April 12, 2017
Your best shot
Readers submit their best photos to All Animals magazine
As an intern at Farm Sanctuary in Orland, California, I spent October 2015 caring for rescued farm animals. I discovered some very distinct personalities among the sanctuary’s residents and met animals with whom I felt an instant connection, especially Hemingway the goat. He was quiet and reserved, patiently hanging back while his boisterous roommate, Totes, hammed it up for anyone who would watch.
I took this picture after a few weeks of frequent visits to their pen—an earnest effort to prove to Hemingway that I was friendship-worthy. I petted his soft fur and talked with him, spellbound by his sweet face and gentle demeanor. Then, slowly, he turned around to lift his head into the rising sun’s warm rays. Closing his eyes, he gave a deep inhale and let out a big exhale. A smile spread across his face.
There is no doubt in my mind that Hemingway was experiencing joy. I was so caught up in the scene, I’m shocked I had the sense to grab my camera. But I did, and I captured one of the most meaningful moments of my life.
— Jane Pearce, Las Vegas, Nevada
I live in Alameda, California, which is a small island across the bay from San Francisco. There’s a lagoon path nearby, and I walk it every day. In April, the great white and snowy white egrets return to the lagoon, and they seem to like this one lone tree. Each year I watch them nest there, lay eggs and raise their babies.
Between about April and June, I enjoy watching the growth of the babies and all their activities. One day in April 2015, I spotted a special nest that was in full view. The mother bird was getting ready to feed her babies. I saw one, two, three, four and then five babies pop up to get fed! I took the shot and to my amazement captured a moment that I think tells the whole story. To me, this photo represents life and the amazing phenomena that take place in nature. I love these beautiful birds!
— Frances Estrada, Alameda, California
I became Ace's mom almost three years ago. My family and I were considering adopting a dog, and one day my boyfriend and I were driving and saw the cutest dog in the back of a pickup truck. I yelled out, "Your dog is beautiful!" to the man in the truck. He motioned for us to pull over.
With tears in his eyes, he said he could no longer take care of this amazing dog. We could tell he loved the dog very much and that this was very hard for him. I walked over to Ace and he immediately began to wag his tail and lick us. Without hesitation, I knew in my heart that we were destined to take care of him.
Ace has been a huge part of our lives ever since. I have never had a connection like this with a dog; he is truly special. He goes everywhere with us. He’s 4 years old now, and he’s definitely a lover, not a fighter! He enjoys cuddling with me, my kids and my boyfriend. He loves riding in the car, taking long walks and meeting our friends and neighbors. He especially loves our neighbor Jessica, who took this photo of him one summer day. We can't imagine life without him and are truly blessed to have him as part of our family.
— Elaine Conkle, Rockledge, Florida
Submit your photo to us for possible publication in All Animals or on our website, along with an explanation of 250 words or fewer about why it's meaningful to you.
Submitted photos should be at least 300 dpi at a size of 8" by 10" and at least 2MB. (You may also send hard copy submissions to All Animals—Your Best Shot, The HSUS, 1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 450, Washington, DC 20037. Hard copies cannot be returned.)
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