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I found Animal Care in Egypt (ACE) by chance as I was scouring the internet for research about an animal welfare project.
When I spoke with Kim Taylor, the co-fonder and centre manager, about what the good work they do I knew I had go to photograph the work they do. ACE is a charity dedicated to helping stop the suffering of thousands of animals in the poorest communities of Luxor by providing free veterinary care and education.
For over twenty years they have been in Egypt helping the local animals when they need it most. This is alongside preventative treatments and education, delivering a long term impact on the welfare of working animals and the people that depend on them so greatly for their livelihoods. These hard working animals often lack the most basic veterinary care. Many are neglected or mistreated, not through malice, but due to lack of understanding or provisions.
The dedicated team of vets treat and save the lives of thousands of animals all year round. They have a walk-in clinic, a hospital to perform crucial surgeries and 25 stables that allow the animals to rest from their working lives where they can recover. They closely monitor them, provide regular treatments and ensure their progress back to health.
I stayed at ACE for just over a week. During that time, I witnessed some of the most horrendous animal cruelty and neglect I had ever seen however I also witnessed the tireless committed work that the staff did within the local community of Luxor. The compassion and love for the animals from the staff at ACE was so inspiring.
Personally, the whole experience was an emotional roller coaster of anguish, disbelief with a mix of joy and humility. I visited at a time when the political climate in Egypt was unstable and the animal neglect was high along with a silent, unspoken knowledge that rabies was very much present within Egypt which was dealt with on a regular basis by the staff (which I saw first hand). For many years I have not wanted to show my work from this collection as it has so much raw emotion to the photographs, but I now feel that this is the right time to this body of work. Some of the images are hard to see yet this is what the staff at ACE and indeed many animal welfare charities have to deal with on a daily basis.
This world needs more compassionate people to help stop the negate and cruelty of animals world wide. For more information about ACE, see their website. With every print purchase 5% of the sale will be donated to ACE.
* All my fine-art prints & wall art are printed on high-quality Hahnemuhle printing papers with archival pigment inks and handmade acid-free mounts. Each limited edition print is numbered, signed and comes with a certificate of authenticity.
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Esther Marie Gallery
86 Huddersfield Road, Newhey