Today I photographed at Raven Woods Animal Sanctuary located in Roseland Louisiana. It was a long drive, but Colleen was gracious and drove me out there anyways. The shelter is a no kill, non profit shelter with 290 dogs. It was insane. All of the dogs are current in vaccinations. John Thornton runs the entire shelter by himself. Leila Baldridge, who lives about an hour and a half from John, also tries to help out when she can, but otherwise it's a one man show.
John started helping animals in 1994, with just a couple of dogs that he wanted to help. Eventually by 2003, those couple of dogs turned into about forty dogs. In attempt to find these dogs homes, his wife made him start a sanctuary. When people learned about the sanctuary they started to bring dogs to John, instead of adopting the animals. Ultimately, John would love for these animals to find homes, but he just keeps adding space as neccesary. Although, today he mentioned that he was done adding on kennels. He even has 14 dogs in his house, one pit bull in the bathroom, and a bunch of dogs on the porch.
John was a very nice and easy man to talk to. He has an obvious love and passion for these dogs that I respect. I think what he's doing is wonderful but a little overwhelming. He does a great job keeping up his shelter and caring for these dogs. They are safe and clean, but maybe not so happy. These dogs really need to find homes.
On Sunday, when we went to Animal Rescue New Orleans, it was such a different environment. They probably had all of 20 dogs, and 6 volunteers. In fact the volunteers almost appeared bored as they fumbled through newspapers. I found it to be interesting that they had too much help, and John can't get any.