Photographer Sophie Gamand has created two powerful dog campaigns through her photography. The purpose of these campaigns is to heighten awareness for issues that are critical to canines everywhere.
Pit Bull Flower Power Campaign
This touching campaign is all about pit bulls, dogs who make wonderfully goofy family members. Sadly, nearly one million pit bulls are euthanized every year. Sophie wants to change people’s perceptions about this breed. They have often been associated with dog fighting. But she wants people to see them in a different light. Per Sophie’s website, she states, “Pit bulls are often powerful dogs who are very loyal. Like any other breed, they need proper care, training and socialization. Unfortunately, because of their bad image, they have the reputation of being dangerous, hence attracting irresponsible primary owners.”
The Flower Power photographic series is dedicated to pit bulls and the photographer says that it was an excuse for her to discover more about the breed.
Because pit bulls are normally portrayed in a very gritty and dark urban setting, Sophie decided to throw them into a very non threatening image with a crown of flowers.
The flower head pieces were made by Sophie and she approached three rescue groups in New York City who enthusiastically grasped the opportunity to participate in this project.
This photo array helps dispel the rumors of pit bulls being nothing but man-eating machines. They are strong and powerful dogs but their power doesn’t have to equal violence.
How To Support Pit Bulls and the Flower Power Campaign?
There are many different and easy ways to support the campaign.
- Share her doggie photos. All of the dogs featured are for adoption. The more their stories get shared the more likely these dogs will find a forever home.
- Educate yourself about the breed. You will find that pit bulls are a loyal dogs that can make good pets in the right home enviroment.
- Take a stand against the 1 million pit bulls which are euthanized by joining the social media movement. Post a photo of your pet (any pet or breed) with the hashtag #PitBullFlowerPower.
- Purchase of the their 2015 calendars. The proceeds of the calendar will benefit the three NYC rescue groups whose dogs are featured in the series: Sean Casey Animal Rescue, Second Chance Rescue and Animal Haven.
For additional information about the campaign and to view her doggie photos click here -> Striking Paws.
Dead Dog Beach Campaign
This photo journalism essay documents the life and hard times of stray and abandoned dogs on a beach in southeast Puerto Rico.
The number of stray dogs in Puerto Rico is currently at a staggering one-quarter million and growing. Nicknamed “Satos” by the locals, residents see these lost souls as vermin. They are destined to live lives of neglect and poverty.
The Sato Project is a rescue group that is based in New York City and monitors the dogs that are dropped at the beach in Puerto Rico. They raise money and awareness to feed them and, when money permits, they fly them to the US.
What happens to them afterward?
That’s the best part. It is here in America where they find there forever homes and are adopted out.
Since 2011, the Sato Project has rehabilitated and rescued over 1000 dogs. The dogs are fed, cared for and then taken to a local vet’s office. The dog is spayed or neutered and will stay at the vet’s office as long as it takes to get them socialized and ready to be adopted.
Prior to going to a forever home, these dogs average anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks in foster care. If, for some reason, the adoptive family cannot keep the dog, the Sato Project will take the dog back, no questions asked.
If you take a look at the photos that Sophie has done, you’ll see that dogs are all ages and sizes and, sadly, even puppies. And they’re so grateful for a good meal but many are painfully thin.
Sophie hopes to continue photographing for the sake of the project as well as abandoned dog populations in America and around the world.
Check out the video of Sophie at work with the dogs in Puerto Rico
Photo Credit: istockphoto.com