This drives me nuts. According to this New York Times story, a woman got fired from Animal Care & Control of NYC for taking and publishing cute photos of dogs about to get euthanized, hoping that someone would adopt them.
Her name is Emily Tanen. She was fired last May after publishing cute dog images taken with her personal $1500 Nikon DSLR camera instead of the ACCNY-issued cheapo webcam. Her snaps are great. Beautiful, in fact, showing the dogs at their cutest. You can see the difference between the photos taken by ACCNY—the "largest pet organization in the northeast rescuing nearly 40,000 animals each year"—and hers on the image above.
Yes, hers are the ones on the bottom. The ones that don't suck cat balls. They actually make me want to bring the dogs home. The ones on top make me think they are flea-ridden dogs about to get strangled in the home of a colorblind crack addict. You can see more of her photos here.
According to Animal Care & Control of NYC, Tanen was fired because she was taking photos against the guidelines of the organization. ACCNY's site photo guidelines say that no humans should appear in the photographs because "it looks like the animals have already been adopted."
So stupid. That doesn't make any sense. It's actually the contrary. If you see a happy dog 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.
So: woman with a good sensibility takes photos to make animals feel cute and snuggly. People like photos. People adopt dogs. Woman gets fired.
I understand that any organization has the right to control everything under its command. And I understand that Emily was warned. And I can even understand why the bozos running the ACCNY didn't change their stupid policy instead for firing her. But even understanding all this, firing someone who is effectively increasing the rate of adoption of these dogs is pure imbecility.
To see more examples of this imbecility, read the full story. [New York Times]