my involvement in Rescue goes beyond the photography since I'm on the Board of Directors of Gulfstream Guardian Angels Rottweiler Rescue of Miami. Private organizations involved in Rescue require 3 things:
1. money. These organizations are generally 501c3 non-profit entities and they require donations to survive. I help on the fund-raising side by supporting our largest fund-raising event -- Oktoberfest in late October in Boca Raton. This event brings in lots of vendors who donate a percentage of their sales to GGARR. There are costume contests since it is held close to Halloween and I photograph all the participants and donate the proceeds to the club. I also have a portrait setup and donate most of those sales to the club as well.
Each year, Linda and I produce a Rottweiler calendar which we sell at Oktoberfest and later in the year at the Miami dog shows. A percentage of those sales goes to the club. In 2009, the star of the calendar was Sundance and last year it was our Blue Suede litter of puppies. Here are two samples:
The star of this year's August page is our very own Moxie.
2. the organizations need good dogs to put into good homes. My involvement is to evaluate any potential rescue that comes to us in the Central Florida area. I will evaluate the dogs for overall health and temperament with temperament in a Rottie the single "absolute" factor. Any dog that I cannot put my hands on will not come into our rescue program. I'm also involved in fostering -- the girl we just lost recently, Marion Louise, came to us as a foster -- and transport of dogs from anywhere in the Southeast to our boarding/vet facility in Miami. In each of those situations, I generally take the first shots that are posted to PetFinders.
3. Good dogs need great homes so I do home/adopter inspections/interviews in the Central Florida area. This week I visited a veterinarian with an American Hairless Terrier, two cats and an African Grey Parrot who wanted one of our older dogs and explained that she was in a unique position to provide them with care for the rest of their lives. So now it's just a matter of finding a dog that can live with a small dog and cats
. But what a great home!
As I said, my involvement is more than just as a photographer although that is a piece of it. I think the things that Jim, Julie and Preston have suggested are great. For PetFinders, we've found that a simple headshot and body shot are sufficient. For our website, we do as much as we can especially with some of the dogs that come to us in horrific physical condition. But with Rottweilers, it isn't as much a matter of how cute they are; it's a matter of how well they will fit into the homes that want to adopt them.