Many thanks to Orlando Weekly for this honor and recognition (“Best Do-Gooders Doing Good: Pawsitive Shelter Photography,” Best of Orlando, July 30). Every one of our 50+ volunteers – including those who regularly travel from as far away as St. Augustine, Davenport and Tampa to help us with photos and handling dogs and cats in the heat of the summer – does this as a profound a labor of love. Once the hard work is done and our gear has been cleaned and stowed, we head home to sort through hundreds of shots of dozens of pets looking for just the right ones. Those photos have to be digitally touched up, resized and reformatted and posted in time to be used early the next morning. It means a full day every Sunday and every Wednesday for each of our photographers, in both Orange and Osceola counties. We understand that our program, which is unlike any other operating anywhere in the country, has caused a substantial increase in adoptions, and we are justifiably proud.
Still, the sad part is that we are putting our collective fingers in a very leaky dike. Until our community leaders step up to the plate and take decisive action to discourage uncontrolled breeding and to encourage wide-spread spaying and neutering of pets, the problem of homeless pets and the holocaustic solution that passes as “humane euthanasia” will only get worse. It is time that the public realizes that there is a real economic and social cost to treating our pets as we do disposable lighters and diapers, and that we must now collect these real public costs from people who chose to keep their pets intact or who chose to breed pets when and where they are not needed. We remain optimistic that both Orange and Osceola county governments shortly will act in a positive way on these issues and stop the incredible and needless slaughter carried out daily in our name by our local governments. There is a better way.
Paul L. Wean, founder, Pawsitive Shelter Photography, via orlandoweekly.com