By Evie Andreou
STEERING away from the typical dog shelter images of dejected, miserable-looking animals, UK-based photographer Stuart Holroyd has come up with a very original way of finding new homes for the strays at the Bay Tree Boarding Kennels in Oroklini.
He has photographed ten of the dogs, placing them in front of dramatic, atmospheric backdrops to make the strays look original, interesting and positive.
He believes it will help find new homes for the dogs and raise funds for dog shelter owner, pensioner Kayte Wilson-Smith, to help cover her expenses.
“As a photographer I wanted to put them in a nice environment. It took 20 hours per photo,” Holroyd told the Sunday Mail. “When people see negative photos they feel guilty. I don’t want people to feel guilty. This actually gets people’s attention.”
Each of the ten dogs is depicted in a different way: lying on the beach, posing in front of an old military airplane, standing on a rock watching a magical butterfly, or in front of a fire place next to a Christmas tree.
“Each photo is based on the dog’s personality and their background,” Holroyd said.
The photos have already helped the majority of the dogs find homes, except three dogs with disabilities: Costa who is blind, Fergus who has three legs and Millie.
“We photographed Milly like a mermaid by the sea, since she has a genetic disease and she has a problem with her two back legs,” Holroyd said.
The ten photos will be released in a book this April and the proceeds will go to the shelter, Holroyd said.
He also launched a fund raiser to help the shelter with expenses that has so far raised more than €3,400. http://www.youcaring.com/adoption-fundraiser/the-bay-tree-project/288978#.VLA7OKpiiAY.facebook
The photos have travelled around the world as several newspapers like the Daily Mail, the Huffington Post and blogs have posted them in their websites.
“We weren’t expecting this at all. It went viral. We just wanted to raise some money for Kate,” the photographer said.
He added that it’s not just Wilson-Smith’s shelter that’s having problems, but many shelters on the island.
“Now that the story has gone viral, we would like to use that publicity and meet decision makers in Cyprus so that we can discuss the current legislation against animal cruelty, because it doesn’t work,” Holroyd said.
He added that another reason why he had taken on the project was because of the various animal cruelty cases in Cyprus.
“We’ve come to the point when we finally can do some good. We need to come up with a different plan. We have a responsibility as human beings to protect animals” Holroyd said.