Hello! Thank you for visiting my website.
My name is Katie Andrist and I grew up in and currently live in Wisconsin, but spent the last 4 years living in Denver, CO after moving there to get my Master's degree in Social Work.
Just a few weeks after moving to Denver, I adopted a Chihuahua mix I named Julio from the Denver Dumb Friends League. I am kind of obsessed with him-as illustrated by my Facebook and Instagram profiles. A few years later, in 2016, I decided to give back by volunteering at DFL. I was super excited because being a larger shelter, there were more ways to volunteer than the standard dog-walking or cat socializing positions (not that that's not fun in itself, I had done it before at other shelters over the years). I was interested in volunteering in the Humane Education department because I wanted to spread awareness of the importance of being kind to animals. However, at my "volunteer interview" I was told that probably wouldn't work for me because the programs were often during weekdays and I was working a full-time 8-5 job at the time. The volunteer interviewing me said there was an opening in the Photography department to take pictures of the dogs. I thought that sounded like fun so signed up for that. It only took a couple of weeks to completely fall in love with it. I loved photographing the dogs and bringing out their personalities and unique expressions. It may have been naive and overestimating my ability seeing as I was just a volunteer, but I was starting to consider a career in pet photography. I even e-mailed a professional pet photographer I had met at a fundraiser event who took a few photos of Julio and asked if she had any tips for getting into the field and she invited me for lunch! She gave me pointers and resources for learning more and talked to me about her career as a pet photographer.
I decided to move back to Wisconsin in July 2017 because Denver was getting really expensive for me. I was also missing my family, and I was a little burnt out on Social Work and not sure what my next move would be. In addition to missing the friends I made there, and the city life and mountains of Colorado, I desperately miss my volunteer position at Denver Dumb Friends League. I have decided I really want to work at an animal shelter in a more professional position such as a Volunteer Coordinator, Humane Educator, etc. I also really want to continue taking pictures of shelter dogs. I am hoping to start volunteering at the local shelter here through a program called Dog Ambassador program, where you take dogs out on outings to get them out of the shelter, and thought that might be a good opportunity to take more photos of shelter dogs.
To say the least, I have been an animal lover ALL my life. I am fortunate to have had pets my entire childhood: Dogs, indoor cats, outdoor cats, a hamster, rabbits. I have always thought of animals as sentient, emotional beings and find so much comfort, joy, and deep friendship in them. My career interests have changed numerous times over the years (including veterinarian but I would never survive the schooling and know I would bawl every time I had to perform euthanasia), but one thing has always remained consistent--my love for animals, and that is what I want to focus my life on. I hope this website will be a way to get my name out there and show my dedication to improving the lives of homeless animals.
PHOTOS BELOW IN ORDER FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM) 1. Me and Julio (not down by the School Yard :-P) 2. Me at about 4 or 5 years old with our dog Kimo 3. Bathtime with Kimo 4. With a puppy from 1 of the 2 litters of puppies our huskies Kimo and Kaya had 5. With my Grandma's dog Maggie 6. With our family cat, Jasmine 7. Puppy at work! Yay! 8. At Irvine Park Zoo, in Chippewa Falls, WI. 9. With Julio at Maroon Bells in Aspen, CO.