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Published and awarded pet photographer serving the Charleston SC area with seasonal appointments in Northern Virginia.

 

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September, 2020 | Monthly Selections

This post is longer than usual but it’s important, so please don’t quit halfway through! I’ll start with a couple of cool rescue stories and client faces from September.

Let me back up – in addition to my shelter trips, one of the volunteer services I offer is to photograph foster pets who may need a little attention boost. September brought me two Dorchester Paws foster dogs - Dandelion and Ingrid. Both girls are seniors, both deserving of loving homes, and both were having a hard time getting adopted for reasons I did NOT understand since both were pretty spectacular when I met them! Their fosters brought them to me for studio photos that were then posted and shared and voila! Both were quickly adopted. (Dandelion is on a “departure delay” due to medicals but she should be going to her new home soon! Hooray for social media!) And this note from Ingrid's new mom was pretty special: "Seeing the pictures you took of her melted my heart. She is the sweetest dog and I’m thankful for finding her through this platform. Thanks for all the work you do. This sweet girl deserves all the love."

Another special rescue tale this month was Pebbles and Barney, a bonded pair of feline leukemia kittens at Charleston Animal Society that they were thankfully able to place together. These were just a couple of stand-out stories in the 50 adoptables I photo’d in September. (Seems we are back to normal locally for our shelters being over-capacity.)

Now we can turn to some amazing client sessions, like Kaw-liga, a six-month old bluetick hound about to start his show career.

And Jolly, a 13-year old plott hound rescued some years back in VA and now living it up with his humans in the south! Our session was, appropriately, on National Hug Your Hound Day!

 

Then there was the Trifecta of Senior Adorableness who I had the pleasure of working with at their gorgeous home, and on a quick romp at the beach with their incredibly sweet humans.

Finally, Henry and Layla and their paw-rents had their session – I say finally because this took us (I think) THREE scheduling attempts thanks to weather craziness over a couple-week period, but the morning we actually met it was gorgeous out and they were so worth the wait!

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This next piece is a very important story and some heart-wrenching photos. This is your chance to stop scrolling, but I hope you won’t.

I’ve been involved with rescues and shelters since 2003 and I have seen things that were terribly upsetting, and known animals who were abused and neglected. But Rosie is in the worst shape of any dog I have met in these 17 years. Rosie and her sister Violet were found chained to a house, abandoned, without access to food or clean water, obviously not receiving veterinary care for an extended period of time, and Rosie was near-death when animal control was called in for a welfare check. I have been involved with this for a couple of weeks now, and I still have a hard time wrapping my head around so many parts of it. Beyond the obvious head-scratcher of how someone could do this, I have questions. Why didn’t people come forward to help these girls? Based on where they were chained, surely others knew about this horrific treatment. If they were visible from the street, how did this go on for long enough that Rosie was near-death when she was finally seized? That doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t happen in a matter of days. This was a prolonged torturous act. (Photo below: 9/16/20, my first time meeting Rosie, two days after she was seized).

I have anger and distress. I am upset with a system that continually frees a repeat and violent offender and allows him to inflict this kind of suffering on innocent animals. (This guy has a mile-long rap sheet, all publicly accessible thanks to Google and court index searches.)

But I also have hope:

Hope that justice will be served for these girls. I hope there will be felony charges filed. Although COVID has interrupted the jails and their intake policies, that is NO excuse for this offender being on the streets – his criminal history goes back years, not just during these pandemic times. And he is out, released on a PR bond. Unbelievable! The system needs to change, folks.  And I hope the people who have expressed concern and outrage really will stand by these girls so we can see this through to the end.

I mostly hope these girls will be able to rally their health and go on to know love and caring as they should. I hope their rescue will continue to receive the necessary support for their extensive current and future care needs, all thanks to this sub-human’s neglect and abuse. From a couple of posts early on, followers generously donated over $5,000, which is amazing and a fantastic START to what they will need to be properly vetted. Both girls are heartworm positive. Both need to be spayed. Rosie has mast cell tumors (cancer - two confirmed, one suspicious) that need to be surgically removed, but she isn’t considered medically stable yet for surgery and she won’t be until she gains about 20 pounds. Violet is undergoing diagnostics for a yet-to-be determined internal issue, possibly related to a tickborne disease, and will likely require surgery to resolve it. And yet this monster walks free.

The first day I met Rosie was about two days after she was seized and she could barely lift her head. Inside, laying in her bed, she was able to wag her tail for us. Outside, she took two steps and collapsed, so weak she could not stand – weak from who knows how long she had been starved intentionally. And yet he walks free.

(Photo: 9/16/20 - collapsed after taking two steps on her own.)

In direct contrast to this sub-human, I have seen the best of people scoop up Rosie and take her into their care - from my emergency vet friends at Veterinary Specialty Care who stabilized her, to the loving and gentle foster family through BAC Penny Paws that has taken her in and is meeting her rigid daily care requirements, to the always overworked, overburdened and under supported shelter staff at Berkeley Animal Center, to the much-appreciated support of the Friends of Berkeley Animal Center. So many angels trying to help her - and Violet too, although I haven’t met her personally so I can’t tell her story firsthand. But I worry for her as well.

(Photos: 9/21/20. Above - with her foster dad)

To anyone who has been sharing the Rosie posts, thank you. We NEED to keep Rosie and Violet in the public eye so when the time comes for this criminal to be judged, the charges will be appropriate to the heinous crimes - and his sentence NEEDS to be harsh this time, hopefully jailed under multiple felony counts for many years. We MUST keep the public eye on this case.

(Photos: 9/30/20 - physical condition after two weeks of receiving proper care)

(Photo: 9/30/20 - she likes cheese so much she saved some for later - see cheesy chin :) )

This morning I hung out with Rosie and her fosters for a couple of hours, mostly just visiting, and petting Rosie all but 10 minutes of my visit. I am doing weekly progress (and evidence) photos – but the visits are for me personally. She is a very sweet dog, especially considering the life she was forced to lead. If you want to follow along with her story, she’ll be on my socials weekly at least (probably more) and her rescue’s socials too. If you want to get involved somehow to help support Rosie and Violet, whether through donations, or reaching out to stakeholders (legislators, the Solicitor), or prayers for the girls, please get in touch. All of these things matter. Please stay in their corner with me.

BAC Penny Paws (Rosie and Violet's non-profit rescue -- responsible for her vet bills and care expenses - you may donate directly from their page).

Friends of Berkeley Animal Center (non-profit that raises funds for Berkeley Animal Center).

Cuddly.com (wish list items and donation mechanism to help Rosie with her recovery and care requirements).

 

Thank you for sticking it out - I know that was a long read!

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Reminder: CHS area folks, we WILL BE doing Santa photos for your pets this year at Woof Gang Bakery in Mount Pleasant. We have protocols in place to minimize contact so be sure to save the dates (see schedule below) and keep the tradition going for your pets!

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Please check this site periodically for event updates or follow the posts on Facebook. Portfolio galleries are updated periodically and can be viewed via the Galleries tab.

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2020 UPCOMING EVENTS & SCHEDULING NOTES

Ongoing: Adoptable Animal Photo Sessions.

October, 2020 | Mount Pleasant Pets 2020-21 Magazine hits the newsstands!

October, 2020 | Mount Pleasant Towne Centre Pet Costume Contest (virtual event - date and details TBD)

October 31, 2020 | Wag-n-Splash Howl-o-ween Open House and Fair - this is going to be so much fun!

November 4, 2020 | K9 Resorts holiday sittings - advance registration required.

December 5 AND 6, 2020 | Santa Photos (pets only this year, to minimize contact with Santa) at Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming Mount Pleasant!

 

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