Pet adoption stories displayed in photo exhibit

Photo stories will be highlighted at Willow Street Pictures.

The Morris Animal Refuge, which opened in 1874, will be featured in an exhibit of twenty portraits of rescued animals adoptions. Kathryn Stellato | TTN
The Morris Animal Refuge, which opened in 1874, will be featured in an exhibit of twenty portraits of rescued animals adoptions. Kathryn Stellato | TTN

Darren Modricker lived half a block from the Morris Animal Refuge.

Modricker, leading artist on the “Taking Refuge – A Day at Morris, the Nation’s First Animal Shelter” and owner of Willow Street Pictures, said this project really hit home.

“I say it was kind of like coming back home, being able to help them out,” Modricker said. “Their work with the pets in the area has a large impact.”

“Taking Refuge” is a charitable photo exhibit that will be shown at Works on Paper on Sept. 27, curated by Willow Street Pictures, that will showcase pet adoption stories from the Morris Animal Refuge.

Willow Street Pictures and Morris Animal Refuge have been in contact over the photo exhibit project for two years.

Morris Animal Refuge was created by Elizabeth Morris in 1874, marking Philadelphia as the home of the nation’s first animal shelter. The historic Philadelphia shelter has been chosen as the honoree of Willow Street Pictures’ annual charitable venture due to its large impact on the neighborhood’s animal population.

The custom printing and framing of 20 portraits will be hung at Works on Paper on 1611 Walnut St. for a one-day-only exhibit, then auctioned off by Morris Animal Refuge to raise funds. The total creative effort, between print costs and staffing, came at a total of approximately $2,500 that was donated toward the cause.

“We believe in giving back to the community,” Modricker said. “We have quite a few clients that have rescued, and I think that’s important because it hits home. Most of my staff has rescued animals. It’s a part of our fabric here.”

The animal refuge serves the Philadelphia community by providing care for small stray and abandoned animals, and accepts some exotic breeds.

“We’re a nonprofit organization, so we don’t get any donations from government, local or state to care for these animals,” Steve Sloan, the adoption coordinator for Morris Animal Refuge, said. “The money will go directly back into the shelter, providing care for the animals here. We’re excited about it. A lot of our staff are in the pictures, and it’s animals that have been adopted from here. These shelter stories are important because it shows that we take care of these animals. People need animals and animals need people.”

A preview of the images that will be featured in “Taking Rescue” are available on Willow Street Pictures’ website, but Modricker suggested attending the event to experience the full impact that the Morris Animal Refuge has on residents of the community.

“It’s going to be huge,” Modricker said. “People are going to be able to see that some really great pets have been rescued by very caring owners. The relationship and the bond that they have with their pets is really positive. This is going to show the deep connections and strong bonds, and how much they love their pets.”

Brianna Spause can be reached at brianna.spause  and on twitter @briannaspause

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