Guest Posts
Print|Email|Text Size: ||
Firing Raises Questions About Shelter Policy
Why not encourage good photography?
Palace is currently available for adoption through Project Pet.

Bark contributor Anna Jane Grossman (famously of the recent East Village Halloween parade post) recently wrote a fascinating piece about the firing of Emily Tanen at NYC’s Animal Care & Control. Until recently, Tanen was liaison between the shelter and its many rescue group partners. (She is the founder of Project Pet, Inc.). According to the story, Tanen was fired for taking photos of dogs in violation of the shelter’s policy. In particular, she did not heed the prohibition against including people (or parts of people) in those images.

We’ve always been believers in the key role good photos play in getting dogs adopted, promoting the efforts of groups such as HeARTs Speak, an alliance dedicated to helping photographers volunteer at shelters to improve the quality of images. Pros are pros for a reason. With better equipment, hard-won skills and an artist’s eye, they can capture a dog’s wonderful essence even in a stress-filled environment. Instead of what looks like a perp shot, you get a portrait. We all know stories of folks who were motivated to take the all important first steps to adopt a dog on the strength of a compelling photo. There’s no one in the animal welfare community who can say it’s not critical.

Grossman’s story and the criticisms of Animal Care & Control are disturbing. Since Animal Care & Control officials have not spoken about Tanen’s firing, we don’t know their side of the story but any policy that discourages employees and volunteers from taking steps that can only help more dogs find good homes seems ill advised—especially when there is a track record of success.

Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom. lisawogan.com

Photo courtesy Emily Tanen of Project Pet, Inc.

More in Guest Posts:
Valley Fire Dogs in Need
Best in Health: Purebred or Mixed-Breed?
Think Twice about the Fish in Dog Food
Dog Days of Cleaning
What Else Is In That Supplement?
Pet Summer Safety Guide
Every Dog Needs Love
Does Hollywood Affect a Dog Breed's Popularity?
Clean Carpet Pet Stains Naturally
Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon (and Dog Lover)