When I became interested in (or perhaps obsessed with) photography, aiming that lens at the animals around me seemed like the most natural thing in the world. As a Veterinary Technician with over 20 years in the animal care field, and more than 10 of those years in animal shelters, I was well aware of the impact that a great photo can have on the length of time a pet spends in the shelter system. No one has ever walked into an animal shelter and said "I want to meet that cat I saw on your website - the one with the picture of it sleeping in its litter box." While that cat may get adopted by someone who comes in and happens to fall in love, the pet with the beautiful photo online, the one that has prospective adopters coming to the shelter for the express purpose of meeting it will be out the door sooner, more times than not.
Volunteering at my place of work, however, just seemed like burnout waiting to happen. I put in my 40+ hours of blood, sweat and tears every week, sometimes bringing work home with me when an animal that grabs my heart more than usual requires fostering. The answer was right under my nose - we have so many wonderful rescue groups that help us to find homes for some of our more difficult to place dogs. Although several worthy candidates spring to mind immediately (Bullies in Need and Happy Tails Rescue are both great examples), Speaking of Dogs just does SO much for all of our shelters. They are an enormously dedicated rescue group that accepts all breeds, sizes and ages of dogs from shelters and private homes all over the Greater Toronto Area. Offering my photography services for their adoptable animals and special events is such a little thing, but it brings me enormous fulfillment and has really helped to rekindle my passion for animal rescue work.
I am a proud member of HeARTSspeak, a group of artists who donate their time and skills to helping shelter and rescue animals.