Tuo Yun-Fei and an Ontario Crisis

Tuo Yun-Fei  is a Taiwanese artist that takes pictures of ‘doomed dogs’. He photographs dogs moments before they are going to be euthanized. He has been photographing shelter dogs from 4 public pounds (government agencies) two days a week for the last two years. He has now captured the last moments of 400 dogs. Every dog is photographed in the classic portrait style that originated in the 19th century. He wants to capture each dog as an individual and show their personalities through his photos. He writes “These dogs are essential[y] dead and their souls are hours, minutes away from non-existence. These portraits reflect a formal construct or platform through which the viewer and the dog “communicate” using exchanged gazes to create a forced contemplation.”

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12:57PM, 09/23/2011, Taiwanese Public Animal Shelter, Time until Euthanized: 1.1 Hours
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12:09PM, 10/24/2011, Taiwanese Public Animal Shelter, Time until Euthanized: 1.9 Hours
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The situation in Taiwan is extremely serious. Approximately 80,000 dogs are euthanized each year in Taiwan which is about 70% of all the dogs that end up in pounds.
Yet Taiwan is not the only country facing large populations of companion animals with seemingly no where to go. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), 5-7 million animals end up in shelters in the United States. Of this number 3-4 million are euthanized each year. The euthanazia rate in some shelters can be as high as 70% or more. Canadian statistics are not as widely available but rates of euthanazia are thought to be comparable. According to a report by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies approximately 36% of animals were euthanized. However this report was of a voluntary nature and only got a 50% response rate from the shelters they contacted.
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Canadian Federation Stats – national_stats_2010_compiled
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So what’s the situation like in Ontario? The only available statistics come from the OSPCA and they have unpublished their information about euthanazia rates at their facilities. Most organizations do not make this kind of information available for fear of public outrage. One animal control in Ontario is known to euthanize 3000 animals every year, many of them healthy and adoptable (statistic confirmed through communication with this facility).
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Second Hope Circle (Ontario resource center and advocacy) – http://secondhopecircle.com/
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