the anatomy of discomfort (2016)

Animal shelters in impoverished communities usually operate with no budget and face insurmountable challenges: high intake, high euthanasia rate, low adoption rate. I am interested in exploring the place dogs can find in these shelters, how they try to exist in an impossible narrative, and how they try to physically find some sort of comfort in such unnatural, scary, overwhelming environments.

These photographs were taken in a shelter in Puerto Rico. Many of those shelters are mandated by cities to take in all strays from the streets, leading to a high intake rate every month. Dogs are put in cages, awaiting their fate. In Puerto Rico, where several deadly diseases like Distemper or Parvo are prevalent, dogs often die during quarantine. Most other dogs are euthanized, having little to no chance at being adopted. A very few make it to the adoption floor, where they can wait up to years for a second chance. I am interested in documenting their state of limbo, and what it means for us as a society concerned with animal welfare and compassionate care.