Knowing that a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, photographer Maria Slough’s most recent collection of images speak volumes about the bond between people and animals. Traveling 2,440 miles by land, 360 miles by sea and 10,000 miles by air to snap her subjects, she captured on camera dogged devotion in the eyes of both famous faces and members of the public as they posed with beloved companion animals or an animal who has touched their heart for The Pawtraits Exhibition, which is raising awareness of, and funds for, a variety of animal welfare organizations.
Among those who chose to shine a spotlight on canine-related causes are:
- Simon Callow– Movie buffs may recognize him as Reverend Beebe in A Room with A View or Gareth in Four Weddings and a Funeral, but behind the scenes the acclaimed actor loves to step into his real life role as a doting Dad to Boxers Roxy and Biffy. In honor of his canine companions, Callow has chosen to raise awareness of Boxer Rescue Service (Southern), a registered charity which finds forever families for homeless Boxers in Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Kent.
- Peter Egan– As an actor he evoked the spirit of England’s past through his role as Shrimpy in Downton Abbey, but as an animal advocate Peter Egan helps to create a better future for all our furry, finned and feathered friends. A trustee and chairman of All Dogs Matter, the actor– who stepped in front of the camera with DJ, one of the six rescue dogs in his fur family– chose the London-based organization to benefit from his photographic session.
- Mark Foster– The winner of six World Championship gold medals, the swimmer has now won the admiration of animal lovers for posing with Bailey, a four-pawed pal of a friend, to draw attention to Dogs Trust. The largest dog welfare charity in the United Kingdom, Dogs Trust annually helps approximately 16,000 dogs at 18 rehoming centers.
- Michelle Collins– The Coronation Street star posed for posterity with her rescue dog Humphrey in a show of support for Animal Aid and Advice, a charity in North London which spays/neuters stray cats and kittens and provides foster care for homeless felines until they find a permanent pet parent.
- Dame Eileen Atkins– Seen on the big screen in the Academy Award-winning movie Gosford Park and on TV in Cranford and Doc Martin, the actress and her kitty companion Groucho looked into the photographer’s lens to promote Cat Action Trust 1977, an all-volunteer charity which helps feral cats.
Celebrities who smiled for the camera to help cats in need include:
Showing their love for all creatures great and small, Doc Martin star Martin Clunes was snapped alongside a horse to highlight the effort of Animal Care in Egypt; Queen guitarist Brian May posed with a beloved badger for Save Me; Paul O’Grady, whose celebrity interviews make tongues wag, has made tails wag by posing with his dog Olga for the benefit of Animal Health Trust, and Virginia McKenna’s concern for the welfare of big cats is displayed in her photo with a wooden sculpture of a lion in support of the Born Free Foundation.
Fans of photography, famous faces and our four-legged friends can view a gallery of Maria Shough’s photos and animal lovers in the UK can order a copy of The Pawtraits Exhibition coffee table book, with £5 from the sale of each large book and £3 from each small book benefiting the animal charity of the buyer’s choice from a list of animal welfare charities promoted by those who posed for the exhibition.
Photo Credit: The Pawtraits Exhibition