For two years, Yun-Fei Tou has been photographing dogs heading to meet their deaths at the Taoyuan Animal Shelter in Taiwan, providing in the process some last-minute affection to the animals and a message to all: There has got to be a better way.
“I believe something should not be told but should be felt,” says Tou, 37, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. “And I hope these images will arouse the viewers to contemplate and feel for these unfortunate lives, and understand the inhumanity we the society are putting them through.”
He has captured the images of some 400 dogs, most of which were pets abandoned by their owners, sometimes hours before they are euthanized, sometimes just minutes, according to an Associated Press story.
And once in a while, according to a recent piece in the Washington Post, he is at their side when the lethal injection takes place.
“You treat them like your own dog or daughter or son. And then you play with them, as if they are your friend … You just make sure that when they are facing euthanasia, they are in peace,” Tou said.
A selection of some of the 40,000 dog pictures Tou has taken are scheduled to be exhibited in August in his first full-scale show, at the Fine Arts Museum in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung.
A few others are on display at Taoyuan city hall, aimed at heightening citizen awareness of the responsibilities that come with raising a pet.
Tou first became interested in photography in 1991 as a student at The American School in Switzerland. In 1998, he graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a major in photography.
His softly lit photographs reflect the dignity of the soon-to-be-killed dogs, who, despite often being mangy and emaciated, seem to have a grace about them.
Shelters in Taiwan will euthanize 80,000 dogs this year. In the U.S., between 3 and 4 million dogs are euthanized a year.
You can find more of Tou’s photos here.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, art, death, death row, dignity, dogs, euthanasia, exhibit, grace, memento mori, pets, photographer, photography, photos, shame, shelters, taiwan, taoyuan animal shelter, yun-fei tou
Officials in New Taipei City say their dog poop lottery was a resounding success – more than 4,000 people collected 14,500 bags of excrement.
For each bag they turned in, they were given a lottery ticket, earning them a chance to win gold and household appliances.
Officials in the Taiwan city credit the program with cutting in half the amount of dog droppings on city streets.
The program began in August and was initially planned to run until October, but it was so successful the city extended it a couple of more months — up until they started running out of gold, the BBC reported.
Final prizes were awarded this week, with the big winner receiving a gold ingot worth $2,200. The woman, in her 50s, was part of a team of volunteers that clean the streets regularly.
Smaller gold ingots, worth several hundred dollars, were given to four other prizewinners.
A total of 85 people won prizes, including household appliances.
City officials told the BBC they did not know how many of the winners were motivated by gold, as opposed to people who regularly pick up the poop of their own dogs or other’s.
Officials say they hope residents have gotten into the habit of picking up dog droppings, and that they will continue to do so without financial rewards.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 9th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, behavior, clean, dog, dogs, droppings, feces, gold, incentive, ingots, lottery, new tapei city, pets, pick-up, poop, prizes, program, rewards, scoop, taiwan, waste
Starting on Monday, people who take dog feces they have collected to New Taipei City sanitation units will receive a ticket for a gold-ingot raffle, the Tapei Times reports.
The raffle winners will recieve ingots worth $12,000 to $60,000.
“We believe this innovative measure will raise people’s awareness of the problem,” Chen said Chen Chao-mint, an official with the Environmental Protection Department. “Through the raffle, we expect the public to pay closer attention to environmental sanitation and play a more active role in keeping their surroundings clean.”
The rafffle results will be announced in October.
Dog feces on streets and sidewalks has become a major quality of life concern for residents, the Times reports, and the municipality has been urging dog owners to clean up after their pets.
New Taipei City will also will also offer rewards to those who take videos or photographs of people who leave their pets’ feces in the street. In addition, the city is encouraging residents to form teams to patrol their neighborhoods and educate people on the importance of cleaning up after their dogs.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: awareness, clean up, dog, dogs, education, feces, gold, health, ingots, new tapei city, pick-up, poop, public, raffle, sanitation, scoop, taiwan, waste
Dogs from New York City and around the world are being sent to help in the search and recovery effort in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
The U.S. government is sending two, 72-man search and rescue teams with dogs to help dig out survivors, said Rajiv Shah, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Business Week reports.
French teams with “sniffer dogs” were seen boarding vans yesterday, headed to the airport on their way to Haiti. China dispatched a chartered plane containing multiple sniffer dogs and 10 tons of tents, food and medical equipment. A team from the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations left Moscow, also bound for Haiti, Discovery News reports.
Elsewhere, dogs were departing from Peru, Taiwan, Mexico and Britain, where a 64-member team, including dogs and handlers was en route.
The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation has sent at least six dog-and-handler teams have been sent to Haiti.
“Our hearts go out to our neighbors in Haiti, and we’re honored to be able to help find survivors of this terrible tragedy,” NDSDF executive director Debra Tosch said. “This is the day that our teams have trained for; when the unthinkable happens, SDF Teams stand ready to respond, bringing hope and comfort to victims and their loved ones.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 14th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: britain, china, disaster, dogs, earthquake, effort, france, government, haiti, K-9, k9, mexico, moscow, national disaster search dog foundation, peru, relief, russia, search and rescue, taiwan, u.s., united states, video