West Cork photographer’s project highlights importance of adopting rescue animals

A NEW project from West Cork photographer Kiera Black entitled “Take Me Home”, aims to highlight the importance of adopting rescue animals.

Keira travelled to various shelters in Ireland including the West Cork Animal Sanctuary in Ownahincha in order to capture the stories of the animals there (all with a film camera).

Helped by her boyfriend Jack the aim was to raise awareness for animals who are waiting for their “forever homes” in shelters and to let people know there are alternative options to paying breeders in order to find the perfect pet.

Keira said, “The idea for ‘Take Me Home’ came about a few of months ago when we realised the lack of awareness for dogs in rescue shelters. There seems to be a stigma attached to certain dogs, particularly those of a restricted breed, which sometimes causes people to choose to buy their pet from a breeder despite the large number of healthy dogs living in shelters, unable to find homes. Over the last few months we have visited some shelters around Ireland in an attempt to capture the story of these animals.

“We often found that so called ‘restricted breeds’, such as Bull Terriers and Alsatians, were in abundance, despite being among the most affectionate and emotionally engaged dogs. Similarly, a high percentage of breeds coming into shelters were lurchers or greyhounds, which are usually bred as racing dogs.

“Those who are deemed unfit to perform due to injury or age are often cast aside and abandoned, if they’re lucky enough to escape euthanasia. Despite their loving and devoted personalities they are often not considered for adoption due to their high energy, size and anxious tendencies,” she said.

Keira added, “This is the story of the dogs that are notoriously harder to re-home – older dogs, restricted breeds and lurchers. The ones who are often forgotten.”

The pictures were gathered at the Dublin SPCA (https://www.dspca.ie/) and the West Cork Animal Welfare Sanctuary (http://www.westcorkanimals.com/).

If you are looking for a pet, please consider adopting one of thousands of the dogs abandoned in Ireland today.

“They’ll be forever in your debt, and you’ll never regret your decision to save the life of your Forever Friend,” said Keira.