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Elderly Animals in Striking Photographs

2019 June 5

Petey , a 34 year old horse

A new unusual photographic book is well worth reading. This is Allowed to Grow Old. Portraits of Elderly Animals From Farm Sanctuaries taken by Isa Leshko.

Isa first met Petey a 34 year old Appaloosa horse and stated that when she reviewed the negatives from her afternoon with Petey, she realized she had stumbled across a way to examine her own grief and fear stemming from her old mother’s illness. She would then find other elderly animals to photograph.She photographed many animals ending their days in safe sanctuaries.


Babs, a donkey

 They include Babs , a donkey, who was a former rodeo animal used for roping practice and covered in rope burns. She suffered from many diseases that were then helped in Pasado’s Safe Haven in Sultan, Washington.

I have been interested previously in works dealing with the death and mourning of animals [having contributed to Animal Death – on pet cemeteries – or Mourning Animals – on dead animals in wartime-]. However the powerful images of elderly animals, often photographed by Isa as she laid next to them on the ground, is unusual. I have often looked at the older animals now living and surviving in the Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norfolk being rescued from cruel circumstances but have yet to see such photographic images recorded in this way in Britain.

I would recommend this large  book published at £30 by the University of Chicago Press and already having received much support from writers such as Carol J.Adams, Marc Bekoff, Steve Wise ,J.M.Coetzee and Peter Singer.

2 Responses Post a comment
  1. December 13, 2022

    Thank you for your kind words about my work! I appreciate your support and your thoughtful engagement with my images.

    • Hilda Kean permalink
      December 19, 2022

      Dear Isa
      Thanks for your comments. I hope your work is continuing to be undertaken to protect and defend so many animals.

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