On the importance of GOOD PHOTOS of shelter pets:
These two precious little kits are at Gaston County Animal Control in Dallas, North Carolina (they are both adoptable). This is a high-intake kill shelter in an impoverished rural area. On some days in spring and early summer, they take in over 40 new animals in a seven-hour period (yesterday intake was 32). They have a few nice SLR cameras and a few ACOs who know how to use them, but with the sheer numbers coming in every day, in addition to all the other jobs the staff is doing, quite often there is just no time to set up a good photo. Most animals will not sit still and must be held by someone, leading to partially-obscured, shadowed, or unnaturally posed animals, and photos are usually taken immediately upon intake, which means inside a small room with no windows or in the box of the AC truck. Not ideal conditions for photography! Not to mention that AC probably smells like hell on earth for 90% of dogs and cats, so even friendly animals who will acclimate quickly are terrified upon arrival.
However, although this shelter is high-intake, most of the employees really do want to see animals get out the front door, and they manage to save way more than they euthanize. They are extremely accommodating to volunteers who want to take photos of the animals, and I went to help out for the first time last Saturday.
It was so. Much. Fun! I was wrangling the dogs while another girl took photos, so basically I just got jumped on, slobbered all over, and yanked around at the end of a leash, but I loved it. We got some great photos, and of the eleven dogs we took out, nine of them were adopted or rescued, including several who’d been completely overlooked due to bad intake photos. I also got some great photos and videos of cats and kittens lounging and playing that were worlds better than their flash-in-the-face intake photos.
So what I’m saying here is, if you have a decent camera that you know how to use, your local shelter has an online presence, and you want to really and truly help animals, go volunteer! You will quite literally be saving lives just by snapping some photos! DO IT.
Pls signal boost!
Meanwhile, I was asked to reblog this and it seemed worthwhile. Photography is not the first thing that springs to mind when it comes to helping out kill or no-kill shelters, but it makes sense that it could make a difference for a lot of animals if you happen to be pretty good at it and you have a little time to volunteer.
The more i do this kind of work the more i love it, and love meeting the animals and hearing their stories and seeing them go to good homes. i know was there and who isnt next time and it fills my heart with happiness.
notice to my photographer friends who love animals: try this, maybe?
Wow. I’ve been wanting to volunteer at my local shelter & help via my photography for ages. This may be the shove I need.
Here’s another shove: DO IT!
The animals will love you for it.
( also reminder to self to re-do this post with dogs! )