One of the things that is very different in Naples versus Miami is the overall shelter design and it makes a massive difference. They have a cage free cat room. I cannot tell you how nice it is to just sit down in a room and snap photos of cats playing -- instead of trying to take photos of crying cats reaching through bars. In the Collier shelter, when I am in the cat room-- I am often covered in cats.. I just sit in there taking photos while little furry bodies climb all over me purring... it is nice.. and sometimes I find myself forgetting-- that they all may not leave to go to homes-- but, they are happy and comfortable as I sit with them.
Another huge difference is that the dogs are out - a lot. Collier has an amazing and hard working group of volunteers. Some people come everyday just to walk dogs. One wonderful thing that the shelter has is they have multiple outside yards for the dogs- some are open and in the grass and others are under a cover.. but, they have toys and pools ... and room for the dogs to play. It is a much better experience for the potential adopter to meet their potential new family member in one of those outside areas than it is to try and meet them through the chain link.
My work is changing because of how things are in this shelter.. and I have also been working to make images that are less emotionally dark. I am working to make more images that show the dogs and cats playing and relaxing and just being themselves. I am also working to not just post straight photos, but to post digital pieces-- sometimes a mix of a photo - sometimes the whole thing has been altered... I am just trying to find new ways for people to truly see the shelter animals... to understand them better- to catch the eye of people who want a family member .. and not just someone reacting to a sad photo..
In working these new images, I decided that there is more that I can do. I want to have a show in the shelter eventually.. it will take so much work.. but, until then I am now starting to offer prints to adopters. I am very limited in funds... so I am working to do one print each month.. to an adopter of someone who takes a dog or cat who has been there a little longer than the others.. one who needs a little more exposure. The first dog is named Champ.. I hope so much that someone comes for him.. I want so badly to be able to hand over a piece of my art to his new family... I hope what I am doing will help.
|I will give Champ's adopter a signed print of him.. he is a good dog.. he takes a little bit to warm up, but |
once he does he is a very friendly and wonderful dog. He deserves a great home who will
make sure that he never ends up in a shelter again.