Oogy

Rescued Pitbull named "Oogy

Rescued Pitbull named “Oogy,” used as bait in dog fighting.

Oogy was only four months old when he was tied to a stake and used as bait for a Pit Bull trained for dog fighting. His jaw was crushed and the left side of his face was torn off, including his ear. Afterward, he was thrown in a cage and left to bleed to death.

Shortly after Oogy’s ordeal, acting on a tip, police raided the facility. They found Oogy and rushed him to Ardmore Animal Hospital where Dr. James Bianco stopped the bleeding and stitched him up, saving his life.

After weeks of rehabilitation and foster care, a family adopted Oogy. They gave him his name because in his original state, he was just plain “Ugly.” Not feeling ugly to be a suitable name they settled on Oogy.

First thought to be a Pit or pit-mix, it became apparent on his first follow up visit, that at 70 pounds, Oogy wasn’t a Pit Bull he’s actually a Dogo Argentina. Dogos were bred to hunt mountain lions in “You guessed it,” Argentina.

While Oogy’s life had been saved, and he now had a loving family, he needed further surgery to deal with complications from his injuries. As the dog grew the scar tissue spread. He could no longer close his left eye and it wept constantly. His lip was pulled up and back. Dr. Bianco rebuilt Oogy’s face. He removed the scar tissue and grafted the skin until only a hairline scar remained. When the owners went to pay the bill Dr. Bianco told them Oogy was a no-pay.

I was asked to photograph Oogy by The Mainline Animal Rescue to help raise awareness on the horrors of dog fighting.

“Shrimp” #2

Veterinarian holding rescue dog

Veterinarian holding dog rescued from puppy mill.

Here’s Shrimp being held by Melanie, one of the vets that was caring for him.

I’ve always liked photographing people in hallways. Using a telephoto lens not only provides a flattering perspective for portraits but in this case, compresses the hallway and turns the door frames into geometric lines that frame my subjects. The telephoto, with it’s limited depth of field, allowed me to have both Shrimp and Melanie in focus against a soft background.

For this shot I used a similar lighting set up as the one of Shrimp on the exam table. A Canon 580 speedlight into a silver umbrella, mounted on a stand and placed high and to the right of my subjects. The wall to Melanie’s right provided just the right amount of fill. To separate Melanie from the background, a second Canon speedlight was mounted on a stand and placed about 10 feet behind her and pointed directly at her back. I zoomed the flash head to the 105mm setting and added a Lumiquest snoot to focus the light on Melanie and keep it off of the walls. Both flashes were fired by an on camera Canon STE2 infrared transmitter. I had to bump the ISO up to 400 to get the f/5.6 ( Shrimp & Melanie in focus) and the 1/60th (I can hand hold this) shutter speed and allow the ambient light to provide detail in the hallway.