stewardship, awareness, & conservation
Without the amazing work of Divine Mother Nature, we wouldn't have such interesting and beautiful subjects to connect with. Despite having photographed over 100 animals up close and in person, I still marvel at the beauty of God’s animal kingdom. However, I also believe that we as humans are stewards of The Animal Kingdom and it is our duty to continually look out for their well being. The following organizations are just a few that we love.
Project survival's Cat haven
Project Survival’s Cat Haven is an innovative park dedicated to the preservation of wild cats. It specializes in education and is engaged in both captive and range country conservation. It is this link to the conservation of cats in their native habitat which makes the work of the Cat Haven especially meaningful. While some of the cats at Project Survival have been orphaned in the wild or have needed to be re-homed due to varying circumstances, they do not call themselves a sanctuary. Cat Haven provides excellent homes for all of their cats but their focus is to educate people about the plight of endangered cat species, and to raise funds for the conservation projects in the wild. Working to mitigate problems between cats and people in the wild, these projects are vital to protecting and conserving these beautiful animals.
Project Survival's Cat Haven promotes the conservation and preservation of wild cats in their native habitat by educating visitors and publicizing the work done by Project Survival Cat Conservation Group. Project Survival's Cat Haven maintains an educational room at the facility for youth programs and an outreach program. The Cat Haven is designed to act as 'base camp' in the belief that preserving wild cats in their native habitat is the principle justification for maintaining them in captivity. Project Survival is engaged in fundraising, including the creation of endowments, to support wild life specialists and educators working in range countries.
Proceeds from Ford's book, The Animal Kingdom: A Collection of Portraits will benefit Project Survival's Cat Haven.
Being a native Austinite, Randal Ford and his family have enjoyed and supported the Austin zoo. But the Austin Zoo is not a typical zoo. It's an outdoor habitat built within the beautiful surroundings of the Austin Hill Country. And a few of the domestic animals in Ford's book have been photographed at the Austin Zoo.
The mission of Austin Zoo is to assist animals in need through rescue, rehabilitation and education.
Austin Zoo currently has over 300 animals, representing more than 100 different species. Their animal collection includes animals from other facilities that are being retired due to age, health or other issues; animals that were seized in animal cruelty cases; retired laboratory research animals; and individuals’ exotic pets they needed to rehome due to changes in the owner’s lifestyle or the inability to provide appropriate care for these pets.
Austin Zoo relies on private, corporate, and civic donations, as well as admission fees, gift shop sales, grants, sponsorships and other fund raising events to ensure the health and well being of our animal collection. Support also allows them to take in new animals and participate in conservation efforts to save endangered animals.
Over 237,000 individuals visit Austin Zoo annually, including tens of thousands of students and teachers visiting on field trips. Austin Zoo currently occupies approximately 15 acres of land, and owns another 40 acres which will provide ample room for expansion as the Zoo continues to grow.
Visit Austin Zoo's website here.
The Pablove foundation
While not directly an animal centric foundation, the Pablove Foundation is an amazing organization that fights childhood cancer.
The (pab)love story began in 2008, when Pablo Thrailkill-Castelaz was diagnosed with bilateral Wilms Tumor, a rare form of childhood cancer. After 13 months of treatment, Pablo passed away just six days after his sixth birthday. The whole extended community affected by his diagnosis—friends, teachers, classmates and neighbors—wrapped its collective arms around him and his family. Their love inspired his parents to start The Pablove Foundation.
Too many families are placed on a similar journey, with no warning or guidance. Like all parents of a child diagnosed with cancer, they wanted a cure. But also knew that providing kids with an outlet and the opportunity to develop a creative voice during their treatment was crucial. That’s why The Pablove Foundation is dedicated to a unique approach of addressing childhood cancer through Art & Science to realize the mission to:
- Improve the lives of children living with cancer through the arts
- Invest in underfunded, cutting-edge pediatric cancer research
It’s what Pablove calls fighting childhood cancer with love.
Today, Pablove Shutterbugs, their signature photography program for kids 6-18 with cancer, has served 1,500 students in eight cities across the country, and provided more than $2.5 million in seed funding for daring pediatric cancer researchers on the leading edge of their fields worldwide. And they get to the the Art + Science approach come full circle with 100% of proceeds from the sales of Shutterbugs prints directly funding pediatric cancer research.
Visit their website here for more information on this amazing foundation.