If pictures tell a thousand words, then Michael Kloth’s photography in Shelter Puppies, a book to be published on October 4, 2011, is a story of satisfying triumph over cruelty and tragedy.
According to the National Animal Interest Alliance about four million dogs per year enter shelters, of which 2.2 million are strays and another 1.8 million are surrendered by their owners. Approximately 1 million of these are placed in permanent homes, while over 2 million are euthanized.
Michael Kloth is a professional photographer who volunteers with shelters and animal placement organizations to build pictorial portfolios to help them “market” their adoptable residents to the public. By Kloth’s own confession, he believes that anyone looking for a dog can find a good match among the shelters and rescue organizations, many of which have nationwide networks on the internet, complete with histories and pictures to assist the potential owner.
One can expect from Shelter Puppies dozens of beautiful pictures of cute, cuddly, and playful pets. Kloth’s photography captures the engaging elements of puppy personalities very well, some of which expose the unfathomable curiosity of these animals as well as some that disclose stories of abuse and abandonment. Kloth includes notes on some of the puppies after they have found permanent homes, many written by those new pet owners who have found deep levels of companionship with their new family members.
One note written by Terra and Jason Kelly about their adoption of Jerry, a border collie mix, says, “We’ve never loved a dog like this. Our little man Jerry is family, a true best friend. We knew he was ours the moment we saw this picture online, and we drove halfway across the state to adopt him. His charm and affection have filled our lives with joy ever since.”
Pet owners who have experienced the undeniable connections between themselves and their companions from the canine world will enjoy Michael Kloth’s photography. Shelter Puppies is not a book for those who are searching for in-depth reporting on the societal problem of animal cruelty and abandonment. It is not meant for that audience, though Kloth cites some statistics and lists numerous organizations who can provide such information for those who want to explore the issue further. Shelter Puppies is a book to enjoy for what it is, a photo album, professionally created and assembled, telling a story through the language of pictures.