. Bogart is kid, dog and cat friendly. He pretty much is just easy going. He has stolen the hearts of the staff at the shelter and we know he will steal yours too.
We have no idea why this guy is still at the shelter, but here is your chance.


“Old dogs are a treasure. It takes a long time for a soul to become this sweet.”
This is exactly how AWSOM feels about Apollo.

This guy was surrendered to a local veterinarian and then brought to the shelter in hopes of finding him a forever home.
Apollo gets so stressed in his kennel. It just breaks our hearts.

All he wants to do is be with his favorite people.
Apollo enjoys his long walks and is still a big goofball when playing with his toys.
Apollo did tell us he would like to be the only animal in a home and we promised him his wish is our command.

Please won’t you open up your heart and home to this sweet boy.
At 8 years old, all he wants is a quiet place and a bed to call his own.


Omg! Just look at the gray muzzle. Max you are one handsome devil. Max came to us as a surrender with another dog. The younger dog was quickly adopted. His life consisted of living on a lead outside, but all our boy wants is a home where he can curl up on his very own bed and snooze away. Max is an older gentleman and walks nicely beside you. He would be a great fit for just about anyone. This guy loves his walks, but also loves his naps just as much.


Max-A-million is a fun, energetic, smart boy, who enjoys to go hiking!! He is up-to-date on his vaccines, neutered, microchipped, on heartworm & flea preventatives, and currently looking for a new active family. Come down to AWSOM to meet him.


Meet the biggest goober in the world…SAM!

Sam was recently surrendered because sadly, his former human became sick and could no longer give him the care and attention he deserves. No worries though. We are on it!

Sam is a 2.5 year old Great Pyrenees/Rottweiler mix who is neutered, UTD on shots and micro chipped. He is also a big old doofus…in the best possible way! All he wants to do is have fun and be in the moment. He’s guaranteed to make you laugh all the time with his silly ways. He’s a character for sure.

Sam loves other dogs and respectful kids of all ages. Although he is well trained, he is also a big, strong dog, so you must make sure that whoever is walking him can handle him.


Say hello to AWSOM’s longest resident Gypsy!

This girl lived her young life at the end of a chain. It angers us to know the life she lived before AWSOM, but we can’t waste our energy on her past, because our girl needs us to much. How would we describe this beauty? In one word, Wigglebutt! Now, please understand Gypsy will need time to get to know you, trust you and then will love you unconditionally. It may not happen in 1, 2, 3, 4 or even 5 visits, but it will happen. Our girl has been let down so much before she came to AWSOM, and we are trying to show her that there are good people out there. Gypsy will need a home with no kids, no dogs and no cats. Hopefully, an active lifestyle. It will need to be an experienced, dog savvy person who will help Gypsy grow to her fullest ability. She is a star and deserves to shine like one!

If you are interested, please come on down and talk to staff. They know our Wigglebutt the best!

If you can’t adopt, please share the heck out of this post.

Taco & Axel

Update – Adopted! Introducing AWSOM’s very own version of the Odd Couple: Taco and Axel. These sweet brothers have just one thing in common—their unwavering love for each other. Beyond that they couldn’t be more different. Taco is a diminutive Chihauhua mix. Axel is a big ole’ Mastiff mix who towers over his brother. Axel is a happy-go-lucky follower. Taco is the undisputed leader of the pack.

To say Taco and Axel are joined at the hip would be an understatement. These boys are even bunking in the same kennel because they can’t bear to be apart! They fret and worry about one another when one goes out for a walk without the other. So sweet!

All Taco and Axel have is each other and they’re not about to let that go. And neither are we! We vowed to keep our dynamic duo together and intend to do just that. If you are looking for a mature, content, bonded pair of furry friends, your ship has come in!


This handsome guy’s name is RIDER. He was brought to us as a stray before Christmas and has been with us ever since, continuously getting passed over because he is being judged by his appearance.

Yes, Rider is a Pitbull and for reasons unknown, his former owners chose to crop his ears. But there is so much more to this big lug than his breed, the color of his fur, the way he stands and the way he looks!

Rider loves to go for walks and is content to trot proudly by your side, curious about everything. He loves to play around, act goofy, play catch and have fun. He also happens to be one of the biggest cuddle bugs we’ve ever met. He loves nothing more than laying on top of you like he is a 5 pound lap dog, snuggling into you as close as he can get, as if he’s melting.

Sadly, Rider was dumped by the people who were supposed to be his forever. And that has left a scar on his heart, leaving him reluctant to trust people again. The person meant for him will understand this and be willing to take the time Rider needs to get to know one another.

The big lug is 5.5 years old, neutered, UTD on shots, micro chipped and is house trained. Like for real house trained. He has never had an accident here at the shelter. Rider gets along great with other dogs (a meet and greet with yours is a must) but we don’t recommend cats or small children (under 10) because he is like a bull in a china shop and may inadvertently knock them about.

So please, if you can see past his outside and get to know what’s on the inside, we know that you will fall in love with this big pile of mushy love. Rider is a really good boy who deserves to find the best, most loving and loyal lifetime family there is.


Well hello gorgeous!

Meet our girl ASHLEY. This beauty was brought to us as a stray and we had no luck finding her former family. She is a 5.5 year old Terrier mixed with pure joy! Ok, so technically you can’t be mixed with joy but she exudes a contagious kind of joy that instantly puts a smile on your heart.

Ashley loves being fawned over, pet, held, snuggled and being talked to. Whisper sweet nothings in her ear and her eyes close in total contentment and peace. She prefers to be the center of attention so her lifetime family will be one without kids, cats or dogs.

We love this girl and know you will too!


Meet our boy Twix…just like the candy bar but much sweeter…and way more addictive!

After being on the run for weeks, our boy was trapped and brought to AWSOM. Twix has a story to tell but he isn’t talking so we spent time getting to know his personality and pieced together the patchwork of behavior and personality that makes him who he is today.

So who is Twix? He comes off as shy at first but once he gets to know you…man oh man…he is a lover life and greets every day with a contagious excitement and an adorable, goofy smile. He’s also a strong puller so he’ll need a dog savvy family, with no small kids or cats, who also enjoy an active lifestyle. Our boy loves his daily hikes and his family will too.


Shy girl looking for understanding lifetime family

This gorgeous girl’s name is Rosebud. She is a 4 year old Anatolian Shepherd mix who is painfully shy and timid and needs to learn what love feels like. Her first instinct, always, is to run. And run. And run. The family meant for her will not only ensure she is secured at all times within her home and yard, but will also ensure she gets the time, patience and love she needs to learn to love, trust and for the first time in her life, feel how good it is to truly be home.


Shhhh….go slow…

Our boy Bookem was not treated kindly by a man in his past so it will take him some time to trust. The man in his life will have to go slow and give him the time, patience and love he will need to open his beautiful heart to him. The woman in his life is in for a real treat from the get go!

Bookem is a loving bundle of slobbery goodness who just wants to be with you.

Bookem is a 6 year old English Bulldog mix who gets along with other dogs but prefers females. Because of his past, we also recommend no children in the home. What our sweet boy needs is a happy, adoring, safe, calm, peaceful and soft place to lay his head every night, surrounded by people who will love him, unconditionally, for the rest of his precious life.

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Lens And Leash

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