For the past two years, animal welfare advocate Kim Wolf has been documenting the many dogs of NYC, one street portrait at a time. Inspired by Humans of New York, Wolf created Dogs of New York in order to celebrate the city's pooches as well as the people who love and care for them. One key point she seeks to highlight is the universal bond between humans and canines, regardless of breed, socioeconomic background, age, or gender.
Nearly all of the strangers that Wolf photographs are delighted to share more about their beloved pups, offering funny anecdotes and expressions of how much they love their pets. “It's been remarkably easy to connect with dog owners,” Wolf writes on her website. “It sounds funny, but dogs are like cigarettes. If two strangers are taking a smoke break outside a bar, it feels totally normal to have conversation. It's like that with dogs, too. If you're a dog lover, you can connect with anyone over that.”
Beyond connecting with dogs and their humans, Wolf also gives back to the community of animal lovers by providing down-on-their-luck owners with much-needed supplies like dog food and clothes to protect against the cold. Her Brooklyn-based non-profit organization Beyond Breed works to support the bond between people and pets by offering access to veterinary care, supplies, educational resources, and more. In return, many of the subjects that Wolf photographs (and helps) return the favor by volunteering for the organization, bringing everything full circle.
Although she's already photographed hundreds of dogs from neighborhoods all over New York, Wolf says she still has so many more to document. “There's a whole big world out there I want to make visible,” she told the Huffington Post. “There are so many amazing stories.”
Above: Layla is a 1-year-old dog from Bushwick, Brooklyn. “My Dad found her running down the street 2 months ago.”
Sookie and Ed in Union Square, Manhattan.
“Sometimes people give me grief because I don't have a permanent home right now. But we're together 24/7. She has a great life, and she makes mine better, too.”
Pusher is a 5-month-old dog from Brownsville, Brooklyn.
“I want him to be nice. Especially when the women and children walk by.”
James and his dog Grace Alexander live in Hells Kitchen, Manhattan.
“When she first came to me she had dark brown hair, so I thought I was getting an Angela Bassett. But then I gave her a bath and her hair was actually blonde, and she became Goldie Hawn.”
Carlos and his dog Frank live in East New York, Brooklyn.
“He's like a little kid. He has his own blanket and he sleeps in bed.”
As Carlos was talking, he picked up Frank and held him close.
“He's my therapy.”
Ivy is a 1-year-old dog from Brownsville, Brooklyn.
“I've had her for 2 months. Trained her myself. She's spoiled though. This dog is like my daughter. She's my family.”
Louise lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
“Someone found Louise in the subway and we adopted her. She had scars on her body. At first I spent so much energy being angry at the person who let this happen. Eventually I realized that Louise had moved on and was living a happy life. So I moved on, too. She's a great dog. Do you like her jacket?”
Lite is a 3-year-old dog from South Jamaica, Queens.
“They gave him to me when my daughter died of cancer in 2010, to help me heal.”
Diamond is a 1-year-old pup from Brownsville, Brooklyn.
“WE HAVE A DOG!!!!”
Diamond and his dogs, Pretty Boy and Tiny, live in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
“It's not true what they say about these dogs. You know, all that bad stuff? It's all how you treat them. Just look at these two!”
Dollar Bill is a 2-year-old dog from Bushwick, Brooklyn.
“He's so nice, we love him so much. He's the perfect house pit!”
Red lives at a fire station in East New York, Brooklyn. He's been the mascot for the past 6 years.
“The police found him running around the projects and thought he might be a vicious dog. They brought him here and we decided to keep him.”
Douglas and Boyd live in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
“I prayed to St Francis asking him to send me a nice dog. The next week, I got him. He belonged to the neighbors but their son was allergic to the dog. So I took him in. He's my baby, I love him so much!”
Karen and Lucy on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
“My last dog, Rose, lived to be 16. When she passed, I wasn't sure if I'd ever be ready to get another dog. But then I heard about Lucy, who was a rescue dog needing a home. I think Rose brought her to me.”
Snow is a 2-year-old dog from Bushwick, Brooklyn.
“He was my first dog that was all mine, you know? I've had him since he was a puppy. . . I've thought about having another dog, but I don't want him to be jealous. Like I said, he's my first dog that was all mine. I want to give him everything.”
Dilma and Caleb live in East Flatbush, Brooklyn.
“I am so blessed. Hallelujah!”
Dogs of New York: Website | Facebook
via [Huffington Post]