Abandoned rescue dogs star in heart-warming portrait series to raise awareness of animal cruelty

Just like people, dogs have their own unique personalities; a fact that is delightfully brought to life in a quirky new photo series starring homeless dogs.

British photographer Stuart Holroyd has given voice to a group of abandoned strays he chanced across at an animal shelter in Cyprus, where he is based.

Stuart, 34, decided to take portrait snaps of the inhabitants of the Bay Tree Boarding Kennels in Oroklini - many of whom have been abused by previous owners - to raise awareness of animal cruelty.

His lovingly created portrait snaps use background and lighting to match the character of each dog being snapped, whether it's a cheeky terrier or a soulful spaniel.

The results are both charming and kitsch and give each pooch a real sense of individuality. Come see more, along with details of Stuart's story, in the gallery or visit his Facebook page here.

Photos: Rex Features/Stuart Holroyd

  • Molly

    "Most people don't know that animal cruelty in Cyprus is at an all-time high. Dogs are being dumped, beaten and tortured for absolutely no reason other than amusement. There seems to be little or no prosecutions for offenders, even if they neglect or purposely kill a dog," says Stuart.

  • Costa

    Once Stuart moved to Cyrus, he became aware of a dog rescue centre set up there by fellow Brit expat Kayte Wilson-Smith.

  • Fergus

    "When I moved to Cyprus I was made aware of what Kayte was doing and went to visit her. Once you step foot into the rescue centre there is just an overwhelming amount of love from these dogs, every single one of them was happy to see you whether they were healthy, blind or even had a limb missing, it was unconditional," he says.

  • Hettie

    "The donations are very low right now and we need to change that. I wanted to help, but do something a little different so I pitched the idea about doing something photography based and we went from there."

  • Winston

    Stuart's process saw him take portrait photos of the dogs before creating a digital image background to suit their personalities.

  • Ozzy

    "Once the photo was taken I would then go away and have a think about that dog, think about their personality and start to put together basic compositions, see what worked, looking at lighting and shadows etc.," he says.

  • Milly

    "A good example of this is Milly on the beach. She has a disability where her back legs are tied together, so she's called Milly the Mermaid at the centre, hence the lighthouse and the beach."

  • Wolfie

    "Each dog in these photos was a rescue pup. Some were just dumped in the road and others were purposely left in the heat to die."

  • Barney

    "We need everyone's attention, just sharing photos and messages will help massively and we can finally get some money into the home so Kayte can give these animals a fighting chance," Stuart says.

    For more details of Stuart's initiative, visit The Bay Tree Project.

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