Shelter worker gets fired for taking cute pics of dogs slated to be euthanized
Emily Tanen, a 30-year-old volunteer at the Manhattan branch of Animal Care and Control of New York City, got the sack at work for taking and publishing cute photos of dogs about to get euthanized, hoping that someone would give them the home and love they deserve.
Emily has worked tirelessly for thousands of animals. Yes, photography wasn’t part of her job description, but it was her last-minute approach to save the unwanted dogs (mostly pit bulls) from being put down.
“I knew they hated me,” she said. “But I thought that even if I was a pain, they’d suck it up. Because I was doing a really good job.”
According to ACCNY, which euthanizes about 25 percent of animals it rescues, Emily was fired because she had violated the policy that prohibits taking snaps of dogs interacting with humans.
Are these people completely insane?
If you see a dog cheerfully interacting with humans, you would be more inclined to adopt, as Mark Ross points out. Mark, a 66-year-old architect and volunteer at ACCNY, did the same as Emily but published his photos in his own Facebook page. He was fired after he refused to take the pictures down. Now he’s publishing a book with the dog portraits.
Emily takes beautiful pictures. (Click here to see more photos). In fact, she captures the natural beauty and personality of the dog, thus increasing its chances of being adopted. Rescue groups often told her that those images encouraged them to adopt animals they otherwise might not have.
Officials of the city-funded shelter would not comment on Emily’s firing, saying it was an internal personnel matter.