Touching Multimedia Series Captures The Powerful Bond Between the Homeless and Their Pets

There are times when you come across a collection of images that no written words or powerful images can describe on their own. Such is the case with the heartfelt series, Lifelines.

Inspired by past projects, photographer Norah Levine teamed up with audio guru Gabrielle Amster and Animal Trustees of Austin’s 4PAWS (For People and Animals Without Shelter) program to document and tell the story of the connection between the homeless and their beloved pets.


Lifelines’s main objective is to provide awareness and build advocacy for programs such as 4PAWS, an organization that provides veterinary care for the pets of the homeless. Free vaccinations are a staple of such organizations, but they also provide spay/neutering services and even emergency surgery. The overarching goal of 4PAWS and similar operations is to ensure that the lifelong bonds created between the owner and their pets are as long-lasting and meaningful as possible.

After learning about 4PAWS, Levine started to piece together the necessary components to capture the photos needed. By teaming up with Amster, who at the time these images were captured was a Animal Trustees of Austin faculty member, Levine’s mission came together even more efficiently. Through word of mouth and networking with the Animal Trustees of Austin team, the pair were able to coordinate the shoots and record the accompanying audio of each subject.

Levine says that Lifelines is by no means a one-off series or thought. Determined to support the welfare of animals and their owners, Lifelines is part of a bigger vision; one that is completely open to working with other organizations in the future “wherein the human animal bond is integral and hope the right alignment presents itself,” she said in an email to us.

Below are more touching images and accompanying audio from Lifelines:











If you’d like to see more of Levine’s work, be sure to visit her website or give her a follow on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. And if you want to learn more about the Lifelines project or help to support it, you can do on the project’s website.

(via Feature Shoot)

Correction: The first version of this article stated that Gabrielle Amster was a “4PAWS faculty member” at the time the series was shot. This is incorrect. 4PAWS is a program started by the organization ‘Animal Trustees of Austin’ and not an organization itself. Amster was an Animal Trustees of Austin faculty member at the time the series was shot.

The post has been changed to reflect this correction.

Image credits: Photographs by Norah Levine and used with permission

  • Clayton Finley

    Always love the ‘art’ of middle class people with expensive cameras taking pictures of people with less than them. Bonus points for old people with wrinkly skin, B+W shots, and upping the clarity a bit in LR

  • OtterMatt

    It constantly boggles me how not-poor people CONSTANTLY complain
    about other non-poor people taking pictures of poor people, as though
    it’s a huge moral outrage that these poor people would never, ever
    allow—despite the fact that they agreed to sit for the portraits. No,
    I’m sure they were outraged while they did it, but the photographer must
    have had a gun or something. If only they knew, they’d be as indignant
    as all of the middle-class people who get their panties in a bunch over these kinds of shots!

    Grow up, dude. Who entitled you to be the defender of the lower-class’ dignity? Are they complaining about this to you? Do you also get uptight on behalf of ugly people when a film director
    puts a frumpy sweater on an actress and tells the audience she’s

    I’ve been to the third world, and I’ve seen
    people living in far more abject poverty than the homeless here in
    Austin. Not once did they complain about being seen by people with more
    money than them, much less having their pictures taken. Hell, almost everyone seems to enjoy being photographed, probably because they have things to worry about besides non-existent privacy rights being violated or how they can be offended by everything. I mean, God forbid a set of images should tell a story, or portray the most heart-warmingly human aspects of a group of people, or even just be freaking art.

  • Clayton Finley

    aw you’re in Austin? lets meet up at cap city comedy club, maybe then you’ll learn to take a joke.

  • OtterMatt

    Familiar with Poe’s Law? I’ll paraphrase: it doesn’t matter if you’re being an asshat ironically or intentionally, all that matters is that to everyone else, you’re just being an asshat.

  • Clayton Finley

    you must be new to the internet.

  • Jason Yuen

    Most homeless people that I’ve seen don’t look like this. Even the ones with pets. I’m sure they love their pets though.

  • Bill Binns

    Before we get all mushy over homeless people and their pets we should ask ourselves where they aquired these animals. When was the last time you saw a stray dog? Animal shelters charge hundreds of dollars to walk out with a dog. I have to wonder how many of these dogs were tied up in front of a store while the owner ran in for a minute or in their yard etc.

  • mariajlandreth

    My Uncle
    Riley got an almost new red GMC Canyon just by some parttime working online
    with a laptop. visit their website F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

  • OtterMatt

    Look, you’re not going to save this, okay? If you just have an urge to be a snarky bastard, save it. I’m sure all your facebook friends think you’re very witty, but this site has enough commentors with legitimately over-inflated egos to need you stinking up the atmosphere as well.

  • OtterMatt

    Cynical much? Yeesh, even I’m not /that/ jaded. And this IS Austin, after all. Place is a little animal crazy, so I’d not be surprised if they just waved adoption feeds or something like that. Besides, strays are still around. Mostly cats, though.

  • Polisonico

    Love these pics.

    It’s kind of sad reading the comments lately on Petapixel, most people hate everything. Some of you commenters, are making photographers look like a bunch of a*holes.