A breed with a stigma for being aggressive – bred to fight and that’s it – has been given a makeover to reveal their softer side by professional photographer Sophie Gamand. Her studio, Striking Paws, uses photography to help homeless pets.
All 120 pitties were adoptable at one time, and most have found homes, thanks in part we are sure, to Gamand’s amazing work! Love it? Her 2017 calendar is now available, and she currently sells prints, pillow cases, pouches, scarves etc., that bear the images. She uses the money to fund the project, which she is hoping to take on the road next year and take images of pit bull in shelters across America. Personally, I love the tote bags!
Check out 20 of her amazing images below, and see the rest on her website.
#1 – Parmalee, Hempstead Town Animal Shelter
One of her recent galleries is full of pitties in fairytale-esque portraits, all with flowers on their heads. It gives the breed a whole new look.
#2 – Athena, Sean Casey Rescue, New York
“Working with shelter pit bulls, I created a gallery of ethereal portraits to not only help these dogs get adopted, but also help change the way we view pit bulls,” Gamand says.
#3 – Amy, Animal Haven, New York
Despite the work of pit bull advocates like Sophie Gamand, there’s still a lot of stigmas working against the breed.
#4 – Sarai, Rebound Hounds, New York
But photos like this show a softer side that pit bull owners get to see all the time – these aren’t the vicious creatures some people would have you believe they are.
#5 – Adrienne, Hempstead Town Animal Shelter
Sophie’s Flower Power photos have exhibited in Austin, Brooklyn, and other cities, bringing awareness to the beauty of the breed – both inside and out.
#6 – Jimmy Dean (aka JD), Motley Mutts Rescue
Her art has given her a voice, and she has used it to help shelter dogs of all kinds.
#7 – Thelma, Hempstead Town Animal Shelter
She often fundraises for dogs in need of medical care.
#8 – Remy, Hempstead Town Animal Shelter
She has also worked with The Sato Project, a New York based rescue that provides help shelters in Puerto Rico.
#9 – Slim, Sean Casey Animal Rescue, New York
And she has also spoken out about abolishing Breed Specific Legislation.
#10 – Joey (ADOPTABLE – Click HERE for more information)
Her Flower Power portraits have become a huge hit on the internet – which is wonderful news for pit bulls!
#11 – Midnight, Second Chance Rescue
These sweet pibbles are still working hard to win over the public’s trust, and are working against bad breeders, dog fighters, and breed specific legislation that give them a bad rap.
#12 – Devon, Animal Haven
It’s impossible to see anything bad when you look into the eyes of these flower-crowned dogs.
#13 – Coco, Brookhaven Animal Shelter
Gamand can’t photograph every dog there is, but these dogs are representatives of every dog in every shelter around the world, and she’s done an excellent job.
#14 – Marshall, The Sato Project, New York
Since these photos were taken, all but one of these dogs have been adopted!
#15 – Truffles, Brookhaven Animal Shelter
But there are thousands more waiting for homes in shelters all over!
#16 – Dean, Hempstead Town Animal Shelter
They may not have flower crowns, but they’re just as beautiful and loving as the dogs pictured here!
#17 – Bullet, Brookhaven Animal Shelter
Go to your local shelter and get to know a shelter pit bull!
#18 – Sheana, Hempstead Town Animal Shelter
Any pit bull owner will tell you that you won’t regret it – they’re a happy, loyal, loving breed!
#19 – Brock
Sophie Gamand is still working hard to remove the stigma from the pit bull breed, but it’s rewarding work.
#20 – Casanova
You can help by considering adding a pit bull to your family, or supporting her work by buying or telling your friends!