My love of animals has always made me aware of the importance of giving back and doing what I can to help those without a voice. Many pet photographers dedicate some of their time photographing shelter animals in the hopes of helping them get a home and I applaud them for their commitment and ability to do this. I know myself well enough that I am well aware that I cannot do this; not because I don’t want to help get animals adopted, but because I don’t think my heart could take it. I have more than a soft spot for dogs, I have a deep vulnerable pit! I cannot bear to see animals sad, hurt, hungry, abused, alone, caged, etc., so I fear I would unintentionally become a dog hoarder if I tried to work with shelters! Instead what I do is donate a portion of every session fee to local shelters and to a number of charitable organizations for animals. Read a little about these organizations and why I support them.
The leading animal advocacy organization in the country, the Humane Society of the United States helps more than 100,000 animals per year. The nonprofit’s work includes animal rescue and care, animal advocacy and training and services to local shelters and rescue groups. Some of the Humane Society’s top accomplishments include lobbying to make malicious animal cruelty and dogfighting a felony in all 50 states, lowering the euthanasia rate for healthy, adoptable cats and dogs by 80 percent since the 1970s and working with several leading department stores and designers to go fur-free.
If you have read some of my bio, you know that I lost my beloved Kiko to cancer in 2015. Kiko was the reason I became a pet photographer and a huge part of my life. Since then, I have donated to The National Canine Cancer Foundation in memory of my Kiko. The National Canine Cancer Foundation spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year in funding research for canine cancer; better diagnostic methods, better treatments, and even potential cures in some cases. That is their only focus.
As you may know, I love animals! The Animal Welfare Institute has a lot of great programs aimed at helping dogs and cats including preventing pets from being used in research facilities, educating and legislating to prevent dogs from being chained up outside all of their lives, banning steel traps which pets can wander into, ending the dog meat trade, and ending puppy mills.
My academic background is in physical Anthropology with a specialization in Primatology. The primary reason I went into Primatology was because of my love for Mountain Gorillas and my admiration for Dian Fossey. The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund was founded in 1978 to help conserve and protect African gorillas and their natural African habitats. To support their cause, the organization promotes the continued research on gorillas and their endangered ecosystems, provides education on the significance of these animals, and offers assistance to local communities. Starting with Dian Fossey’s extraordinary efforts and the continued support of this charity, they have prevented the extinction of the mountain gorilla.