There are a lot of homeless pets in animal shelters, many of which are scared, shy and bit rough around the edges and, therefore, can be a bit hard to photograph. The pictures of these pets, most of which have been through hell, pales in comparison to their competition: adorable purebred puppies without a care in the world.
You can change that. You can help promote adoption rather than breeding by capturing the sweet spirits of these animals and making them more appealing to prospective pet owners. The more pets that get adopted rather than bred and sold, the less that will ultimately be euthanized.
A lot of animal shelters post pictures of pets on such sites as Craigslist and Pet Finder, in addition to their own websites, to help homeless animals find a home.
According to statistics on the ASPCA website:
- “Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.”
- “Each year, approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized (1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats).”
- “Approximately 2.7 million shelter animals are adopted each year (1.4 million dogs and 1.3 million cats).”
- “Of the dogs entering shelters, approximately 35% are adopted, 31% are euthanized and 26% of dogs who came in as strays are returned to their owner.”
- “Of the cats entering shelters, approximately 37% are adopted, 41% are euthanized, and less than 5% of cats who came in as strays are returned to their owners.”
In other words, of the 7.6 million animals on average to enter shelters each year, only 2.7 million are adopted, the SAME amount that are euthanized. That’s a third of the animals in shelters that are put down each year.
How you can help: Using your skills as a professional photographer, you can bring the personalities of these animals to light and help them to shine in their darkest hour. With your help, these pets can find a family that may have otherwise not adopted an animal at all, or bought from a breeder instead. Register with One Picture Saves a Life and find local animal shelters near you.
As a volunteer photographer, you may also want to consider photographing foster youths to help them find a forever family as well. To read more about that, click here.
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