Heartbreaking Images of Dogs About to Be Euthanized-Shelter Awareness

Taiwanese photographer Yun-Fei Tou has spent the past five years documenting shelter dogs’ final minutes of life, right before being

euthanized

. Through this heart-wrenching series, Tou is hoping that viewers will consider animal rights a serious moral issue.

The collection of portraits is titled “Mememto Mori,” Latin for “remember (that you have) to die.” They were taken anywhere from a few hours to a few minutes before the dogs were scheduled to be put down or mercifully killed in public pounds in Taiwan.

SEE ALSO: Photographer Captures the Old-Soul Beauty of Senior Dogs

“Utilizing the classic portrait style that originated in the early 19th century with the birth of photography as an art form, these photographs offer the viewer a chance to look attentively into a bleak future,” Tou wrote on his website.

Tou also told Mashable that the portraits confront viewers with a candid look at “the decay of life, moments before death,” and reminds htem to reflect on times of confusion and despair.

By photographing the animals in the same way a portrait artist would depict a man or a woman, Tou works to humanize his canine subjects: “These nameless animals, by virtue of the size at which they are printed and the approximations to human scale, are transformed into existence.”

via Heartbreaking Images of Dogs About to Be Euthanized.

  • Yun_fei_tou_05

    “2011/10/24, Taiwanese Public Shelter, Time until Euthanized: 1.9 Hours”

    IMAGE: YUN-FEI TOU
  • Yun_fei_tou_01

    “2011/6/13, Taiwanese Public Shelter, Time until Euthanized: 40 Minutes”

    IMAGE: YUN-FEI TOU
  • Yun_fei_tou_04

    “2011/09/23, 12:57pm, Taiwanese Public Shelter, Time until Euthanized: 1.1 Hours”

    IMAGE: YUN-FEI TOU
  • Yun_fei_tou_08

    “2011/08/01, 11:38am, Taiwanese Public Shelter, Time until Euthanized: 29 Minutes”

    IMAGE: YUN-FEI TOU
  • Yun_fei_tou_03

    “2011/03/07, 04:1am, Taiwanese Public Shelter, Time until Euthanized: 13.2 Hours”

    IMAGE: YUN-FEI TOU
  • Yun_fei_tou_02

    “2011/11/28, 10:54pm, Taiwanese Public Shelter, Time until Euthanized: 1.2 Hours”

    IMAGE: YUN-FEI TOU
  • Yun_fei_tou_06

    “2011/09/23, 10:00am, Taiwanese Public Animal Shelter, Time until Euthanized: 1.4 Hours”

    IMAGE: YUN-FEI TOU
  • Yun_fei_tou_07

    “2012/12/10, 10:35am, Taiwanese Public Animal Shelter, Time until Euthanized: 43 Minutes”

    IMAGE: YUN-FEI TOU
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