Monday, May 09, 2016

Animal anti-cruelty league

Joanna, my Boss.
On Friday a group of the ladies in the sales and design department upstairs and I went to volunteer at the Animal anti-cruelty league premises. When I say we went to volunteer that's not entirely correct, more like we went to play with the kittens and puppies. Me? Well as usual I took my camera with and spent most of my time behind the camera taking shots of the ladies with the various animals. They are of course all candid shots, well most of them anyway.
The Animal anti-cruelty league does good work when it comes to taking care of the animals that get neglected here in South Africa where there seems to be a growing problem in this area. The animal anti-cruelty league however assists with education at schools, mobile clinics in the less affluent areas and with prosecution in cases of cruelty. They also run an adoption program, two puppies were adopted while we were there on Friday which is very heartening. There are also the facilities to house animals while they are waiting for adoption.I must tell you that for me this was a very traumatic visit. Seeing animals who have been abandoned and now spend their days in a cage just breaks my heart.
Pooja, one of the designers
We must have spent about two hours looking at kittens, some time in the senior's enclosure which was interesting. There was a white old lady there who didn't seem very interested in anyone for the first few minutes. But when I went into the enclosure she suddenly perked up and visited everyone. Cats are very weird creatures, very independent, I love it. After that, puppy time in the "Freedom Village. Here we sat with a bunch of Labrador puppies with the group slowly getting smaller and smaller as they were adopted. This is where I got most of my pictures because the girls were kind of in one place without moving around like excited children, which they really are.
My better pictures, in my opinion, were the close up images, I have this thing about filling the frame and composing my pictures with less wasted space. When the subject is moving round like a crazy thing it does get tough to get nice pictures, it all has to do with shutter speed. People, it seems, move around a lot so a shutter speed of no slower than one fiftieth of a second works much better. This means a lot of fiddling with ISO and aperture to get the right exposure.
Lauren, one of the sales ladies.
 This was a Friday afternoon and if you are anything like me you tend to look forward to the weekend and Friday is the start  so visitors were scarce, maybe two or three couples, but out of those few people at least two puppies were adopted.
One of the interesting aspects of visiting the kittens was having to wash your hands between handling different kittens. There is a disease going round in Johannesburg called F.I.D.S., Feline immune deficiency syndrome, AIDS for cats, which is very contagious so in order to protect the kittens there is no touching one kitten then another,wash your hands first. The "Cages" the kittens are in have a glass window on one side, maybe I should clarify that, more like a glass wall so visitors can view them, with a passage between. What was nice about this arrangement was that no one can touch the kittens without supervision, you can imagine a whole bunch of school kids trooping through this facility, what a nightmare to keep control of.
Dog cages on the right with the senior centre on the left
 Another thing that really impressed me was the cleanliness of the whole place, it was spotless. They really do provide a loving and caring service to those little ones who have had such a hard time previously, very admirable. Progroup, the company I work for, will be donating an exhibition stand to Animal Anti-cruelty League for the upcoming W.O.D.A.C exhibition. I haven't seen any pictures of the stand yet but I'm sure it will be superb. In certain countries they call them Booths but here we refer to them as show stands. W.O.D.A.C. refers to the World Of Dogs and Cats.
Lelo having a blast
When Lelo joined Progroup a couple of months ago we had two kittens in the offices upstairs and she wanted nothing to do with them. For some reason she had never interacted with cats before and was terrified of them, that was about to change. Over the next couple of weeks, when the kittens came to sit on her lap, she got used to them and fell in love, as happens with kittens. On this particular day she learned that puppies really like her too. They would follow her all over the place and she landed up falling in love all over again. Crimelda on the other hand was already in love with dogs and she immediately made plans to come back in the week to adopt a puppy.
Crimelda listening very intently

Unfortunately Crimelda didn't want her photograph taken and so I only have two pictures of her while listening to the facility manageress discussing the problem they were having to deal with with regards to one little puppy. She's a very bubbly and alive person.
Sam was there too and she was so happy to be playing with the animals it was quite touching, all she wanted me to do was take pictures of the puppy she was holding. A sweet girl with a very sweet little puppy to cuddle with.
Sam the designer in a happy place.

The other lady in the group is Ciara, also a designer. With her things went a bit differently. Ciara is new to the company and is the person who is doing the design for the Animal Anti-cruelty League show stand. She studied design at some university or other but was lacking, according to her, in one specific area, photography. She was chatting to me about not having a camera and even if she did have one she wouldn't be able to use it, no idea how. Well, you can imagine, this was just up my alley, I love photography, as you already know, and I know how to use a camera. It wasn't long before she was doing all the right things and clicking away, after a very few instructions that is. Her pictures were not the best to start with but it didn't take long before they were nearly spot on. Well done Ciara.
Ciara, another designer and budding cameraman
The people who run this facility were very friendly and obviously care a huge amount about the animals in their custody, which is something so many people neglect to do in their homes. I'm going to post a whole lot of pictures from that day so you can take a look at the place and be heartened to know that there are real people out there that really do care. For now, blessings and love from Geoff in Johannesburg in South Africa.

1 comment:

  1. Its lovely to see people caring for animals. There is so much about animal cruelty it sickening. Loved all of your pics Geoff.