humane society of utah

A Pink Spot Between Two Moons

“As anyone who has ever been around a cat for any length of time well knows, cats have enormous patience with the limitations of the human kind.”
– Cleveland Amory

The title is a reference to Cooper’s little pink nose and those big, moon-like eyes. Probably not what you were expecting…

"A Pink Spot Between Two Moons" [Click the image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D800, ISO 2500, f/2.2 at 1/200  sec., 85 mm

“A Pink Spot Between Two Moons” [Click the image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D800, ISO 2500, f/2.2 at 1/200 sec., 85mm
You can purchase a print here.


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Observable Social Behavior

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Perhaps It’s Not Your Most Flattering Look

One of the things I really love about photographing cats is their unpredictability. They can go from nervous to calm faster than your top flash sync speed, but more often it’s the other direction they’re traveling. Cats – at least house cats, anyway – tend to flick their tongues in and out quite a bit when they are nervous. Often it is this action that lets me know I need to spend more time with the animal, ensuring we are comfortable together so I can get the shot I want.

As a result of my volunteer work photographing cats for the Humane Society of Utah, I have dozens of photos of cats with their tongues sticking out. I’m thinking that one day I’ll create a rather large collage out of them.

Nikon D200, ISO 200, 1/60 sec at f/2.8, 50 mm

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Rather than stick your tongue out, please let me know
what you think about this photo by using one of the convenient
options available below.

Happy Caturday!

There are lots and lots of cats and kittens at the community-funded Humane Society of Utah (4242 South 300 West, Murray, UT 84107). Here’s a small sampling of the furry friends waiting to share happiness in a forever home with you.

“Pepper”, Kennel 109, Animal ID A055879
Spend a few minutes and fall in love

“Thomas”, Kennel 125, Animal ID A054342
A big ball of love with a great personality

“Turtle”, Kennel 122, Animal ID A055774
One curious cool cat

“Toola Roola”, Kennel 116, Animal ID A056034
It was hard to put this one back in the kennel…

“Rob”, Kennel 132, Animal ID A054852
Not only super friendly but really beautiful, too

“Mr. Kit”, Kennel 115, Animal ID A055424
Great personality and really beautiful markings/coloring give this guy a lot of charm

“Jupiter”, Kennel 140, Animal ID A055964
A curious and cute little cuddler

“Conan”, Kennel 119, Animal ID A056093
A big orange talker

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Regardless of where you live, please share this post with others to help find loving homes for these cats. You may know someone who knows someone who lives in Utah. The cats thank you for your help.

Refuge from the Misery of Life

There are two means of refuge from the misery of life –
music and cats.

– Albert Schweitzer

The Humane Society of Utah has some beautiful cats currently available for adoption. Here are just a few of the wonderful animals I photographed yesterday. If you are looking for a feline companion in the Salt Lake City, UT area, these guys would be so grateful if you’d come by and get acquainted.

Don’t shop; adopt!

Sebian, Kennel 108, Animal ID #A055175
This boy loves to love ya, baby! And who can resist those beautiful blue eyes?

Abbie has beautiful coloring, personality, and is waiting for you in Kennel 113. Her animal ID is A054997.

“Loki” must translate to “sweet” in this case, because this little one is more of a lover than a trickster. You can find Loki in kennel 106. Her animal ID is A026666.

Thomas didn’t want his picture taken; he just wanted to lay in my lap and snuggle! He’ll snuggle with you, too, when you stop by kennel 125 to say hello. His animal ID is A054342.

Please forgive me for getting personal for a moment, but I’d like to ask for your prayers for my grandmother, Phyllis, who is 99. While I was taking the photos used in today’s post, I learned she had fallen and broken her hip and shoulder after apparently suffering a heart attack. She is in hospital in critical condition, facing surgery today. Thank you and God bless!

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Pride is Humane

Today marks the last post in this week’s series from the 2012 Utah Pride parade and festival (if you’ve missed them, start here). It is, therefore, with great pride that I devote today’s post to the wonderful staff and volunteers at the Humane Society of Utah and their presence and participation.

My regular readers know of my commitment to working with HSU to promote pet adoptions and serve adoptable pets through my photography. There are so many ways you can help, too – and many of them don’t require your valuable  time! Please contact or visit HSU to find out what you can do to help.

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.
― Mother Teresa

Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.
― Stephen R. Covey

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Thank you for stopping by I Shutter At The Thought!
Please come again tomorrow for another new post and photo(s)
and thanks for sharing this post with others.

Earl Harris Photography is proud to serve and photograph Utah’s GLBT community and its supporters.

Take Me Home

My regular readers know that I try to volunteer once a week taking photos of the cats at the Humane Society of Utah. I’m always so impressed by the beautiful animals available for adoption. In tandem, I tend to devote a blog post to the cats, featuring photos of some of those currently waiting for loving, forever homes. I hope you enjoy viewing them.

Warm and friendly “Georgie” – Nikon D200, ISO 100, 1/60 sec at f/2.8

“Sasha” the loving lap cat – Nikon D200, ISO 100, 1/60 sec at f/2.2

Personable “Auri” – Nikon D200, ISO 100, 1/60 sec at f/1.8

Curious “Tommy” – Nikon D200, ISO 100, 1/60 sec at f/2.2

Playful “Finn” – Nikon D200, ISO 100, 1/60 sec at f/2.2

Sweet little “Luna” – Nikon D200, ISO 100, 1/60 sec at f/2.5

Contact me for information about in-home pet portraiture in Salt Lake City and surrounding areas.

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It’s Probably Not What You Think Of

I usually try to keep my posts brief. Today I failed. 😛

Last November, I began volunteering at the Humane Society of Utah (HSU) as a photographer. You may or may not know that it has been repeatedly shown that the increase of adoption rates for animals with good, flattering photos is very significant. Out of a handful of photographers that volunteer, I’m the only one that isn’t allergic to cats, so guess where my efforts are focused? 🙂

I have learned a great deal since I started volunteering. Being an independent community-based and funded non-profit organization, HSU has a lot of challenges. Its name may lead you to assume an affiliation with the Humane Society of the United States, but no such affiliation exists. HSU survives on community donations, a skeleton staff and volunteer assistance. A recent expansion and construction project is giving the facility some badly needed space, while the animals will enjoy some major housing upgrades.

I strongly believe that every shelter should be a no-kill shelter. While progress is being made in this direction, this dream has a long way to go before becoming a reality. HSU has not euthanized an adoptable dog in over 3 years. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the cats. Despite mobile adoption programs, partnerships with retail stores to host staffed displays of animals available for adoption and on-going community outreach efforts, the facility simply cannot house forever the unsettling number of cats it receives. Alexandra, a beautiful solid black female with an attitude, has been at the shelter since I started volunteering. After more than 6 months, she has no known prospects of finding a forever home.

Unfortunately, when people think of an animal shelter, too often they get an image in their mind of a pet death camp. This distortion of the truth is founded on some very real horrors, but the distortion comes when we assume those horrors occur in every shelter facility. Because of this errant perception, I decided to use my camera to bring to mind the good things about a reputable, caring shelter. With one obvious exception, the photographs I took were unstaged and simply captured what was happening around me.

I obtained permission to photograph in the HSU clinic, which provides low-cost medical care and spay and neuter services. I was so very impressed with the compassion shown to the animals receiving care. The caregivers here really are angels – while I love animals, I don’t have the emotional strength to endure what these folks must endure every day. To do what they do with the love and care with which they do is to me an awesome, admirable and honorable thing.

Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/6.3 at 1/1000 sec, 22 mm

The HSU clinic provides expert care, ranging from vaccinations and spay and neuter procedures to life-saving surgeries.

Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/11 at 1/60 sec, 52 mm

Unaware of being photographed, this caregiver’s interaction with a sick cat truly yanked at my heart strings. Notice the expressions on both of their faces: there was communication of a higher level happening here.

Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/6.3 at 1/1000 sec, 22 mm

HSU services go far beyond just housing adoptable pets. These volunteers were really good sports about helping to
communicate that visually.

Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/4.0 at 1/2000 sec, 32 mm

While the above shot was not staged, this beautiful canine clinic patient insisted on taking a moment out from her walk to pose and check out the guy with the camera.

Nikon D300, ISO 400, f/13 at 1/500 sec, 45 mm

Family members that volunteer together build relationships with the animals and each other.

Nikon D300, ISO 400, f/13 at 1/60 sec, 45 mm

In the end, it’s up to you. If you’re looking for a pet, please choose the adoption option. You’ll probably be quite surprised by the variety of animals and breeds available at your local shelter.

I commend HSU for all it does and for the way it does it. If you live in the area and are interested in volunteering, please contact Jamie Usry, HSU’s volunteer coordinator. Volunteering is on your own terms – do what you can when you can. There is a permanent link to the HSU website located under “Links” on this blog. You can also help through donations of cat, dog and rabbit food, cat litter (the clumping variety only, please), towels, blankets, newspaper, animal-safe toys, and of course cash.

Thank you to Jamie Usry and the HSU staff members and volunteers that made this blog post possible!

P.S.: Live local? Like cats? Like photography and the idea of volunteering your skills? Please contact me!

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Spring Fire

Tulips are my favorite flowers. There are so many colors, variations and hybrids for the eyes to consume! Today’s post features photographs from 2009. I’m not sure what variety of tulip this is, but I dubbed it Spring Fire. (If you know what it really is, please leave a comment below!)

The above image is available printed on heavyweight, 100% cotton, art grade, bi-fold greeting card stock from my Web shop. Perfect for framing as a keepsake, too!

10% of all purchases from my Web shop help fund pet rescue and shelter efforts through the Humane Society of Utah, an independent, donor supported, not-for-profit organization (not affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States).

As always, I look forward to your comments and feedback!

This Is Not Good

I just saw that there are 11 pages of cats needing forever homes on the Humane Society of Utah shelter’s website. That’s an increase of 3 pages since I was there to take photos last Friday! That’s a lot of cats, and tomorrow is going to be a busy day taking photos of those that don’t yet have decent photographs.

Please. If you or someone you know in the Salt Lake City area is looking for a cat (or dog, of course), even if it’s a specific breed, encourage them to visit the HSU website at http://www.utahhumane.org. You will be surprised by the diverse variety of the ages and breeds of cats that come into the shelter.

Choose the adoption option!

Friday PM Update: I photographed 26 adoptable kitties today. I wish I could say I had gotten more done.

“Fe-lines, whoa, whoa, whoa, Fe-lines…”

Lacking the time to prepare a proper post, I thought I’d share a few of the adorable faces I got to photograph this week at the Humane Society of Utah! Each is available for adoption and has already been spayed or neutered. See all the cats available for adoption at http://utahhumane.org

Gorgeous Sansa is a Snowshoe, and is about 1.5 years old. She has beautiful blue eyes.

Really regal Romeo!

Toro was born in Japan. His owners of 8 years were heartbroken to have to give him up. He needs the comfort of a familiar setting and human contact. He looks like my Seamus, too!

Fun and friendly Tommy.

Gina: Cute beyond cute!