Can These Dignified Portraits Save Abused Greyhounds in Spain?

The Photo Blog
Aug. 11 2014 12:53 PM

Can These Dignified Portraits Save Abused Greyhounds in Spain?

Aitch.
Aitch.

Mathias de Lattre

Once hunting season is finished in Spain, many Iberian greyhounds are abandoned, or killed (often hanged) if the dogs have either underperformed or are too expensive to keep until the following hunting season.

A few years ago, Mathias de Lattre learned from his gallerist Alain Bisotti about the dogs and the subsequent fight to rescue them.* Deeply moved by the story, de Lattre spent nearly two years creating portraits of some of the rescued and adopted Galgos and Podencos breeds of greyhounds. This past spring, de Lattre’s work was exhibited in a gallery in Paris; he also created a book, ¡Salvados! published by HPRG editions.

Gazhal
Gazhal.

Mathias de Lattre

Doug.
Doug.

Mathias de Lattre

Venda.
Venda.

Mathias de Lattre

Salvados means saved in Spanish and de Lattre said that he wanted to alert people about what was happening to the dogs. He also wanted to create delicate portraits of the animals—shot almost human-like—that were more loving in order to contrast the horrors they had previously faced. 

Advertisement

“I could have shown pictures of animals dying of hunger, or hanging from the branch of a tree, but I wanted to show them otherwise, in their new home in the universe with which destiny has reconciled, in the loving place of their new families,” he wrote.

“I wanted to give them a beautiful image, far from their suffering.”

De Lattre worked with a number of organizations helping to both rescue the dogs and also to find them new homes including Lévriers du sud, Galgos France, Terre des Lévriers, Passion Lévriers and Lévriers & Compagnie. Fifty percent of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to some of those organizations.

Before beginning the project, de Lattre had never worked with dogs—or any animals—on a photo shoot.

Since many of the dogs he photographed were somewhat fearful at first, de Lattre said he was extra gentle, allowing the dogs to get used to his voice and smell. Once he framed the shot, he tried to keep as still as possible before taking the shot.

“Although photographing animals was different, it was so pleasant because unlike human beings, they are not intimidated by the camera and show no artifices,” he said. 

*Correction, Aug. 11, 2014: This post originally misspelled Alain Bisotti's last name. 

Kyra
Kyra.

Mathias de Lattre

Reina.
Reina.

Mathias de Lattre

Flamme et Linda
Flamme et Linda.

Mathias de Lattre

Lili
Lili.

Mathias de Lattre

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
Over There
Sept. 23 2014 12:16 PM Another Intervention?    Anti-ISIS airstrikes aren’t about keeping Americans safe.  
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 23 2014 10:03 AM Watch Steve Jobs Tell Michael Dell, "We're Coming After You"
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 23 2014 11:33 AM High-Concept Stuff Designed to Remind People That They Don’t Need Stuff  
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 11:13 AM Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 11:48 AM Punky Brewster, the Feminist Punk Icon That Wasn’t
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 10:51 AM Is Apple Picking a Fight With the U.S. Government? Not exactly.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 23 2014 11:00 AM Google Exec: Climate Change Deniers Are “Just Literally Lying”
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.