Being a Dog Photographer means helping other Dog Lovers!
As I find myself with what feels like less free time than when I was working 50+ hours for a large hospital, I still feel the need to help. Help other humans and especially help dogs. As a Dog Photographer I have led a class called Sit. Stay. Smile here at the studio, we worked in conjunction with ARLNH- Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire. We had 8 puppies that day, a class full of eager photographers and a check for ARLNH! I will be running this class again in November. (sign up here to join me)What a treat! But I wanted to do more…
I scoured the net to find smaller Shelters or Rescues; I came across Mary’s Dogs. They are located in Northwood, NH just outside of Deerfield. Please read about Mary’s Dogs here. They re-home dogs and puppies from shelters in North Carolina and South Carolina. It’s not that we don’t have homeless dogs from NH or New England, we are lucky it is not the problem that the south has. Mary’s likes to point out the larger goal is to educate and support the spay/neuter movement in the south. This is a very large problem for dogs and puppies. People don’t love their pets any more or less because they live in one geographic region or another. But kill rates spike in high poverty areas with limited access to affordable veterinary services for spaying and neutering. In the rural South, unsterilized dogs are often allowed to roam outdoors. Many counties have weak or unenforced leash laws. Shelters in such areas are overrun, with kill rates ranging from 50 to 95 percent. Even where adoptions are encouraged, low population density makes them rare. Here are a few articles you can read if you were unaware of the issues:
The American Humane Association
The Animal Mission
On the day I was to photograph a transport of puppies, 22 pups were scheduled to arrive! Yes, 22! That means 88 Paws, 44 silky ears, 22 wagging tails and a load of cuteness! Well, I was not disappointed.
I arrived at 9:00am, what seemed like a small house quickly became clear at how organized and accommodating the space was. The counter was lined up with dog food bowls, Allyson was hard at work checking and rechecking her list to make sure all went well. An amazing aroma filled the room, it was a large Tupperware tub, Allyson was scooping spoons full into the dog bowls, I asked, what is that??
Mary made homemade chicken soup! Yes you read that right! HOMEMADE CHICKEN SOUP! Funny, it was just like my mom makes, real chicken, carrots, rice and potatoes! Wow! I knew these puppies were going to get a great welcome to NH!
9:30 the Howl on Wheels transport van arrived, run by Kelly Ivory. She had a great team with her!
The pups were unloaded one by one they were in such good shape, I wasn’t sure what to expect since they came all the way from Forgotten Tails in SC. They were all beautiful!
Happy to be out of the van, the pups got to run around in the play area, have some water and do their business before heading inside for lunch. I have to remark on the orderly fashion this team from Mary’s was working. A fast pace but nothing went unnoticed, each pup got individual attention, all their needs were met. Ears cleaned, eyes cleaned, fed and watered. I loved seeing a room full of happy dogs. Most of the dogs at this point were already adopted. I believe there were 4 puppies without a new home when I left that day. Of course it was difficult for me to leave a pup behind, but the care and love they were getting filled my heart. Yes it wasn’t even noon and my day was complete! I spent 3 hours with puppies and dogs also with great people, people who care and give of themselves. This team was just amazing and I cannot say enough good things about them. I was so happy to be a part of it. My little part in all of this was to get Mary some nice photos for her to post on social media to get the word out. So please if you feel like doing a small part as well, like Mary’s page on Facebook and help spread the word about spay/neuter movement in the south.
On a side note, I totally fell in love with Noah. Good Luck Noah, where ever you are! Enjoy your new family!
You can find more pictures from the day on my Facebook page. Kimberly Sarah Photography