In the time it takes for you to read this paragraph, 14 pets will have entered into life in an animal shelter in the United States. Ninety percent of these animals are not spayed or neutered. Approximately half will be euthanized.
On a weekly basis I photograph cats, dogs, rabbits, rats, and hamsters for a state owned animal shelter, which takes in 45 new animals each day. These photographs help promote the animals for adoptions.
At the same time, I continue my photographic investigation of what shelter life is like for these animals who wait, and the euthanasias of those who don’t find homes. The boredom, anxiety, depression, confusion, and desperation are overwhelming.
However, there are also rays of light that shine through this darkness. Surprisingly, stories of neglect turn into stories of redemption. Also encouraging, spay and neuter rates continue to rise, and perhaps best of all, discarded animals find new loving homes.
Although these are positive signs of change, we have a lot of work to do. According the Humane Society, more than 50% of the 6–8 million animals that enter the US shelters are euthanized annually. This number could be significantly reduced with a simple "fix" of spaying and neutering. I hope these photographs call attention to the tragic epidemic of animal overpopulation, and illuminate what happens when we don’t spay and neuter our cats and dogs.