Green Acres Animal Rescue
A while back we visited Green Acres Animal Rescue in Haverfordwest. It was such a lovely couple of days away and well worth the visit. The staff and volunteers are just amazing and you can tell that the work they do really is their passion. These people dedicate their time, efforts and the majority of their lives so that these animals lead a happy and comfortable life. Is there anything more wonderful in the animal world?
Dog portraits are our bread and butter. So we were primarily looking for dog rescues to visit, donate our time and provide some images. When we were recommended Green Acres, we had a look at their website and just could not turn it down.
Doing a shoot at a rescue is very different to doing a pet photoshoot. With a pet, the dog and its owner are emotionally connected. They have a routine, the owner knows their dog and vice versa. A rescue dog can be very different. Dependent on their history and circumstances they can be reactive towards people or other animals, they could have injuries or they could be completely untrained and unresponsive to any treat or toy. Every rescue dog has their story and this is something that needs to be understood and respected.
One dog from Green Acres that stuck with us, was Benji. Benji was a very nervous Collie and he was very unsure of people in general.
The idea was to try and make this experience as positive as possible for Benji while also getting a good image of him. With rescue shoots, we want to get good images which shows that they are a rescue dog, but aren’t all doom and gloom. At the end of the day, the history does not define the dog. Benji was very wary of us. He was great with all the equipment and the flash (which we always test with the animal) but he was very nervous of us. At this point, we just stopped. Benjis’ well-being came first. We asked everyone to be quiet and Dan put the camera down. After a small while, Benji started taking treats from us and was happy to hop onto our antique trunk. Although Benji was still unsure, this was a massive breakthrough and something which just made the day.
Green Acres is completely different to your usual rescue. Being from South Wales, we’re very much used to seeing dog rescues, or cat rescues. Green Acres Animal Rescue takes into consideration ALL animals. We’re talking dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, horses, sheep, alpacas (much to my enjoyment), pigs and many more. We decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to really challenge ourselves and try something new.
Chickens, turkeys, goats, guinea pigs and pigs. This was out of our comfort zone, but we had so much fun with them! At one point, I was stood watching the Green Acres staff help us with a goat, armed with feed and carrots trying to get it to walk towards Dan (and the camera) while Dan tried to get the shot but not get trampled at the same time. We all had a great time and the shots certainly show it.
We would love to return to Green Acres one day. I really cannot tell you how lovely this place is. It has a typical farmyard feel about it while also doing the amazing work of rehoming the animals they do. The animals are happy and well looked after, its clean, tidy and the staff were so welcoming. Their knowledge and work is hugely valuable and they make such a difference.
I would like to finish off with a picture of Toast. Toast is a resident cat who warmed to us and would like to take a little nap on our back drop mid-shoot!