Volunteer photographer

Camera turned on volunteer shelter photographer who reveals her pain

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The camera was recently turned on a volunteer shelter photographer who dedicates much of her time taking pictures of homeless dogs at the Baldwin Park Animal Services facility in California. The woman, Pat Gregoire, walks the aisles of homeless dogs, snapping photos and networking the images on Facebook with the hope that it might increase their chance of adoption (or rescue).

John Hwang, another volunteer photographer, recently captured Gregoire during a walk through the shelter. She told him:

“I walk into the shelter and see all those faces. Many of them don’t have names. They are so excited for a little attention. I go from kennel to kennel trying to give them all the love that they deserve.”

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Gregoire described her frustration over the constant influx of unwanted pets:

It can be really depressing because I’ll see certain dogs and I’ll know they won’t make it out. I try to photograph each dog to find them a good home. I focus mostly on the bigger dogs, especially pit bulls. There are so many of them. It’s hard to see people day after day turning in their pets.

The dogs that don’t make it take an emotional toll – Gregoire described her heartache:

I’ll be at work and I’ll call the shelter to get updates and find out a particular dog was euthanized. I’ll get in the car and cry half way home. My husband worries about me, because I cry so much. Sometimes I’ll question what I’m doing.

It is the dogs who find a safe haven which make her continue her volunteer efforts, she stated:

It will come when I’m feeling really down that someone will send me a picture of a dog that was adopted I had been networking. That makes it all worth it.”

(Images John Hwang)

25 replies
    • Debi Dye Brock says:

      Go to petfinder.com and pout in pig and your zip and it will bring up all pugs in your area in shelters and rescues. Always ADOPT

      Reply
    • tracey says:

      there is a blk n tan pug x at Palmdale shelter ph 661 575-2888 x 0 he is 2 yrs old is id info is A5006734
      he is “rescue only” which means he must be pulled by a rescue. He is adorable but is rescue only because he was adopted and bit a 2yr old so was immediately returned. Otherwise he is totally cute n adorable but now they will kill him tomorrow because no interest ugh! Who knows what caused the bite, maybe the child hurt the dog or tormented him or even scared him. One must always exercise caution when introducing a new dog particularly when a young child is involved. If you wish to save his life and you know a rescue that can get him for you or either contact me.

      Reply
  1. Efren Vega Hernandez says:

    I simply don’t get how much irresponsabilityby by all that people that get tired of a dog or a cat, or because they are old. Simply I don’t think they have any ethic or respect for anything but themself.
    I wonder if they really care for families.

    Reply
  2. Debi Dye Brock says:

    God bless you for what you are doing and know that it makes a difference!! I understand how you feel though, I would be exactly the same way.

    Reply
  3. Sharon E Rouse says:

    God bless your heart taking time to spend with all the dogs. I believe they all have forever homes in heaven with our Lord being the Master Shephard please continue your efforts.

    Reply
  4. Lynn Dalton says:

    Pat has been a force of nature at Baldwin with her beautiful pics of the doggies who might never be seen otherwise. Somehow when I saw this article, I just knew it would be about Pat and her efforts. Don’t ever stop Pat….someday, the no kill movement will happen out there too….You will be a big part of that as well! I thank you and love you so very much for everything you do….<3

    Reply
  5. Francene Kilichowski says:

    This made ME cry too. It is devastatingly sad for anyone who is a devout animal lover. To see them begging for the smallest scrap of love and attention.
    Will it always be this way?
    I hope it will change during my lifetime.

    Reply
  6. Peggy Schuetz says:

    So saddened to read how heartbreaking this is for you, I rescue cats, but don’t see, and experience this kind of loss, on as great a scale. Know that what you’re doing makes such a difference. With out people like you, the rest of us wouldn’t know the need, you put a face, and a life before our hearts. We’re praying with you. Bless you, and thank you.

    Reply
  7. Marsha Squibb says:

    Oh Pat….I know it’s terrible to see all.the pain BUT you make a difference!!?Please try to.keep doing your wonder work… Merry Christmas????????????????

    Reply
  8. Edward says:

    God bless you I’ll cry with you every time you go in there you just know it will be with my physical no it’ll be more spiritual I have 7 dogs I enjoy every second I have withthem. All come from indiana. God bless you

    Reply
  9. Jeanette says:

    Breaks my heart to think of all the bubba’s that are pts because of selfish humans .. if I could and had the money to do a rescue I would .. why can the law not be changed instead of non profit rescues having to step in ????

    Reply
  10. Jeannie says:

    We are all so thankful for kind angels like you. The things you see every day are truly heartbreaking. Thank you for working to help the animals, and for being there for them. You are the little bit of light in their lives. I am so sorry that you have to see this every day. It just is beyond any reasoning why anyone would dump their babies. So heartbreaking for these sweet animals, and for you. Thank you wonderful, kind, sweet lady!

    Reply
  11. Barkley's Mom says:

    It must be a heartbreaking undertaking at best. Bless her for what she does, She does make a difference by getting the dogs noticed.

    Reply
  12. Ena Silva says:

    Pat is an angel. For years Pat has been down there in the trenches, comforting the pups. Giving the kids the love they so deserve.
    God bless you dear friend Pat. I cry with you every time one doesn’t get out.
    Also worry for you.
    I celebrate w you when the pups get their freedom. Especially when is one of the big breeds.
    Thank you Pat for being our eyes in Baldwin and all you give the kids for all of us who are too far.

    Reply
  13. Jane Bellomy says:

    Pat Gregoire is a hero anong rescuers…she’s steady as a rock, no-nonsense, so faithful to her calling, and tries to capture the heart and soul of every animal she photographs. Dear John Hwang is another of us who also works tirelessly on behalf of the animals and the homeless in L.A. – his superb photography represents life in ways that are inspiring and meaningful, and he’s now done the same for Pat and her work…these two folks are amomg the best who walk this planet and I am grateful everyday for them. ❤️❤️❤️

    Reply
  14. pennysdachshund says:

    You have the heart of a TRUE CAREGIVER… I have worked as a nurse for nearly 30 years… I had to quite working long term nursing care, as my Doctor said I was slowly killing myself with continual grief and depression… IN all HONESTY there are many families out there that treat their parents, grandparents, and at times spouses in the SAME if not a worse manner than the POS do their pet’s!!e have currently 13 dachshunds. that will stay with us the remainder of their lives!!! from 15 down to 2 sisters aged 6)… we have taken them from either elderly who had to go into nursing care, a couple that just got tired of them and believe it or not a animal pet sitter for in home care of pets in the home of the customer that was starving her very own female dachshund!!! She was going to put her down at 6 hell I said and immediately went there to find the poor dog weighing about 13 of what she should.. I was told it was because she ate plant food and poisoned … Bull shit… the little girl was scared to death and for over 2 years we could Harley touch her…she has a beautiful coat now dances when we get home from being gone minutes!! She also loves the life she wouldn’t have had if we had not taken her… You with your beautiful photos are saving lives JUST think of that!!!!

    Reply

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