I have a soft spot for abandoned and homeless animals. I'm drawn to the cast off, unwanted pets in our society, as well as the ones who have been loved but find themselves homeless due to economic reasons, natural disasters, or other circumstances beyond their control. Lady and Lucky are both rescues, and I volunteer as a photographer with a local rescue organization, Animal Compassion Network. The second Wednesday of each month is Intake, the day when new dogs and cats are brought into the rescue network. My job is to photograph the newcomers for the website. Most of these photos will eventually show up on Petfinder.com, the national website for rescued pets.
It's always a fun challenge to try to capture a pet's unique personality and spirit with my camera. But the challenge is significantly magnified when you're in a strange clinic environment. The mix of smells and sights tends to provoke a mood and facial expression ranging from confused to terrified.
Patience almost always pays off though. I strive to maintain a happy and relaxed demeanor throughout the photo session. And it helps if the owner or rescuer with the pet projects calm energy. If he or she gets too anxious about how long it's taking the dog or cat to pose for a nice photo, this stress gets transmitted right to the pet. However, if we all stay calm and think happy thoughts, the moment usually presents itself.
It's a common misperception that only mixed breed pets end up in shelters. Not so. Almost every month we have purebred dogs, both large and small. This month we had a quite a few of the little guys. They are always adorable, and my personal favorite to photograph, even though I consider myself a "big dog" person. But how could you not love faces like these?
Only one cat was represented at this Intake, a big orange cat named Mighty Mouse for his bulky upper body, which isn't readily apparent in these photos. MM was with a colony of feral cats, but singled out for rescue when he began showing an interest in people. What a striking coat, and the most beautiful amber eyes!
I know many of you are like-minded; I've seen your great photos overflowing with dogs and cats. Just thought I'd take you all along with me this time on my monthly journey into the world of rescued pets. There are wonderful dogs and cats waiting for homes at shelters and rescue organizations all over the country - spread the word!
|That's all, folks!|