Support This Book Of Mutts!
By Temba Msiza: South Africa has millions of dogs and with that, many abandoned dogs that end up being euthanized, due to a lack of sufficient rescue facilities, and the neverending flow of unwanted animals coming in and not enough homes for them. Animal cruelty, backyard breeders, allowing pet animals to breed unhindered and unsterilised strays are some of the biggest issues we face as a country. Buying only from pet shops and breeders, instead of adopting rescues, only adds to these problems.
Animal lovers Emma O’Brien and Paula Graham took it upon themselves to create a coffee table book Mutts filled with ‘pawdorable’ rescue dog portraits accompanied by their inspirational stories on Thundafund.com, which aims to raise funds for Community Led Animal Welfare (CLAW) and Sandton SPCA. The project is directed at encouraging all South Africans to adopt animals rather than buying them from breeders and helping these rescue charities give shelter to homeless animals.
We spoke to one of the creators, professional photographer Emma O’Brien, about this amazing project:
Why is it important for people not to buy dogs (or animals in general) and adopt them instead?
It’s important that people adopt rather than buy dogs (and cats) because shelters and rescue centres are overflowing with unwanted pets that deserve to have a loving home. Each time someone buys an animal from a pet store or breeder, they deny a shelter dog a home. Over 500 dogs are put to sleep every day in South Africa because there are not enough people willing to adopt them. That’s something I’d like to change and I hope by showing how unique Mutts are and telling their adoption stories, I’ll inspire more people to get their next pet from a shelter or rescue centre.
Where does your love for animals come from?
I grew up with rescue dogs, so getting an animal from a shelter rather than buying one was the norm for me. Being surrounded by animals my whole life it was inevitable that I would have my own. Dogs are my favourite animals, they are smart, loving and always great company, so being a voice for them in the world is something I’m incredibly passionate about.
How did the idea for Mutt the book come about?
As often as possible, I volunteer my time at Sandton SPCA and CLAW to photograph the dogs that are looking for homes, most of which are mixed breed dogs of all shapes and sizes. I’ve noticed that pedigree dogs get adopted very quickly, but the Mutts are often overlooked, so my aim with this project is to encourage people to adopt the mixed breed dogs. Mutts are usually far healthier and live longer than pedigree dogs, plus they are forever grateful for being rescued.
Where and when will the book be available?
The book will be available in September in book stores and my online shop – www.emmaobrien.photography
How can people assist?
I’m relying on donations to make this project a reality. The sales proceeds from the book are going to be split between Sandton SPCA and CLAW, so it’s a purely charitable endeavour. People can donate via my crowd funding campaign – Project Mutt
They have to raise R155 000 by mid July in order for them to self-publish their coffee table book and by contributing, you will not only be helping the publish the book, but also help animals in need.