Archive for February, 2010


Check out the new RSCPA WA banner

The RSPCA WA has featured our shot of the small, whiskery and totally cute Mogwai on their current website banner.  Mogwai, believed to be a chihuahua cross griffon bruxellois, was a past resident of the RSPCA shelter, and now lives a happy and indulged life (and so she should!) with staff member Nat. She has a designer wardrobe to rival Suri Cruise, including a pair of Gucci dog sunglasses, and loves going for rides on the motorbike. 

Check out the new banner here!


The Three Amigos

Lindsay, one of the fabulous staff at Vetwest, recently bought her three fur kids in for a Friday night photo session. I had the pleasure of photographing Boston the 5 month old pug, Bronx the 8 month old devon rex cat, and Lenny Kravitz the 4 month old teacup chihuahua. The two pups took it all in their stride, with Boston striking a range of pug poses, and little Lenny looking so adorable with his big puppy ears, whist Bronx was almost dog-like in his passion for food and the way he jumped in front of the camera on cue!  The session was so much fun and Lindsay’s family was a delight. Here are some of my favourite shots.






The Studio Cat

When you visit our studio in North Perth, take a look around and see if you can spot our resident studio cat, Kenny. He is likely to be sitting in the shadows watching the goings-on of the studio with mild cat amusement! As a former ‘rescue cat’, he is easy to pick – two products of his past life are his tatty ears and missing eye! I felt it was time Kenny got his own studio photo session, so last weekend instead of being a spectator, he finally got to be the star of the show.


Gentle Giant

Leo the great dane took out third place in the Fairday Dog Show in September 2009 and visited us all the way from Toodyay last weekend to claim his prize – a photo session with Houndstooth Studio! Weighing in at 75 kilos, Leo really is a gentle giant. He has such a laid back and relaxed attitude, and is fabulous for hugging, given you don’t even have to bend down!



Harry the Pug

You might remember Paula from my blog about Boris the pug, who passed away in December last year. After such sad news I was thrilled to hear that Paula had a new addition to her family – and last week I got to meet him! Gorgeous puppy pug Harry came to the studio for a photo session. He was simply too cute for words, and posed beautifully for all of his shots. Paula particularly loved his shots against the black backdrop. Little Harry is booked in for a further two photo sessions, at 6 months of age and 12 month of age, so that Paula has a full photo record of him growing up.



The Plight of the Little Penguins

I have fond memories as a child of being on a school camp to Victor Harbor, South Australia. We visited the iconic Granite Island and watched with glee as the sun set and hundreds of little penguins gracefully swam up to the beach and then clambered to the shore after a full day of fishing…

Fast-forward to October 2009, when I returned to Granite Island and captured a series of images for the Penguin Centre, which opened in 2003. Foundered by the wonderful Dorothy and Keith Longden, the Centre runs on the generously donated time of 4 volunteers who provide care for 12 little penguins (also known as blue or fairy penguins)  in various stages of rehabilitation after being injured, attacked by dogs or rejected by their parents. The adult penguins nest in burrows and always hatch 2 eggs – an heir and spare. If the heir survives, the spare gets neglected and goes without food. These ‘spares’ are often found languishing and malnourished after being kicked out of their nest, and when found by kind humans are taken to the centre for treatment.

The penguin population on Granite Island has decreased rapidly over the last four years – there were 2000 little penguins then and now there are less than 170. Without a firm reason as to why, they are on the verge of completely disappearing. The centre does not receive any Government funding, relying instead on admission fees from the public for the twice daily penguin feeding sessions.

But thankfully it’s not all sad news. Dorothy and Keith are still working hard at the centre, dedicating their days to feeding and caring for their little charges. Public support for the centre is strong locally, and their new Adopt a Penguin project is sure to be a big hit, enabling people from all around the world to provide funds for a penguin. Having seen the tireless work of Dorothy, Keith and the other volunteers, Houndstooth Studio also donated some funds late last year, effectively sponsoring 7 penguins.

The time I spent with the little penguins during their photo shoot was magic and this really is a cause close to my heart. I can personally guarantee that all money received goes directly to the care of the little penguins, who may well be the future of the Granite Island colony once those strong enough to be released are back in the wild.

The Penguin Centre recently launched their fabulous new website, containing some of the images I captured last October. They also have a Houndstooth Studio penguin image available for purchase as a greeting card, or matted, mounted, laminated, or framed print, with all proceeds going to the centre. 

You can check out their new website here – Victor Harbour Penguin Centre. Please stop by and offer your support. Houndstooth Studio will be returning to the Penguin Centre later this year to take some new penguin pics, including some studio shots! That is a first for us, the centre, and no doubt, for the penguins too!

You can purchase this image as a greeting card or print via Red Bubble.



RSPCA Adoptathon

This Valentine’s Day weekend, the RSPCA and Hill’s Science Diet are holding their Pawfect Match “Adoptathon”. Their goal is to find loving new homes for 50,000 dogs and cats throughout Australia. All animals available for adoption have been desexed, wormed, microchipped and vaccinated, and have undergone a behavioural assessment to ensure they’ll make the perfect pet. 

So if you are in the market for a new furry family member, why not head to the RSPCA WA’s Malaga Shelter at 108 Malaga Drive, Malaga this weekend. They are open from 10am-4pm.


Mogwai was adopted from the RSPCA WA shelter  


Spay Shuttle Project

For our next special offer, the benefactor receiving $25 from every photo session booking is an initiative driven and operated by Cat Alliance. The purpose of the alliance is to facilitate constructive dialogue between welfare groups, management officers and the state and local governments towards better cat welfare.

As such, the concept of a  Spay Shuttle is being developed. The aim of the Spay Shuttle is to directly address the pet overpopulation problem in WA by providing and funding a mobile animal spay / neuter clinic, specifically targeting stray and semi-owned cats. The main benefits of operating a mobile clinic such as this are:

  • It can operate in varying climates
  • Staff can work in tandem with local veterinarians and councils throughout the state
  • The clinic can service low income families, animal welfare organisations and voluntters and communities without access to veterinary care to provide basic veterinary care and affordable spay & neuter services
  • The Spay Shuttle will also provide a mobile deployable veterinary facility for any future State Emergency Response Plan for animals.

At present approximately 24,000 cats are destroyed in WA each year. Some are euthanized by veterinarians, but many are disposed of in less humane ways. With 98.6% of stray cats not desexed, their prolific breeding is a huge issue in WA, impacting on the environment, wildlife, and public health. The Spay Shuttle aims to reduce the number of feral cats and associated issues.

The Spay Shuttle team consists of a number of animal professionals – The president is Christine Yurovich, who runs Feline 5 Star cattery in Baldivis; project manager is Dr Eric Yeoh; treasurer is Joan Tan; honorary secretary is Liddell Williams of the Cat Haven; special veterinary consultant is Dr Jo Ling; and committee member is  Michelle Williamson, founder of  Pet Rescue.

At present the Spay Shuttle project is  going into corporate fundraising mode,  with the aim to raise $1,052,000. Additional funding, like the donations Houndstooth Studio will be making, will boost the corporate fundraising effort as well.  A third to half of the $1,052,000 will go into purchasing  a towing vehicle and fitting and equipping the clinic caravan. A quarter of the funding will engage a full-tim veterinarian, a clinic manager and head nurse to run the clinics for the first 2 years (after that the clinic should be self-funding), with the remainder of the funds will go towards education and administrative costs.  

The Spay Shuttle  will hopefully be built by the end of the year and be operational by the summer of 2011. At Houndstooth Studio we are looking forward to contributing funds to the project, as well as providing stock images for Spay Shuttle marketing ventures! For more info click here.


Jordy’s Story

Recently I came across one of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever heard about devotion to a pet. Jordy the cat lived in the WA town of Kellerberrin with his doting ‘human’ Craig. When Jordy was 4 years old he was diagnosed with cancer and had the tops of his ears surgically removed to stop the cancer from spreading. Regrettably, ten years later, the cancer returned. Second time around, there were three options for Jordy; intense chemotherapy with harsh side effects, leaving him untreated which would lead to a gradual decrease in his quality of life, or removal of the cancer which could give him two or more years with Craig.

Craig opted for the latter, and in March 2008 Jordy underwent surgery to have his right eye and surrounding tissue removed. The photos of him post surgery are an amazing testament to the resolve Jordy had in beating his disease. He accepted his treatment and without complaint he simply got on with his recovery….and his life. Over the next 18 months he gradually got back to his normal self, enjoying the sunshine and chasing shadows.

So I had a heavy heart when I recently heard that Jordy’s health had deteriorated, and he couldn’t keep fighting anymore, eventually passing away in Craig’s arms.

The way animals can adapt and compensate even in the most trying circumstances is astounding. And the amount of love Craig showered on his much loved Jordy is touching. If everyone loved their pets as much as Craig loved his, the world really would be a better place. 

Craig told me “I just really want to get Jordy’s story out there to people, letting people understand that pets are more than animals – they are our companions and they can be strong and have huge personalities too. Jordy (and my two other boys, Basil and Fudge) are my children because I could not have human children. The more people who read his story and are touched by it … the better I feel about how we are with our fur kids.”

You can read Jordy’s entire story on Craig’s blog at and perhaps whilst you’re there you can drop Craig a line of support.

Jordy was much loved and I know he is very sadly missed.


Photo courtesy of Craig Shillington.


Vetwest Photo Day Pics

The Vetwest Pet Portrait Day held on 31st January was a roaring success. Three cats and nine dogs came along to Vetwest Whitfords and had studio portraits captured. Erin was my fabulous animal assistant on the day, whilst Debora took care of front of house – they both did a great job. Feedback from the pet owners who attended has been really positive and I can’t thank you all enough for making it as enjoyable and fun as it was.

A big thank you to Vetwest as well! Keep an eye out for the next Vetwest Pet Portrait Day which will be held soon. And also stay tuned for a new gallery we will be creating featuring each one of the Vetwest Pet Portrait dogs and cats. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek!