Hounds of Hope documents daily life at the Penang Animal Welfare Society (4PAWS) in Malaysia, where German retiree Barbara Janssen lives with more than 600 rescued canine companions. Many of the dogs have been dumped at the shelter or arrive there as a result of rescue calls. The dogs live alone or in packs in one of the many rooms of this ‘fixer upper’ property, each canine looking for a small place to call their own. Barbara relies solely on the help of donations and volunteers to run the shelter, raising funds and awareness through dog washing days, community events and adoption fairs. All the dogs are spayed/neutered and provided with veterinary care, either long term or until they are lucky enough to be adopted. From humble beginnings in 2005 when she took in a couple of dogs at her Penang apartment, to 2010, when she set up her ‘hotel for dogs,’ it is clear that Barbara lives, breathes, and above all, loves dogs. While her efforts haven’t improved conditions for all the dogs of Penang, she has certainly changed the lives of the individuals she cares for.
Photography and animals have been lifelong passions for Julie McGuire. So when she decided to combine them, she created her dream job. She considers herself extremely lucky to have lived and traveled around the world. It was her move to India in 2005 that piqued her interest in animal welfare and the way that ‘man’s best friend’ was treated in different cultures. As a result, she is committed to a long-term project documenting the roles and attitudes of dogs outside ‘pet culture.’ One of these stories, Hounds of Hope, shows daily life at the Penang Animal Welfare Society in Malaysia, and was recognized by the prestigious World Press Photo Awards 2014. Her work has been published in international news media, including The New York Times, The Guardian (UK) and The Sunday Times (UK). She currently resides in Connecticut where she undertakes commercial and editorial assignments, pet photography for private clients, and pro-bono work with animal rescue charities.