THE POWER OF THE PHOTOGRAPH
BECAUSE EVERY DOG HAS A TALE TO SHARE WITH THE WORLD
Dogs I Meet has a simple, obsessive philosophy: Every dog I meet has a tale to share with the world.
In January 2019, I traveled to Mexico to photograph and meet the dedicated animal rescuers and the dogs in their care to capture their tales.
I was determined to use the mission to generate awareness of their remarkable work and accomplishments in fighting the stray dog crisis in Mexico.
Before leaving home, loyal supporters of Friends of Dogs I Meet learned of the Mexico mission and promptly donated $6,500 to give to the rescue groups.
The donors shared their inspiration for wanting to give such a generous donation:
“Too many people consider pets and other animals to be of no consequence or value. We learned about the animal rescue organizations from the work Dogs I Meet is doing and we greatly admire the selfless work they do caring for animals in distress, and for owners needing assistance caring for their pets. We are pleased to be able to help them continue their work.”
The donation of $6,500 was shared with these six animal rescue organizations in Mexico
The funds were spread among the rescue groups knowing that would make the greatest impact for the largest number of dogs.
My trip coincided with planning and attending the 2019 Magic Makers Retreat in Riviera Maya, focusing on the business aspects of dog photography.
In attendance were some of the world’s best dog photographers, representing New Zealand, Australia, London, and several from the United States.
Seven photographers, one dog trainer and I visited Riviera Rescue, located deep in the jungle in Puerto Morales, and Cause 4 Paws.
MEET RIVIERA RESCUE
Founded in 2016 by portrait artist Matteo Saucedo, Riviera Rescue is a non-profit dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of abused dogs in extreme cases of neglect or disease.
Matteo launched Riviera Rescue on his own and he paints and sells spectacular portraits of his dogs to feed, house, and protect them from jungle predators such as jaguars.
MEET CAUSE 4 PAWS
Cause 4 Paws is a no-kill dog and cat shelter located in the resort town of Puerto Morelos. In addition to housing strays, Cause 4 Paws assists financially disadvantaged pet owners with education, spay/neuter issues, deparasiting (deworming), and surgeries.
They rely entirely on private donations and fundraisers with the help of local entertainers who volunteer their talents to help the Cause.
We photographed and shot video, which we donated to both rescues, along with additional funds, as resources to promote awareness of the work in hopes of raising even more donations through social media.
In fact, we will be assisting Matteo’s Riviera Rescue in launching a website with the pictures and videos shot during our visit.
WHAT I DISCOVERED
What I found to be most fascinating and inspiring was the willingness of each rescue to work together as a team, despite their varying resources and unique approaches to animal care.
It became immediately obvious to me that the groups collaborate amazingly well, sharing equipment, information, and veterinary expertise when possible, all with the common goal of saving abandoned animals.
But far more touching for me was how sweet, loving, and trusting the dogs are despite the horrible way they’ve been discarded. It’s human nature to expect abused animals to react with feral hostility to strangers.
I discovered quite the opposite to be true.
Street dogs in Mexico that have survived unimaginable trauma, starvation, and exposure to brutal elements crave human attention and touch. They want to snuggle. They want to be hugged. They want to be loved.
Mere words cannot properly describe how affectionate these abandoned strays are.
ENTER THE POWER OF THE PHOTOGRAPH
That’s where the power of the photograph plays such a crucial role. The tireless animal rescue workers lack the time and expertise to show in pictures how affectionate and, more importantly, how easily adoptable their dogs and cats are.
As professional dog photographers, my colleagues and I have a unique opportunity to capture the true essence of these beautiful creatures.
We were honored to have the opportunity to venture into the jungle and witness first hand a day in the life of the dogs being given a chance for health and happiness and meet the hero’s who cared for them.
Every one of these dogs has a tale and deserves a loving home.
As photographers, we are on a mission to show the world our experiences with these loveable dogs and cats.
The work these animal rescue organizations accomplish each day truly takes a village. We invite you to join our village by sharing this story.
Spread the word about these amazing rescue organizations with everyone you know who loves dogs. And cats, too!
And if possible, please make a donation of any amount, as no amount is too small.
Thank you to my colleagues who gave their time and talent to these animals and the people who love them.
A Special Thank You to Ruben for your help coordinating this mission and for escorting us into the jungle. Without your guidance our trip wouldn’t have been possible.
Last, but certainly not least, to my dear friends (you know who you are) thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generous donations and support. You have made a huge difference and helped to save countless animals.