Pet homelessness is an issue that effects animals all over the globe. There are 70 million stray dogs and cats in the United States alone, with only six to eight million of them entering the shelter system annually. Only three to four million of those ever find a home. The reasons behind pet homelessness are many, with one being abandonment when the novelty of having a pet wears off or the expense becomes too great.
This seems to be a huge reason for a dramatic uptick of not only pet homelessness but animal cruelty cases in the country of Cyprus. Shelters are being overburdened with animals in need of homes while many who don’t make it to shelters suffer abuse on the streets.
This is why UK based photographer Stuart Holroyd decided to take some photos on a recent trip to Cyprus in order to showcase the unique personalities of dogs housed at a small, independently run shelter. Run entirely from donations (and even her personal pension) by Kayte Wilson-Smith, there are approximately 60 dogs in residence at one time who all need a forever home. Holroyd has set up The Bay Tree Project in an effort to help financially support Kayte’s efforts to keep these animals safe and off of the streets.
Holroyd told the Huffington Post, “Each one represents every stray dog out there. Every animal that can’t take care of itself. We have a responsibility as human beings to help the animals and people that cannot help themselves.” Proceeds from an exhibition of the photos and an upcoming book will also go toward The Bay Tree Project. Instances like these remind us that it’s of upmost importance to adopt instead of shop, supporting our local shelters and doing our part to help keep pet populations low. Holroyd’s photos show us that every animal is unique, special and worthwhile. None of them should be discarded and forgotten.
Image Credits: Stuart Holyrod/Huffington Post