Lauren Smith Kennedy lost a pet and realized how important it is to remember them.

There are two kinds of people in the world: animal lovers and everyone else. Lauren, from South Portland, is definitely an animal lover.  She works at Saco River Wildlife Center helping rehabilitate wildlife. Because of her job, she is often asked a lot of questions about animals. A little while back a friend asked Lauren if she knew where someone could buy an urn for a dog that had to be put down due to terminal cancer.

When she heard this, she offered to take some photos of the dog before he passed. She's been a photographer since 2011. They took her up on the offer and Lauren made a short video for her Tik Tok account. The response left her speechless and with a new mission in life.

Since she introduced Winston to the world, the response has been overwhelming. She gets hundreds of messages and folks offering to fly her all over the country. She's speechless. She offers her services for free and she only offers this type of photography. The Tilly Project was born.

I asked Lauren why she does this. She lost her cat Tilly about four years ago in a freak accident and it broke her heart. Tilly was her world and light and she is grateful for every picture she has. Lauren, like a lot of us, believes that animals are the greatest and should be celebrated during every stage of their lives. The photography she does, not only allows a life to be honored and let their legacy last forever, but it also helps some families begin the grieving process.

It was the TikTok video of a chocolate lab named Maya that got the attention of Newsweek. They did a great story about Lauren and the people she's helped. But you can thank Maya for the over 600,000 views of this touching video.

I don't know Lauren's availability or her schedule, but I do know she has a giant heart and is trying to help as many people as she can. Please reach Lauren here.

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