Neglect and abuse are ugly, regardless of whether people or animals are the recipients. They leave the suffers hurt, scared and alone, desperately wanting to belong and be loved. One animal shelter in Israel, Let the Animals Live, has risen to the challenge of taking in these animals, providing care and rehabilitation until they find loving homes.
To raise awareness about the shelter and the need for adoptive homes, Let the Animals Live asked Israeli child and family photographer Sveta Butko to take photos for a calendar. "Wow, what an amazing opportunity to express what I always wanted to express with my photography – a tender bond between people and animals," was Butko's response.
"I told [the shelter] that I want to photograph not only animals of the shelter but with people – different people, special people, kids and adults, everybody with his own story of endless love to animals," Butko said.
Each picture tells a story of unquestioning love between man and animal, as Butko takes the time to match each animal to the perfect person for the photos. The animals range from 2-month-old Bell to Ben-Ben, who lost his back legs in an accident and gets around with the help of a cart.
The animals who have been neglected, abused or injured work with Israel's leading dog behaviorist Avner Raz, according to Let the Animals Live, so they can be easily reintegrated into a family.
"I just wanted to say that it doesn't matter who you are, from where you came, what's the color of your skin, you live at home, in cage or in nature – there always will be someone that will need your love, tender and warmth," Butko said.
Although Butko does not know who actually adopted each animal, her thought-provoking photos give viewers pause to stop and consider if maybe one of these animals should become their precious pet.