Portraits by: Carmelo Donato; Photo Reportage by: Sioux Nesi

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Erin Stanton: Founder of Susie's Senior Dogs

Her Mission:
When her now husband adopted an older mutt five years ago, Stanton, 31, didn't know Susie was going to change her life—but she did suddenly realize that many senior dogs need homes. She created a Facebook page to spread the word; when she wasn't busy with her PR job, she'd visit shelters and post about adoptable canines. Within six months, Susie's Senior Dogs had become Stanton's main focus. To date, the organization has found families for about 700 dogs nationwide. "I love hearing people's stories," says Stanton, who shares some of them in her new book, Susie's Senior Dogs. Helping vulnerable animals has become her purpose, and she owes it all to Susie: "Caring for that wonderful old girl helped me find my greatest passion."

Her New Look:
The clothes: Stanton spends her days in "shelter clothes"—T-shirts and jeans—but she looked entirely at ease in a strapless Elizabeth Kennedy silk faille gown. An edgy necklace, a waist-defining metallic belt, and crimson leashes for her pups finished off the stunning look.

The hair and makeup: Stanton was happy to try a radically different style, so Melville cut eight inches from her dark blonde hair and created a layered bob with buttery highlights. To emphasize her large brown eyes, Lucero used brown and gold shadows before applying a deep burgundy liner along her top and bottom lashes.

Her reaction:
"I love my new hair! It fits perfectly into my shelter life...but my dogs didn't recognize me at first!"

To learn more about Stanton's work, go to Facebook.com/SusiesSeniorDogs.

Stanton and her furry clients, Donna (top) and Jasmine, from Animal Haven feel the love.

Gown, Elizabeth Kennedy; Belt, Reiss; Necklace, Sequin; Rings, Vince Camuto; On dogs: Collars and leashes, Canine Styles of New York