• Madeleine Poolman

Award winning collection of photographs of the local people and companions of De Doorns, a small town in Western Cape, South Africa. These photos were made whilst documenting the welfare group Sidewalk Specials' work in the area as they conducted a "sterilisation drive", endeavouring to spay, neuter, and treat as many of the local cats and dogs, as well as educating local children about animals' wellbeing with initiatives at schools. Sidewalk Specials has held a total of eight of these Steri-Drives in recent years, and have spent much of this time earning the trust of the local people, who have learned to distrust "helpful" groups who often disappoint by siezing their dogs and cats under the guise of good intentions. I was afforded the opportunity to travel into the local farms and townships of De Doorns (The Thorns) and meet hundreds of locals and their dogs and cats. I was welcomed into their homes alongside Sidewalk Specials to photograph the relationships they have with their trusted pets. These images are a few of my favourites. Winner of 6th Fine Art Photography Awards for Photojournalism-Amateur.