PetaPixel

Disturbing Photos Capture the Realities of Euthanization at Animal Shelters

Warning: This post contains strong and disturbing photos of euthanasia and animal suffering.


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Every year in North Carolina, over 250,000 animals are euthanized because there is no one willing to adopt them and care for them. This averages to nearly 700 animals killed daily. NC-based photographer Mary Shannon Johnstone has been on a mission to draw public awareness to the issue of animal overpopulation. Her gut-wrenching project, titled “Breeding Ignorance,” offers an brutally honest look at the conditions inside animal shelters and the tragedy of beautiful (and often healthy) animals being put down.

Johnstone writes, “I hope these photographs call attention to the tragic epidemic of animal overpopulation, and illuminate what happens when we don’t spay and neuter our pets.”

Cats Await Sort

Cats Await Sort

Anesthetize: Cats and dogs are anesthetized before they are euthanized. Although the sedation does not hurt, many fight because they are scared.

Anesthetize: Cats and dogs are anesthetized before they are euthanized. Although the sedation does not hurt, many fight because they are scared.

Kittens Before Euthanasias

Kittens Before Euthanasias

Purebreds: It is a myth that animal shelters are filled with mutts.

Purebreds: It is a myth that animal shelters are filled with mutts.

Dead Dogs: After dogs have been euthanized, their bodies are placed into large black plastic bags and their kennels are sanitized.

Dead Dogs: After dogs have been euthanized, their bodies are placed into large black plastic bags and their kennels are sanitized.

Cats in Freezer: Cat carcasses are stored in a walk in freezer until they can be picked up and disposed of.

Cats in Freezer: Cat carcasses are stored in a walk in freezer until they can be picked up and disposed of.

Happy Tail: Too much tail wagging against a hard surface can result in a bloody-tipped tail known as "happy-tail".

Happy Tail: Too much tail wagging against a hard surface can result in a bloody-tipped tail known as “happy-tail”.

Scared Dog Before Euthanasia 2: This dog is frightened while receiving the anesthetic before the euthanasia.

Scared Dog Before Euthanasia 2: This dog is frightened while receiving the anesthetic before the euthanasia.

Scared Dog Before Euthanasia: This dog is frightened while receiving the anesthetic before the euthanasia.

Scared Dog Before Euthanasia: This dog is frightened while receiving the anesthetic before the euthanasia.

Without a Home: Kitten anesthetized before euthanasia.

Without a Home: Kitten anesthetized before euthanasia.

You can find more of Johnstone’s photos over on her website. Be warned, though: many of the photographs are even more graphic and disturbing than the ones featured here.

The photographs in the project are divided into two subsets. One is titled Discarded Property, and focuses specifically on the topic of euthanasia. The other is titled Shelter Life, and offers a look at the conditions of animals at shelters.

Johnstone has also bee working on a separate project titled Landfill Dogs, which features portraits of dogs that are at risk of being put down if they are not adopted soon.

Breeding Ignorance by Mary Shannon Johnstone (via Feature Shoot)


Image credits: Photographs by Mary Shannon Johnstone and used with permission


 
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  • podallover

    So sad i almost terred nice job not