My name is Lisa Patnaude and I have lived in New England all my life. I’ve had 2 passions since childhood, animals and photography. I have always been drawn to animals, and them to me. My mom never knew what I would bring home after school. One thing I learned very young was that animals were incredible listeners that never judged or criticized. They brought a peace to me, then and today. It only seemed natural that my two loves would come together.
In 2004 I became involved with animal rescue by becoming a volunteer relay transport driver. To photograph these dogs knowing they are leaving a death sentence behind them and starting a new chapter in their life is unbelievably heartwarming. Also, the adoptive families can see the volunteers that helped and loved on their new family member and see how their dogs came to them. Special rescue events, such as Echo Dogs Northeast Reunions, brings adoptive families and volunteers together to enjoy listening to stories and games for the kids and dogs. Photographing these events is very special for me. I get to see again some of the dogs I transported and to see the transformation from a dog that may have been afraid to one that is now confident, happy and loved. The photos I truly enjoy taking are closeups of dog and owner. There is no hiding the bond and love between human and animal. I feel truly lucky to share the lives of so many families, even if it’s only briefly and through a lens.
I share my home with Indy (Corgi/Australian Cattle Dog x), Tucker (Pembroke Welsh Corgi), Taz (orange/white DSH) (now in spirit only), Salem (black DSH), and Jimmy (Snowshoe/Siamese x). Indy and Tucker came to me via relay transport from Indiana and Kentucky, hence their names, a reminder of their pasts. Taz and Jimmy are ‘foster failures’. In other words, I failed at fostering because I ended up adopting my own fosters and they didn’t move on to another home. It’s an occupational hazard for most foster homes. Salem was adopted from a Worcester rescue. I have always loved black cats and I found him rolling around on his back in his cage purring. He wanted to make certain I wouldn’t leave without taking him home. It worked! All my furkids are my pride and joy.
I have been a foster home for Siamese Cat Rescue Center since May 2007. It’s an extremely rewarding experience, though not for everyone. If you can give everything to your foster and then let them go, well most of the time, it’s an incredible way to help. The best paycheck is getting updates from the new family and hearing and seeing how your foster is blossoming in their new home.
I have met so many warm and dedicated rescue people as well as adoptive families. It has been a wonderful experience and one that will hopefully continue for many years to come.