In his studio on South Broad Street, photographer Kelly Moore tries to figure out the best lighting and angle to photograph a horse.
It’s not every day his subject is a majestic equine, but there’s a very good reason he’s agreed to this unique shoot.
That horse, Daisy, and the people who care for her are just one of the stories being shared with the community leading up to one of the most popular events in the Rome social calendar — The Rome For the Rescues party.
The event will take place June 14 at The Vogue and always draws a huge crowd. That’s because it benefits several local animal welfare organizations and it also happens to be a darn good time.
Since animal welfare is the focus of the event, organizers are flooding social media with Moore’s stunning images of several Rome and area residents who rescue or promote the rescue of animals. The images of the animals they rescue help to tell the story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things for the benefit of animals. These are the people who are often behind the scenes either working directly to rescue animals or helping to promote animal welfare using their public platforms. Their stories may inspire others to rescue and to get involved.
Those being photographed are Lee and Phil Rast of Red Clay Equine Rescue and Sanctuary, Amy Markwald, Bill Caroll, Chris Kerr, D’Ann Downey, Jeff Mitchell of Floyd County PAWS, Jennifer Moore, Mary Kate McCaffrey and Kristy Larue of Floyd Felines, Monika Wesolowski of Helping Pawz Inc., and Severo Avila of the Rome News-Tribune.
Their stories of rescue and their behind-the-scenes work to promote animal welfare in and around Rome and Floyd County are in the spotlight leading up to the Rock, Roll and Rescue event on June 14. The black-and-white images of each person and their stories of rescue, along with their pets, are being shared via social media in the weeks leading up to the party.
Lee and Phil Rast own Red Clay Ranch Equine Rescue and Sanctuary, a fully licensed horse sanctuary and rehab facility located in Chattooga County. They have rescued and care for more than 80 retired, neglected, unwanted and/or abused horses. They’re spotlighted because of the immense amount of work they do each day to care for all these animals. They are not paid to do what they do and depend on donations and community support to meet the needs of so many horses.
Jennifer Moore noticed that when her neighbors moved out, they left their cat trapped inside their apartment. She notified the landlord and a workman unlocked the door to reveal a now homeless cat. A few days later, Jennifer noticed the cat crouched under the stairs behind her apartment building, sheltering from the rain. He was shivering and hungry. She tried to feed him but he was scared. Slowly, she gained his confidence and in June 2018 Robert Bobby Wayne became a part of Moore family, sleeping at the foot of Jennifer’s bed and becoming best friends with their cat PWayne. The Moores gave Bobby Wayne a second chance with a great family and they now encourage Rome residents to give other wonderful animals a second chance at a forever home.
D’Ann Downey is with Compassionate Paws, a local not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide comfort, joy, and learning through animal-assisted activities. As a community affiliate of the national organization, Pet Partners, their volunteers visit healthcare facilities, schools, libraries and colleges. The educational component of the program offers a literacy program where the children read to the dogs in the “Read with Me” program. Their Pet Partners consist of dogs, cats, llamas, mini-horses and rats. The handlers and animals must complete testing in order to become a Pet Partner. They are currently in need of more Pet Partners because the demand for their services far exceeds the number of Pet Partner teams they have. D’Ann was photographed with Nappa, her miniature schnauzer who was originally picked up by Animal Control in Thomasville and was rescued by Schnauzer Love Rescue. D’Ann and her husband, Randy, became Nappa’s foster parents but quickly realized they would become his full-time parents. Nappa joins D’Ann (a psychologist) at work as a therapy dog where he utilizes his keen sense of when people need him. With his calm, soothing presence, Nappa is an expert at warming the souls of those he encounters.