Richard Phibbs: Pics for Pets

A fashion photographer snaps to save abandoned pets.

January 22, 2016
rodale 100 Richard Phibbs
Richard Phibbs

Richard Phibbs began photographing abandoned pets for the Humane Society of New York in 2011 while he was still working as a fashion photographer with the likes of Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein. His goal was simple: To highlight the plight of abandoned pets and eventually "move people to action, either to contribute financially, volunteer, or adopt." Following his first set of photographs, the shelter saw a 50 percent increase in adoption applications. That number rose to 75 percent after his second set of snapshots.

Phibbs' efforts earned him the Human Society of New York's Humane Medal in 2015 for showing the beauty of—and taking the stigma away from—sheltered animals. "What sets Richard Phibbs' portraits of animals apart from other photos is the personal connection that he makes with every animal he photographs, and his ability to reflect their personality so perfectly in the image of them that he presents to us," says Sandra DeFeo, executive director of Humane Society of New York.

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These portraits not only help facilitate the adoption process, but also give each animal the dignity that all living beings deserve.

Phibbs adds: "I believe in the power of photography and its ability to speak the truth. These portraits not only help facilitate the adoption process, but also give each animal the dignity that all living beings deserve. Awareness of the beauty of shelter animals is also shown through the portraits. One story I love is about Little Lowell. It was one of the worst cases of abuse and neglect HSNY had seen in years. Lowell was found imprisoned in a box for a very long time; he looked like a ghost of a dog. But, after special medical care including an eye removal surgery, good food and lots of love from HSNY, Lowell recovered and was placed in the most amazing forever home. He is now truly loved and honored, living a happy life. To see him living a wonderful life (on Instagram @lowellthelhasa), brings me an incredible amount of joy and satisfaction."

 
 

Humane Society of NY. Consider adopting a shelter animal. Each one is so special. Spread the word.

A photo posted by Richard Phibbs (@richardphibbs) on