July 6, 2012

Animal hugger

I love my animals.  The recent loss of my oldest dog still catches me off-guard.  The leash that we used when we took him to the vet for the last time was still in the back of my car when I was preparing for my Bandera road trip last week.  Mr. H took it out for me - a silly little thing, but having it there made it seem as if it were any other time that we had left Woody at the vet and we would be headed back to get him soon.

My grandparents were farmers.  Farm animals, as well as the dogs and cats, came and went with regularity - for obvious reasons, as well as the hardships of life in the country.  I think I was probably fifteen before I realized that the bird dog, 'Spot', was not the same dog year after year.  My granddad always got brown and white bird dogs and he always named them 'Spot'.  Saved me some heartache as a kid, I am sure, but I still wonder how many dogs came and went while I thought it was just the one.

I have always tried to make the best decisions for my animals - thankfully, we have never been put in a position that we couldn't afford to provide care or treatment that was deemed necessary.  Thankfully, we live in an area with great veterinarians that still hold the animal's quality of life above all other considerations, including their ability to make a buck.

This story broke my heart.  Not the story, so much, because it is a sad fact of our lives that animals are euthanized every day, but the photographs are haunting.
Tou Chih-kang captures expressions, personality. He creates the kind of photos that any pet owner would love to have.
This puppy has no owner and will not get one. Once its photo shoot is over, it will be taken away by vets to be put down.
Tou has been recording the last moments of canines at the Taoyuan Animal Shelter for two years. He has captured the images of some 400 dogs, most of which were pets abandoned by their owners. To him the work is distressing, but he's trying to spread a message of responsibility.
"I believe something should not be told but should be felt," says Tou, a thick-bodied 37-year-old with an air of quiet confidence. "And I hope these images will arouse the viewers to contemplate and feel for these unfortunate lives, and understand the inhumanity we the society are putting them through."
I certainly could not do what this man is doing - I would become the crazy lady with all the animals when Hoarders came knocking.  I would take every one of them home with me...

Photo taken one hour before 'merciful death' by

Tou Chih-kang

No comments: