Sunday, October 19, 2008
Sitting down and thinking made me realize how lucky I am. For beginners, I’m grateful for the opportunity to go to New Orleans and to my Grandma Betty, who paid for my trip. I’m grateful for all of the generosity that we encountered while staying in New Orleans. I’m only nineteen, but in my nineteen years of living I have never come across so many genuinely kind and courteous people.
I especially want to recognize all of the people that I met at the four shelters that I went to. All of these people have a passion for these animals and live day in and out for them. I can’t even begin to describe the influence that these people have on the animals.
Although I’m grateful I just can’t get the animals out of my head. I’m sure some of them have found homes, hopefully good ones. Unfortunately, I’m also sure that more haven’t. They’re still there waiting out their fate. Not only in New Orleans, but everywhere in the world. It has been brought to my attention that more than 2,000,000 dogs are euthanized in shelters EVERY year. That’s not including cats and other animals. FIX YOUR PETS PEOPLE!!!!
Science proves every day that animals are smarter than we have originally given them credit for. They are part of our culture. The animals of New Orleans are a true embodiment of surviving souls. I will never forget the animals I met. Their spirits will remain with me eternally.
Friday, October 3, 2008
After having this child like experience, it was time to get serious again and do some shooting for my project. Becky and Colleen went with me to the Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter. I did my thing and photographed the shelter. I was in shock pretty much the whole time because of the stories that Jen had. Jen was the lady that showed me around the shelter. As we were walking and I was photographing, she told me about the backgrounds of several of the dogs. There was a pitbull there with a burn straight down his back because his owner lit his back on fire. He wanted the dog to become more tolerant to pain for fighting. There was another dog there because the neighbor (who was a cop,) was trying to kill it by throwing poisoned meat over the fence. I could go on, but I won't. After some of these disheartening stories, I felt as if I was just going through the motions and clicking the button. This entire week has been an emotional roller coaster. For the most part, I have been able to keep my emotions to myself, but after today I came to my room and I lost it. I cannot believe the cruelty that some people have towards animals. People suck.
I made the comment that I wish my computer would just blow up and then I wouldn't have to look at those photographs ever again. Then I quickly realized how stupid this was. What if I didn't have this experience tonight? I've always known that people can be cruel to animals, but tonight I saw the worst cases of neglect and abuse than I have ever seen before . There's no more denying it for me. Hopefully once other people see these photographs, they become painfully aware and feel the need to do something, as much as I feel the need to photograph these helpless animals that have no voice for themselves.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Today we went to hang out with some Times Picayune photojournalists. I say it so nonchalant but it was a BIG deal. I don't know how to put into words how cool it was. I feel so fortunate to have been able to have the experience that I did today. We split into groups with four of the photographers that work for the paper. Amanda and I went with Jennifer Zdon. They drove us around New Orleans and let us ask all of the questions we wanted. Amanda had most of the questions because she is graduating and going into the photojournalism field. Jennifer asked us about our projects and gave us some insight on what she knew about our topics. Not only did we learn a lot but they gave all of us a copy of "The Times-Picayune, Katrina" book. It's a beautiful book and has a lot of their own work from Katrina.
This Afternoon we went to the Chalmette Battlefield, where the War of 1812 was fought. We had the oppurtunity to photograph the Chalmette Monument, the Malus-Beauregard House, and the Chalmette National Cemetary.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
When I decided to do my Essay on animal shelters, I was a little skeptical. There’s something about animals without homes that is very hard for me to cope with. I’ve been around animals all of my life. I grew up with Clydesdale horses, my pony, cows, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, you name it. When I was a child I even wanted to be an elephant foot doctor. This was until I realized that there was no such thing. I also grew up with parents that rescued every animal in sight. Both of my parents are animal lovers, but my dad is especially. He’s even gone as far as to take the neighbor barn cats and have them all fixed. As you can see, I grew up having nothing but love and understanding for all animals. I even have trouble with deer hunting (although I realize it needs to be done, I don’t want to be the one to do it), To see any animal sad, in pain, or dead is extremely hard for me. I guess where I’m going with this is to one simple story. Today we were photographing and there were two dogs sharing a kennel. I knew immediately when I saw them that they weren’t at all happy. John Thornton went on to explain that they belonged to an old women who couldn’t take care of herself. She ended up in a nursing home where she couldn’t have her dogs, and gave them to John. As a dog owner, I realize the attachment of a dog owner and their dog. You love and treat them as a part of your family and they love and treat you the same. So for these dogs to have all the love in the world, and then go to a shelter with 288 other dogs, is depressing for them.
That’s just one story. I’m not saying that they were the only dogs I felt sorry for. All of these dogs have their own story, whether their owners were killed in Katrina, or they weren‘t potty trained so their owner took them to a shelter. They have a story and they deserve a home regardless of their background.