Monday, July 9, 2012

You Can Make a Difference

Story, this little gal needs lots of love
Story and Sandy
I've been volunteering at Animal Care and Protective Services (the city animal shelter) here in Jacksonville for about three months now, photographing the dogs for the website and Facebook page.  Each time I go, I learn something new.  Early on, I learned how wrongly maligned Pit Bulls were.  It's not the dogs who are inately bad; it's people who make them that way. 

When I photograph the dogs, the first thing I have to do is get them out of their individual kennels, and that's honestly the most difficult part!  On my first day, I quickly learned that I wasn't very good at just slightly opening the door and slipping the leash over a dog's head...yep, learned that lesson when Penny almost got away from me!  I only managed to grab her by the scruff of her neck!  So I decided the best way for me to get the leash on them was to quickly get in the kennel with them!  Yes, I said quickly get in the kennel WITH them.  You may think this is crazy, but if you have no fear, the dogs have no fear, no matter their size or breed.  So I started dashing right into those kennels, quickly closing the door behind me, making a friend, and then slipping the lead over the head.  Now I will tell you that most of the dogs at ACPS are big dogs...and many of those big dogs are Pit mixes.  And not once have I felt threatened by any one of these dogs. 

Friday, I met a little girl who absolutely broke my heart. I've named her Story, because this photo of her (above) and First Coast No More Homeless Pets staff member Sandy most definitely tells a story.  This is a story about the power we have, as individuals, to make a difference in an abandoned animal's life.  I've photographed quite a few dogs over the past two months, but I've never seen one as scared and shy as Story.  She kept her head hung down and tailed tucked the whole time Sandy and I had her out in the yard, glued to either my side or his. She had obviously been abused and showed the mental scars of that abuse.  It's people who make those bad dogs bad.

There's hope for these animals though.  You!  Look at this beautiful girl!  Her name is Felecity and she is also a Pit mix, and she looks like royalty.  So next time you think about making a four-legged addition to your family, don't buy a designer dog.  Adopt a dog from your local animal shelter.  They will love you for life. I'll start posting a special furry friend of the week here for you to share these beautiful furry friends I'm making. I feel blessed to have the talent and opportunity to photograph these babies. Oh, how I wish I could bring them all home!  Hopefully my portraits of them will help them.


Kate said...

YES! Thank you for posting these pics and thank you so much for what you are doing to help these poor animals. We have a wonderful rescue dog -- they have so much love to give if they are only given the chance.

cath c said...

just wonderful, kelly, the pictures, your story, you.