Don't get me wrong.. I love shooting weddings. I love the people who graciously welcome me into their family for a day. I love the effort and creativity involved. I feel beyond honored witnessing vows and speeches, words and stories reserved for that day alone. But if I had to choose whose story to tell with my camera, it would be those who can't afford to pay me for it. And street dogs definitely can't afford to pay me...
I was fortunate to spend part of December working with a wonderful non-profit, Spay Panama, that travels through the country as a pop-up vet clinic to rural areas that may otherwise go years without vet care. Offering low-cost sterilization to pet owners in hopes of curbing the number of animals born that would likely stray and starve, the organization is due to a generous retired canal worker, Patricia Chan.
The following gallery shows part of my time spent with the crew after a tired old bus filled with medical equipment, veterinarians and volunteer technicians carried us through the mountains to a schoolyard in El Valle. Between street dogs we rounded up ourselves and pets brought in by village residents, over 450 animals were fixed in just two days.
I used to volunteer as an O.R. assistant at a spay clinic in Wisconsin with lofty dreams of becoming a vet, so it was fun lending a hand doing similar work when I wasn't photographing. I would, however, really like to do more than share their story. If you would also like to help, please copy the link to this post and share it, via Facebook or email, with fellow animal lovers and philanthropists that may donate to the organization. This year Spay Panama celebrated 100,000 operations and have started averaging 20,000 surgeries per year. They've won numerous awards for transparency and utilize resources efficiently. You can also visit motofilly.com to learn more about a Spay Panama benefit I'm planning for July 2016.
CLICK HERE to make a tax deductible donation to Spay Panama
CLICK HERE to "Like" their Facebook page