Before I met Dora, I think I was like most people. I was aware that millions of dogs and cats lost their lives in American animal shelters every year. I sensed that we could do better, but deep down, I think believed that the animals that died in shelters were probably hard cases. Maybe they were sick or old or aggressive. Maybe they required a special owner, one who knew how to handle difficult animals, or who had the funds for expensive veterinary treatments.
But then, I saw Dora’s picture on the internet. Something about her spoke to me, and to make a long story short, when she became urgent and had just a few hours to live, I committed to adopt her. We went to get her after she was spayed a few days later, and she was such a sweet and lovely young dog, it made me realize that I was mistaken. Many, if not most, of the dogs and cats dying in shelters probably have nothing wrong with them at all. It is the system that needs rehabilitation. And it all starts with awareness.
I would never have seen Dora, and she would never have had a chance to connect with me, if it weren’t for a volunteer animal shelter photographer at Greenville Animal Care and Control in Greenville, SC. I don’t know who took her picture, but it was a professional shot that allowed me to see her — really see her — for what she was. Many dogs and cats that are just as deserving never get that chance, and, unseen and unrecognized, they don’t make it “out the front door” and into a home that cherishes them.
Taking pictures of dogs and cats in animal shelters is difficult for many different reasons, but it is so important. Because I believe that shelter photography is such a critical lifeline, I have pledged to photograph any rescue animal that needs it, free of charge. I am available for animals in shelters, rescues or foster homes. Dogs, cats and horses a specialty!
I am also available to write pet profiles or contribute other editorial assistance to qualified shelters and rescues.
Please send me an email or give me a call: 803-643-9960
Organizations I have worked with:
Albrecht SPCA Center for Animal Welfare, Aiken
Aiken County Animal Shelter/FOTAS
Equine Rescue of Aiken
Home for Good Dog Rescue
Pointer Rescue Organization
The Heartbeat Goes On/Shelter Animal Advocates