Washington DC Humane Society

In June 2006 I embedded with the Washington DC Humane Society. I documented the day-to-day realities of their battle for animal welfare in the nation's capitol. The majority of calls we encountered were for stray or neglected dogs and cats.

One hot afternoon we responded to a report of a pit bull mix that had been abandoned on the balcony of a vacant apartment.

We slid through a hole in the housing unit's perimeter fence to search for the neglected dog.


We found the the frightened animal on a second floor balcony.

The officer climbed to the second floor balcony to examine the young dog. He was severely dehydrated and emaciated.

After lowering him to safety we took him back to the Washington DC Humane Society where he was examined, rehabilitated, and made available for adoption.

Pit bulls are popular pets in the DC area and that means they are among the most common breeds the humane officers encounter. 


On another occasion, we were called to the Barry Farm neighborhood in Anacostia to investigate reports of children using fireworks to torment a cat.

The young daughter of a resident had recently taken in the stray cat.

After talking with the girl's mother, it became apparent to the officer that the family did not have the means to provide basic care for the animal. They decided to let the officer take him. The girl was upset, but the officer assured her the cat would be well cared for and would find a good home.


As he left, the officer took the opportunity to talk to some of the neighborhood children about the injured cat and animal cruelty in general. 

The cat was examined and was found to be generally in good health. He was immediately made available for adoption.