Thursday, February 10, 2011

Love Those Rescue Pets

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, 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!


  1. these are great! especially that last photo. our guys are rescue pets, too, as was Toby. and there will be another one in our future some day, too. it's the only way to go.

  2. We wish we could take every buddy home. Momma volunteers for the French Bulldog Rescue Network. It's sad why people get rid of these kids
    Benny & Lily

  3. Great pictures! Thanks for helping these wonderful critters in their quest for a new home. My last two were rescue dogs, both wonderful, amazing animals. We're still trying to decide about getting a second dog as a companion for Tonka. Maybe someday!

  4. Great photos, Brenda! And thanks for doing this!

  5. I think it's so great you do this; the photos are definitely what draws people in and you do an amazing job. It must be so hard to resist adopting them yourself.

  6. I am definitely a rescue "lightweight!" The ones I admire are those brave and wonderful souls who can work in shelters - and the ones who can be foster parents, able to love and let go. Lady and Lucky were both my fosters... we see how well that worked out. ;) Maybe I could foster a plant and give it up to an adoptive family, but that's about it.

  7. Brenda,
    What a fabulous job you have to photo these precious animals, but how heartbreaking that they were abandoned. My only children were four-legged ones and were spoiled rotten. It would break my heart to see all of these "children" abandoned. I hope they go to good homes.

    Happy Valentine's Day.

  8. Sending out good vibes that all these sweet souls find a good home.

  9. Fab photos! Rescue is rewarding but exhausting; kudos to you for helping out. We each do what we can, trusting that it will make a difference. I want to give all these fur-kids hugs, kisses and splendid forever-homes!

  10. My Murds and Max were both rescues as well as the cats. Max was the most amazing animal I've ever met and his influence on my life continues even after he's gone.
    Murds is a found dog and let's just say he's a special case. I really wouldn't change having him in my life but he has been a challenge!
    We tried fostering once, a beautiful collie-lab mix named Quincy, but we ended up adopting him after the few months we spent getting him to come out of his shell. Sadly he was only with us for a short time before he disappeared - but he was my first rescue and kind of opened the floodgates on that one.