Lovable Mutts are photographed for a book


An award winning photographer hopes to publish a coffee table book, featuring pictures of dogs in need of good homes and their stories.

Emma O’Brien has won multiple awards for her photography work in Johannesburg, the greater Gauteng and many other places; and she’s hoping to direct greater attention to her next big project.

O’Brien’s work has literally gone to the dogs … having photographed more than 60 pooches in need to put together in a coffee table book, called Mutts, where she hopes their stories and struggles will be shared with empathetic readers.

Photo: Supplied
FUN: Sam just wants to play, so find out more about him in Mutts.

“I decided to publish a book about rescue dogs after spending time taking photographs at shelters and seeing just how many unwanted dogs there are. Shelters worldwide are overflowing with dogs and I would like to do something to encourage people to adopt rather than buy dogs.

“Mutts is my way of showing people the variety of shapes, sizes, colours and breed mixes that you’ll find at a shelter, and break down misconceptions by telling their stories and anecdotes about their personalities.”

Read: Books that should be on your reading list this winter

Explaining the misconceptions about purebred dogs and mutts, O’Brien said, “I think people choose pedigree dogs because they like certain breed specific traits, ie border collies because they’re easy to train and Labradors because they are good with children. Mutts are just as smart – sometimes smarter in fact – as pedigree dogs and they don’t usually have the same health problems.

Photo: Supplied
TOOTHY: Lola has a quirky grin and a great personality.

“Pedigree dogs also find themselves unwanted and abandoned, sometimes due to a lack of understanding about specific breed behaviours and requirements.”

By publishing this book O’Brien hopes to encourage the public to adopt mixed-breed and any homeless dogs because they’re the ones who need safe homes or face the possibility of being euthanised.

There are other ways to help dogs, even if you’re not able to adopt. O’Brien explained, “You can help by donating to projects like this one, volunteering at your local shelter to walk and play with the dogs, collect food or blankets for shelter dogs and by encouraging people you know who are looking for a new dog to visit their local shelter and adopt.”

Photo: Supplied
FURRY FRIEND: Jack’s best moments are captured in Emma O’Brien’s book, Mutts.

The Mutts book and this project to drive people to adopt dogs are in need of funding before they can come to life, and everyone can contribute towards the project.

Click here for more details

Have you adopted a furry friend? Share your experience with us by posting on our Facebook page. 

Racine Edwardes

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