How To Save Our Animal Shelters
We all know our animal shelters are in trouble. They are understaffed, under funded, and more importantly over crowded. There's no use in pointing fingers, but when it comes down to it the only place to point is at us humans.
Yes, we humans found the canine race early on and formed an unbreakable bond that has lasted through the ages and evolved into what we now call 'pets' (one of my most unfavorite words). How does an intellectual, wild wolf evolve into a culture of abandoned pets crammed into crowded shelters? Humans, that's how.
We've become complacent and irresponsable in our love for the canine race, and now is our chance to change our behavior. The ASPCA and Humane Society were founded hundreds of years ago for this very reason- to change how people treated their animals- clearly because the epidemic of abusing and neglecting animals was happening even then. And now in our modern day, shelters are full of dogs and cats and rabbits and mice and birds and farm animals because we have learned that though we can love an animal, there is no repurcussion for suddenly abandoning them at the drop of a hat. And that has created a society where dropping a dog off at a shelter simply because it peed on your couch, or lighting your neighbor's cat on fire simply because you were bored is 100% acceptable behavior. This needs to stop, and as an artist and an animal lover and a human I feel it is my responability to help move our society forward.
Finding Shelter is my response, and here's why: Right now the only solution we've come up with is to take endearing pictures of pets in our shelter system. And when that fad started it was such a revolutionary thing! It was new and it was exciting and it was beautiful and let people finally see shelter animals as good pets, not simply unwanted animals. What a wonderful and creative idea it was. But at this point, that tactic is no longer effective. We've all been inundated with 'cute' photos of shelter animals in all forms- silly, pretty, funny, behind bars, not behind bars, in a studio, with a colorful background, outside on a leash, inside on a leash, etc etc. But it's time to advance this tactic, and that is why I started Finding Shelter.
Our shelter system is all about the people. It always has been. Look at these old photos of early shelters- who are we looking at in these images? We already know there are abandoned animals in the shelter, but what the viewer is craving to see, what they want to know about is the people doing all this tiring work. And that's the only question I'm interested in at this point, as well.