‘The biggest misconception people have about mongrels is that they are not as beautiful or worthy as a purebred dog, or that they are difficult to train or handle,’ says Lillian Wang, founder of Three Legs Good, a local charity that gives such dogs a second chance.
The idea for the charity to hold an awareness-raising exhibition came to Wang after she heard about a photography competition organised by the SPCA in Hong Kong a few years ago. The animal welfare group had invited the public to photograph mongrels – or mixed-breed dogs – beside listed buildings as a sign that these canines are part of the city’s heritage, too. And so, in 2012, Wang borrowed the idea and set up the first Mongrel exhibition here.
One of the artists who will be taking part in the exhibition’s third edition, held this month, is Elke Vogelsang, a German photographer who has adopted a trio of mongrels herself (pictured above).
‘Noodles was rescued from a Spanish kill-shelter and joined our family when she was a puppy. She is a Spanish sighthound (Galgo Español) mix, now eight years old but still acting like a pup,’ she tells us. ‘Scout is six years old and a Galgo Español mix, too. She and her seven siblings were found next to her dead mother, but now she’s my metropolitan girl: sensitive, cuddly and ravishingly beautiful. Ioli was born in Germany but he had to have an eye removed. After the procedure, he flourished. His smile and puppyish behaviour are contagious.’
And from being rescued pups, the mutts ended up saving the life of Vogelsang’s husband. In 2009, he was struck by a brain haemorrhage that left him unconscious in the bathtub. The dogs reacted fast, alerting Vogelsang to the emergency. ‘These dogs, once on death row, saved his life,’ she recalls. ‘My dogs are life-savers and wonderful family members. They give so much and ask for very little. To give back a bit of what these animals give us, I try to help animal rescue organisations with my pictures.’
Vogelsang’s playful images will be displayed alongside those by Ernest Goh, Namiko Chan Takahashi, Lili Chin and Ly Yeow.
The deadline for submission of photos has been extended to 9 Nov.
|Event phone:||6339 3068|